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Saturday, October 20, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 7:28 PM | permalink
Kudos to Mike Huckabee who gave an excellent speech and was able to win the local straw poll. Congrats to Mitt for winning the overall straw poll with online savvy.

Couple of thoughts here:
  1. Here's a quick genesis of how things happened from the Romney side of things. Over a week ago the Romney camp caught wind that over 1000 people had already voted in the straw poll. I guess Romney can count better than the other candidates (j/k) and quickly realized that this thing was going to be won online. In short: if 2500 people were attending the straw poll and 1000 people had already voted... anyone who didn't make an online showing would lose. They called up supporters and asked them to email their personal lists about the opportunity. We held the news from our blogs until Thursday night so as not to tip the other candidates (who apparently didn't put 2 and 2 together - again j/k) and the race was off.

  2. 600 attendees actually voted online.... so the 952 votes is misleading. I'm not saying Romney won... but the seeming on-site rout for Huckabee needs a little context.

  3. The big losers as Erick and Politico point out are Fred and Rudy. The former came in behind Romney and the later came in second. Second, that is, in the least acceptable candidate group.

  4. Talking to numerous people at the convention... the flurry of Romney endorsements didn 'tnot go unnoticed. Many people came up to me asking numerous questions about Mitt. At one point a prominent radio host asked me to come over and explain where Mitt stands on stem cell research to another fellow news maker.

  5. Here's a better contextual look at why Huckabee is a great guy... but won't be able to make it happen:

  6. (note: legend got cut off on the graphic. All you need to know is this. Huckabee is the small almost non-existent line at the bottom of the graph.

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What the heck is Huckabee saying???? If you don’t vote for him, because he is authentic, then Faith as we know it is destroyed???? If that is his rationale for running, then I think Huckabee has a few screws loose!!!

Huckabee took a more fiery approach. After talking about protecting freedom and family, Huckabee said: “Faith is also threatened, and let me share with you how. I believe that there are many who will seek our support. But let me say that it’s important that people sing from their hearts, and don’t merely lip-synch the lyrics to our songs. I think it’s important that the language of Zion is a mother tongue, and not a recently acquired second language. It’s important that a person doesn’t have more positions on issues that Elvis had waist sizes.”

Thanks for the inside scoop on how this came about. Facinating, but not surprising that Mitt's team would pick up on the early signals of how this would go down and mobilize effectively to meet the challenge.

Charles Mitchell over at Evangelicals for Mitt also has some interesting insight here.

What I thought most interesting about Charles' input is the fact that people weren't able to vote after mitt's speach because the voting booths were already closed for the night, wereas huckabee spoke early the next day and people were able to vote immediately after. I won't try to predict what the outcome might have been if people had voted after mitt but before huckabee spoke, but the energy present coming away from a good speach is powerfull, and after a night sleeping, people fall back into wait and see mode. And people seemed to realy like MR speach, so likely many would have voted for him that didn't if they were able to immediately following his speach.

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