Washington Matters


Wait a Minute: Maybe It's Not All About Money


Beware conventional wisdom. The so-called pundits are now rushing to conclude that the Huckabee surge in Iowa can't translate into a nomination victory -- that it's fueled by his appeal to Iowa's atypically large number of religious voters and unlikely to be a springboard to the nomination. The front-loaded primary schedule, they say, won't allow Huckabee to build on any momentum from Iowa, and he doesn't have the money or the organization to compete in the 20-plus states voting on Super Duper Tuesday Feb. 5.

But wait a minute. These same pundits were arguing three weeks ago that you couldn't win in Iowa without a highly oiled (and expensive) organization capable of turning out voters for the arcane caucus process. Now they're almost conceding Iowa to Huckabee.

Huckabee's rise is fueled not by money or organization or even entirely by religious enthusiasm-- mostly it's fueled by a general Republican disinterest in all of the other choices. That’s not unique to Iowa. And if the millions already spent on advertising by the other candidates hasn't changed that yet, what's to suggest it'll work in the Feb. 5 states?

And wouldn’t it be nice if it turned out that money wasn't the election end-all and be-all that everyone seems to think it is?<>




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