The differences between October and November are essentially a 4-5 point gain for Huckabee, plunging numbers for Rudy, Thompson, and McCain, and actual polling numbers for Ron Paul. Huckabee has closed the gap to under 10 percentage points, with 6 weeks before Iowa caucuses.
David Sirota has written on several different occasions about the two dark horses of American politics. In addition to Huckabee, he was also referring to Edwards. I must admit, I don’t have as much faith in the populist knights as David Sirota, but nevertheless their discourse is a refreshing change from the normal corporate lingo.
As much as the Iowans seem to like Ole Huck the corporate powers that be despise him. He has been called a socially conservative liberal, economic liberal, right wing progressive, and even recently a conservative progressive. While many Republicans see the future as getting rid of the culturally conservative baggage and highlighting its economic policies, Huckabee takes the opposite approach.
Why Huckabee is surging in Iowa is that while he takes very socially conservative stances, he also brings an economic populist message. Huckabee talks of fair trade not free trade. While the media has emphasized the culturally conservative side of the equation, Iowans have also heard his populist side.
The most important thing a president needs to do is to make it clear that we’re not going to continue to see jobs shipped overseas, jobs that are lost by American workers, many in their 50s who, for 20 and 30 years, have worked to make a company rich and then watch as a CEO takes a $100 million bonus to jettison those American jobs somewhere else.That’s criminal — it’s wrong.
Its this populist side that really has Republicans worried. Here is what Goldberg said recently in the Los Angeles Times,
Huckabee is a populist on economics, a fad-follower on the environment and an all-around do-gooder who believes that the biblical obligation to do “good works” extends to using government — and your tax dollars — to bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
And for some reason, I can’t get my head around, the Democrats are attacking Huckabee from the economic right.
“Mike Huckabee’s claims that he’s an anti-tax executive are just plain untrue,” said Democratic National Committee spokesperson Amaya Smith. “Apparently, Huckabee thinks that he can make false statements and people won’t check the facts. As Governor, Huckabee implemented an increase on everything from cigarettes, to gasoline and even on driver’s licenses. It’s clear that Huckabee is more sincere about trying to fool the right wing extremists in his own Party than trying to serve all Americans. While he’s in New Hampshire he should use this opportunity to stop the spin and be forthcoming about his real record as a tax and spend Governor.”
While it may be true that the true test of a man is the enemies he keeps, I don’t see Huckabee (or Edwards for that matter) as a dark horse or a populist prince. What is interesting to me is American politics have moved so far to the right, (economically speaking) that you’d think Huckabee was the second coming of Marx.