Mike Huckabee isn’t giving up his quest to obtain the
Republican presidential nomination and he’s keeping things close in the
upcoming primary states. Despite most political observers assuming John
McCain will represent the GOP, Huckabee is within striking distance in
Texas and Ohio lead the handful of states where primary voters will
cast ballots on March 4 and Huckabee polls better than expected.
Some people wonder why Huckabee doesn’t graciously step down now. Here’s the reason:
While McCain has a lead in each state, the surveys make
it appear a sizeable number of pro-life voters are siding with Huckabee
to get McCain to understand he needs to reach out to them as he
campaigns against two strong pro-abortion advocates on the Democratic
“In many ways, the discussion over the next several
weeks is not just about the next election, it is about the next
generation,” he said.
“It’s not just about the politics of the Republican party, it’s about the principles of the Republican party,” he added.
But some pro-life leaders believe those principles are best represented in the race by Sen. John McCain.
Pro-lifers are the first part of the conservative base
to rally around Sen. John McCain, overcoming past fights to embrace him
as strong on their core issue and a clear choice over the two Democrats
he could face.
“He is pro-life in his heart of hearts, in my opinion,” said Rep.
Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and a pro-life movement
leader, who said Mr. McCain’s commitment stretches back across decades
of votes in the House and Senate.
Which kind of proves that Huckabee’s presence and continued strength
in some of the primaries has forced these issues to the center of the
party’s attention. And with results.
In recent years, his pro-life rating has slipped, in
part due to his championing of campaign-finance reform, which angered
pro-life groups who said it cut off their ability to campaign, and in
part because of his support for federal funding of embryonic stem-cell
But even groups that fought bitterly with him over those issues are now rallying around him.
“When you contrast him with the alternative and you think about such
things as Supreme Court appointments, McCain is a far better choice,”
said Barbara L. Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life,
an organization that took Mr. McCain all the way to the Supreme Court
over his campaign-finance laws, and won.
Tomorrow is Wisconsin’s primary. It will be as interesting as any.