By Daniel Kay
The numbers say it all in the Iowa Caucus: Huckabee took first with 34 percent of the vote; Romney came in second with 26 percent. According to the CNN entrance poll, 60 percent of Republican voters were Evangelical/Born-again, with 46 percent of them voting for Mike Huckabee. To highlight the point, 60% x 46% = 28%, that is, 28 of the 34% of Huckabee’s votes came from Evangelicals/Born-agains. Only 6 of the 34% of his votes came from non-Evangelical/Born-again voters. All the pandering to the Evangelical Theocratic voting bloc and Anti-Mormon antics paid off. The best part for Huckabee is that this voting bloc was free.
Romney is the real winner. Unlike Huckabee, his support in Iowa was not limited to a single voting bloc, even doing well among Evangelicals not tied to the Evangelical Theocracy mind set, as compared to Thompson and McCain. Romney is the only candidate that is competitive in all the early states. Republicans that want a viable candidate will rally around McCain, Thompson, Giuliani or Romney. But as Romney continues to appear in the top tier state-to-state and other candidates begin to drop-out, Republicans will eventually rally around Romney; Huckabee will not be able to expand his support by an appeal to Divine Evangelical Providence.
They say there are three tickets out of Iowa. This year there are no less than five. Depending on whether Ron Paul’s 9% support continues, there may even be a sixth ticket which will allow Paul to drain votes from Huckabee’s competitors. It is time for Duncan Hunter to bow-out but McCain, Thompson, Paul, Giuliani, and Romney are still in the running. One thing is clear, choosing a Republican nominee is going to be a long drawn-out battle. Iowa has done little to narrow the field this election year.