Friday, February 08, 2008

Did the Conservative Attack on Huckabee Hurt Romney?

Ross Douthat:
. . . Once Huckabee did take off, the conservative hatefest that his candidacy summoned up almost certainly hurt Romney's chances, rather than McCain's. . . . Particularly given the ample evidence that many voters, in the South especially, were torn between Huck and McCain, it seems clear that a stronger Huckabee candidacy would have meant a weaker McCain candidacy, and a better chance for Mitt. Thus the conservative movement's scorched-earth attacks on Huck probably cost him South Carolina, which in turn helped cost Romney Florida, which in turn probably doomed him on Super Tuesday. Whereas had Huck taken a little less fire from the Right, we might still have a real three-way race on our hands, one that Romney could have plausibly won - either at the convention or before.