You have heard me going on about Huckabee’s potential in today’s election for some time, and it seems as if his campaign is delivering in the expected states, and even in a few where he wasn’t expected to do terribly well. He has won Arkansas, Alabama and West Virginia, he is contending seriously for Georgia, Missouri and apparently even Minnesota, and he has a reasonable chance in Tennessee and Oklahoma. Clearly, as the results are showing in many of these states, the viable non-McCain candidate is Huckabee, which is all the more remarkable considering how poorly funded his campaign is. Had movement conservatives not thrown a fit and rejected Huckabee out of hand, they might have had a candidate who could stop McCain. Continuing to belittle his campaign at this stage, as the “great” political maestro Mary Matalin is doing along with others, is something akin to insanity if stopping McCain is the goal. At this point, Huckabee has no incentive to thwart McCain, and he has every reason to drop out once Romney is finished.
Update: Ross asks the question:
Incidentally, if Romney throws in the towel after tonight - which is by no means impossible, depending on the outcome in California - and Huckabee doesn’t, will any of the McCain-haters on the right insist that all good conservatives need to rally around Huck?
Surprisingly, the answer will be no for almost all of them. Having decided at some point that Huckabee is an unspeakable commie (when he is merely Bush redux with some better advisors), these people have already rejected any chance of striking a deal with Huck. Just watch the same people who spent the last two weeks screaming about McCain’s treachery suddenly re-discover the man’s virtues when the alternative is the Huckster.
Second Update: CNN called Oklahoma for McCain. Exits indicate that Huckabee will win Tennessee and Georgia, but they also suggest that McCain will take Missouri. Minnesota seems to be slightly less competitive than I first thought.