Dark Horse Matchup: Huckabee vs. Paul

If, like me, you’ve been paying way too much attention to the Presidential race, one media trend that you might have noticed lately is the recent spate of stories about Governor Mike Huckabee’s campaign. Many of the stories focus on his increased support from social conservatives and his recent standings in the Iowa and New Hampshire polls and have started calling him a “dark horse” for the Republican nomination.

In one sense, this isn’t much of a surprise. After all, Huckabee is a very engaging speaker, and has differentiated himself from the Republican pack on a number of issues.

Still, this might be the cranky libertarian in me, but I can’t help but notice that, despite the “dark horse” press, from a purely objective political perspective, it seems to me that Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee are about equal on the level–and, in fact, Ron Paul is arguably doing better job campaigning.

First off, if we look at polling nationally, Paul and Huckabee are about equal. The latest Gallup poll shows both of them at 4%. Huckabee has been around that for most of the campaign, but Paul has been improving, albeit slowly, from not even being included in the polls to what I have to say is a respectable 4%, given how out of the mainstream most of his views are. And in the early primary states, Huckabee has the lead in Iowa, but within in the margin of error, and both candidates are tied at 6% in New Hampshire.

Which takes us to fundraising. As of last quarter, Paul had vastly more cash on hand than Huckabee, and early reports indicate that Paul has raised more in the 3rd quarter than he did in the second. Also telling is the look of their fundraising pushes. Go to Mike Huckabee’s website, and you’ll see that they’re pushing for 2,500 total contributors by Sept. 30. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is doing a push for an extra $500,000 by September 30 (which will no doubt be successful–as of this writing, Paul’s push has raised $427,114.68 with almost 4 days to go). The difference in goals speaks volumes about fundraising expectations. Granted, both Paul and Huckabee are raising drop in the bucket figures compared to the major candidates, but Paul’s fundraising is very impressive given his comparative polling. And the rise in his polling seems to indicate that the campaign money is paying off.

Obviously, at this stage of the game, it’s unlikely that either Paul or Huckabee is going to take the Republican nomination. Still, I find the recent media attention on Huckabee interesting when you consider that, on paper, Ron Paul’s campaign appears to be enjoying more success.

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. John Burgess says:

    Put a 90-pound jockey on each of their backs and I’d watch the race.

  2. John says:

    Alex – Ron Paul has almost 50,000 Meetup grass roots supporters (and growing fast) that rally in the streets for him, about 90,000 facebook/myspace friends, more Google searches than all candidates (even the Dems), has won more straw polls than any other Repub, has placed 1st or 2nd in all Repub debates, and more You Tube vids (~30,000). He’s going to easily raise $500K this week (but probably closer to $1M). I believe this momentum will catapult him to a top tier candidate. PS – Have you heard the wave of new songs about Ron Paul? AMAZING! A campaign first!

  3. Jack says:

    Did you hear about the new bill Ron Paul just proposed? The Tax free tips act!

    http://www.gambling911.com/Ron-Paul-092707.html

    Every person on tips needs to call their congressmen now, to get this passed.

    This is THE man for the people. Mike Huckabee doesn’t care how many of our folks die in Iraq as long as he saves some “face”. Meanwhile the dems are now backing down from leaving Iraq.

    Ron Paul is the ONLY anti-war candidate. The rest of the entire pack will keep them there until at least 2013. Save our kids lives. They are now also talking about a draft. Save your kid’s life!

    Vote for Ron Paul! Mike Huckabee is a vapid empty man with no true policies except for a tax that would send the economy downward spiraling toward a black market.

    The two are not even close. Ron Paul is an amazing caring man, Mike Huckabee just wants the power to tell you how to live your life.

  4. Boyd says:

    The media are focusing on Huckabee and not Paul because Paul is a certifiable nutcase. As are many of his supporters. Although I’m not naming any names. Ahem.

  5. Rick DeMent says:

    Every person on tips needs to call their congressmen now, to get this passed.

    That’s what we need to “simplify” the tax code, another special class of income that gets treated differently then the rest.

  6. Tim says:

    It is sad when a guy that during 10 terms in congress has taken his oath to follow the constitution seriously is labeled a “nutcase”. Those detractors need to open their eyes an realize how much liberty the American people have lost.

    And as far as fundraising goes, not only is Ron Paul going to easily reach and surpass the 500k mark online this week; but last week they ran a goal similar to Huckabee’s. To get 1787 donors IN A WEEK (constitution week). His campaign met and exceeded that goal easily. Then began the next week (this week) with the new 500k goal. The total number of individual contributors should all but completely disarm the arguments that he has no real support.

  7. Danny says:

    Boyd has to resort to attacks because he can’t actually argue any real points.

  8. Michael says:

    Boyd has to resort to attacks because he can’t actually argue any real points.

    Actually he probably did that because it’s easy, I mean you guys aren’t exactly subtle when you come around here.

  9. Alex Knapp says:

    The media are focusing on Huckabee and not Paul because Paul is a certifiable nutcase.

    Please. Paul is a guy with some strong convictions and policy proposals that I disagree with, but he’s not crazy.

    Indeed, I’m hesitant to label any candidate as a “nutcase.” Except Rudy Giuliani, of course. That man might actually be insane.

  10. Ted says:

    Drug users are among Ron Paul’s biggest supporters.
    Frequent visitors to brothels also support Paul. And then there is the college kids, why wouldn’t they support Paul, Liberty & Legal drugs, what a combo.

  11. Barney says:

    It amazes me what gets defined as mainstream in America.

    How is spending a $TRILLION a year on empire building mainstream? How is having US troops stationed in 130 out of the 160 countries in the world mainstream? How is attacking a country who has done nothing to us mainstream? And how is wanting to continue to occupy that country indefinitely mainstream? How is torture, secret prisons, indefinite detentions, renditions, warantless searches, wiretaping, military commissions, national ID cards … mainstream?! How is having to raise the debt ceiling on a bi-annual basis mainstream? How is the rampant disregard for the US Constitution mainstream?

    They call Dr. Paul a radical,…but really, it’s the radicals who are in charge.

  12. bob in fl says:

    So Ron Paul is a nutcase because the MSM is ignoring him, or vice versa? Paul has the most consistent record in Congress. I don’t agree with many of his views either (including his tax exemption on tips), but I admire his integrity. We don’t see him flip-flopping on issues based on the latest poll. He votes his convictions, every time.

    And that, friends, is why he is gaining widespread, enthusiastic support. An honest politician, pandering to no special interest group. What a concept! Talk about a breath of fresh air!

  13. Chip Augello says:

    When you hear both candidates talk in a debate, it is obvious that Ron Paul is much more in touch with what the country needs, and has much more knowledge of the issues. No contest.

  14. Boyd says:

    I’d like to thank all the Paul supporters for making my case for me.

    Yes, I was a bit glib in my characterization of Paul, but he’s a certifiable nutcase just like the big-L Libertarians are certifiable nutcases. In fact, Paul is much more like a Libertarian than he is a Republican.

    And I say that as a little-L libertarian.

    And I think I’ve just managed to confuse even myself.

  15. FZappa says:

    The Ron Paul songs phenomenon is a fascinating aspect of this. If you go to Youtube and search ron paul song, there are literally hundreds of these that come up. Oddly, they are of every musical genre — rock, hipster pop, hip hop, reggae, rap, old-school crooner. It’s sort of bizarre but it shows there is something behind this movement that may not be fully understood by the media yet.

    “Revolution” may be the correct word they are using, popular grassroots songs have been a key part of revolutions for a long, long time.

    Some of these songs (I’ve probably heard about 20, I have too much time on my hands) suck but most are interesting. Here is my favorite one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bCRc2ub8hU

  16. Michael says:

    What are the chances that Ron Paul gets a VP pick to round out someone else’s ticket? Anyone care to speculate, I’m not as familiar with the GOP primary races.

  17. >What are the chances that Ron Paul gets a VP
    >pick to round out someone else’s ticket?

    After the way they’ve treated him in the debates, are there any who could do it without it coming across as a big ‘FU’ to his supporters?

  18. Michael says:

    After the way they’ve treated him in the debates, are there any who could do it without it coming across as a big ‘FU’ to his supporters?

    I think if it’s a choice between their candidate being 2nd in line to the White House, or being out all together, they’ll probably accept even an ‘FU’ pick.

  19. Madmax says:

    call any contractor from any division in your local yellow pages
    and they will all tell you,(eventually), that if you pay cash, they won’t charge the sales tax, So why should waitresses pay tax on a cash tip?

  20. Michael says:

    call any contractor from any division in your local yellow pages
    and they will all tell you,(eventually), that if you pay cash, they won’t charge the sales tax, So why should waitresses pay tax on a cash tip?

    I think you’re missing the point in your own post, the contractor _should_ be paying sales tax, because anything else would be illegal. Wait staff _should_ be reporting tips as taxable income, at least as the law now stands.

  21. >I think if it’s a choice between their candidate
    >being 2nd in line to the White House, or being
    >out all together, they’ll probably accept even
    >an ‘FU’ pick.

    If it’s obvious the guy has no respect for your opinion (e.g. Rudy openly laughing at him during the debates) and you believe he’s going to be pursuing disastrous policies, then it must certainly would be better to be out all together. You being their isn’t going to have any impact on what happens; all that can happen is he leeches off your reputation, destroying it along with his in the process.

    By way of example, do you think Colin Powell was better off not being out altogether in the Bush whitehouse?

  22. Michael says:

    By way of example, do you think Colin Powell was better off not being out altogether in the Bush whitehouse?

    He was until his UN speech.