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Huckabee Should Skip New Hampshire

The new AP/Pew poll breakdown has me thinking about Mike Huckabee's strategy. Pew says white evangelical Protestants make up 38 percent Iowa of the Iowa Republican primary electorate--clearly why the good minister is soaring there. But that white evangelical contingent drops by more than half, to 18 percent, in New Hampshire. Meaning Huckabee's post-Iowa balloon might rapidly deflate in the Granite State.

But then on Jan. 19 comes South Carolina--a motherlode of white evangelicals, who make up a whopping 53 percent of the likely GOP electorate. Sure, Huckabee is now at just 10 percent in SC, according to the poll. But Pew notes that voters there still aren't terribly engaged. Let's see what happens if those southern evangelicals learn that a southern evangelical has won a stunner in Iowa.

So here's an idea: Why doesn't Huckabee bypass New Hampshire altogether? Heck, it's Mitt Romney's backyard, after all. Everyone knows a Boston media market which stretches well into southern New Hampshire gives any Massachusetts candidate a totally unfair advantage there. (This is a point which, to Romney's incredible good fortune, no one ever seems to make. Huckabee can change that.) Why shouldn't Huck come straight from his Iowa success, declare New Hampshire to be rigged, and then intensely concentrate his shoestring operation on a state where he might blow everyone away?

--Michael Crowley