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Huckabee beats Palin, other potential GOP contenders, in straw poll at Values Voter Summit

Sarah Palin didn’t do herself any favors with conservative Christian voters by not accepting their speaking invitation this weekend, judging by the results of a Republican presidential straw poll at a Washington confab for political activists.

It was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who creamed the competition in the highly unscientific contest, which was conducted at the two-day Values Voter Summit, sponsored by the Family Research Group.

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee, who has been hosting a talk show on Fox News, garnered 28.4% of nearly 600 votes cast. With 12% of the vote, Palin was in a virtual tie for second with three others — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney,  Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence.

Was Huckabee’s victory a surprise? Not really, said Family Research Council head Tony Perkins. After all, unlike Palin, he showed up Friday and gave a warmly received speech. Plus, evangelicals who mistrusted his record as a fiscal conservative and felt he lacked foreign policy experience feel that he’s made strides in both areas, Perkins said.

Palin’s poor showing said Perkins, was probably due to “people questioning the decisions she’s made lately. And she wasn’t here. You’re not going to get support here just based on your reputation.”

Huckabee, who you will recall, pulled off a surprise victory in Iowa last year in the first contest of the primary season, was folksy and pointed in his remarks Friday: “Well, over the last few months the audacity of hope has become the audacity of hypocrisy. It is, at times, a country that is almost difficult to recognize. We have become the land of czars, clunker cars and Hollywood stars, but unfortunately it’s also become a place where we have lost any semblance of those promises of transparency and accountability.”

Romney, whose Mormon religion was the source of discomfort to some evangelicals in the Republican primary last year, was warmly received by the crowd. “I don’t think that’s an issue that keeps him from being considered,” Perkins said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul, who raised prodigious amounts of money last year during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, all scored in the single digits.

As for the issues that were most important in determining which candidate to support, abortion ranked No.1 by 40% of those voting (virtually the same as last year’s straw poll). Protection of religious liberty came in second, with 18%, and same-sex marriage a distant third, with 7.3%. Other very low ranking issues included public display of the Ten Commandments, prayer in schools, embryonic stem cell research and enforcement of obscenity laws

-- Robin Abcarian

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Photo: Mike Huckabee at the Gush Katif Museum during a trip to Jerusalem in August. Credit: Associated Press. 

Comments () | Archives (16)

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So Perkins being home to be with your son who just returned from Iraq isn't important.

What happen to family first?


A huge grassroot movement by Huckabee Fans help Mike Huckabee clinch the 2012 Presidential nomination at the Value Voter Summit.

Check out Huckabee's gigantic fan base, just google: Huckabee Fan Club

If these people are such Christians why do they behave like they do.
I suggest they read their bibles. If Jesus acted like they did no one would
believe in him.
They are the reason I won't attend church anymore to be surrounded
by hypocrites is not my kind of church.
You need to look at Jesus a little closer because you are on the wrong
track if you think he is proud of any of you the way you act and talk.
Our forefathers wanted Politics and Religion to stay separate and I believe
God also wanted this.
Keep religion out of it and worship in private and behave like he would.
I would not act like you do and go around saying I'm a Christian you look
very bad. Ask God what a Christian is supposed to act like.
It is not any of you.
Not judging such stating the facts. I would be embarrassed to go around and
tell people I believe in God and act like you do.
I think you need to find the real God not the one you think you know.
The real God would not be proud of you at all. Read the Bible he tells
you right there how to act and to be.
It isn't the way you act that is for sure.

Congratulations to Huck. If they had gone for the bailout supporting, Massachusetts health plan creating Romney, they'd have gotten a horse laugh in conservative circles.

Not to say Dr. Paul would have won had he been there, but I did want to note that his 'single digits' might in some measure be due to the fact that he was hosting his own 3 day event at Valley Forge, and his supporters tended to be more there than at this event.

Maybe Palin doesn't want to be a politician, maybe she just wants to cash in on her celebrity.

Romney is the GOP's best chance in 2012. Please don't mention his religion. Only back water hicks would hold that against him. The nation as a whole convincingly elected a black president, they would certainly vote for Mitt Romney, just as they did to elect him Governor.

When the economy is a tailspin and the machine of government isn't working the GOP will turn to Mitt Romney, an articulate candidate who has more proven success in the economy than Obama or any GOP candidate in the field.

Remember, it's the economy, stupid.

Huckabee is a jokster, he would be horrible at combating the economic crisis we now face. He'd just crack a few jokes and try to make everyone laugh.
We need someone who is compotent, not a Huckabee!

so there is such a thing as an idiot convention.

Tempest in a teapot. Full of Sound and Fury, signifying nothing. Side show geeks while the big top has the main event. Nuff said?

"abortion ranked No.1 by 40% of those voting (virtually the same as last year’s straw poll). Protection of religious liberty came in second, with 18%, and same-sex marriage a distant third, with 7.3%."

These are the most important issues for these folks? Never mind that we barely missed an economic depression and the economy still is a mess, we are engaged in two messy and deadly wars, at least one of them unnecessary, our health care "system" is unsustainable and grossly unfair, the planet is warming up with unknown effects, and the oil will run out in a few decades.

Is it any wonder the religious right is becoming irrelevant?

As much as the Repulicons have tried to undermine the President, it is a pleasant thought that the Republicons will have to run someone from their stable of losers against Obama.

It's just like when Clinton was President. The right-wing wacko's called him every name in the book and did everything that they could to damage him. In the end, he easily won reelection.

See, See, See?

I told you I was Presidential material in 2008 and nobody believed me! Instead they swooned over that Rudy guy who couldn't win a state, then Romney with his grease hair until his evil Mormonism came to light, then that old McCain guy from Panama who couldn't fly a plane, and there was even some MILF attraction with Palin and the Paul cult (even though they're the ones who have been the right ones all this time, but I can't admit that!)

Gimme the nomination now! I will work to unify the GOP behind the traditional Family Values of bigotry, xenophobia, racism, and homophobia to take back America for its core constituency of straight WASPs, while giving a smile and wink and a nod to the Rockefeller wing and the neocons, all while paying lip service to those limited government fools. I will make Donald Wildmon, Phyllis Schafly, Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and Billy Graham's kid all proud, while sending Paul, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Barry Lynn to Gitmo!

-Mike Huckabee's bubble thought in the photo above.

Governor Romney has had tremendous success leading and managing large companies. He also was asked to drop what he was doing and become CEO of the 2002 American Olympics - he did, and he put that enormous organization on the right track. It went from being marred by scandal and debt to being a great success. And Governor Romney donated his entire salary, over $800,000 to the games.

Managing large companies, turning around the Olympics, being governor of Massachusetts, and having a very impressive family, Romney in 2012!

Lest anyone deem Huckabee a bigot, please take notice:

1) Mike Huckabee lobbied an all-white Baptist church to include black members in the 1980s, years before he ran for political office.

2) After he was appointed Governor of Arkansas following the Whitewater conviction of Jim Guy Tucker, this Social Conservative was elected - and re-elected - governor with a significant showing of black Democrats.

3) "Black Pastors Endorse Huckabee on MLK Day," FoxNews, January 21, 2008

4) "Black Conservatives Rally to urge Mike Huckabee to Stay in Presidential Race," PRNewsire, February 4, 2008

5) Doesn't sound like a bigot to me, or to J.C. Watts: "Missing Mike Huckabee already," Pahrump Valley Times, March 7, 2008

6) "All-American Presidential Forums, Gov. Huckabee, PBS" (Tavis Smiley, debate moderator on YouTube)

And if anyone considers Huckabee a bigot AND religious fanatic, consider that the majority of black voters are opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. Hmmm. So does that make Black voters bigoted religious fanatics, too?

a) "Most Blacks stick with Democrats in spite of opposing abortion, Free Republic," 1/10/04
b) "70% African-Americans backed Prop. 8," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 5, 2008
c) "Abortion for Dummies," The Back Sphere blogspot

Next time you're tempted to judge harshly, at least do some research before displaying YOUR OWN racial and religious intolerance.

Thank God from whom all blessings flow! If Palin was the frontrunner, I would KNOW that the GOP was truly over and out. But, I'm thinkin' that they are already over and out.

I can not vote for an Evangelical Christian who is also a Babptist. As a Mormon I see these people as part of a dangerous cult.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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