Evangelical conservative Christians are a powerful and influential group within the Republican party. But they’re not enough to get the nomination, much less the presidency.
After the 2004 election, the Pew Center calculated white evangelicals made up 23-percent of the population, and 37-percent of the Republican Party.
Huckabee already had questions about whether he really could appeal to economic conservatives or foreign policy conservatives. It seems, judging by his supporters and his rhetoric, that the one message that has worked like gangbusters for Huckabee since he entered the race, has been his message to evangelical conservatives, “I’m one of you.” Judging by the polls, that community has responded enthusiastically: “Yes, you’re one of us.”
That’s a nice bond. But it’s not enough. And for those of us outside that bond, what’s the pitch to get us to mark Huckabee’s name on the box? Good jokes? The irony of seeing Hillary defeated by a guy from Hope, Arkansas? A campaign theme of “I’m one of you” only works for folks who see themselves as “you”, not as “the other guys.”
At the end of the day, becoming the president of Evangelical America will do Huckabee no more good than being the “president of black America” did Jesse Jackson.