Guess I Blew That One…

January 5th, 2008at 02:51pm Posted by Eli

From my Iowa wrap-up yesterday:

I’ll be curious to see whether the media ever suggests that Huckabee’s economic populism played into his victory at all, or if it’s all faith ‘n’ folksiness. My guess is that the establishment narrative will be reluctant to acknowledge that there’s a deep hunger for economic fairness. I was hoping that Edwards would win to really drive this point home (not that anyone would notice), but he did place a solid second despite being massively outspent.

Well, it looks like some conservatives have taken note, if only because admitting the alternative is even worse. Bobo Brooks yesterday:

On the Republican side, my message is: Be not afraid. Some people are going to tell you that Mike Huckabee’s victory last night in Iowa represents a triumph for the creationist crusaders. Wrong.

(…)

Huckabee understands how middle-class anxiety is really lived….

(…)

A conservatism that loves capitalism but distrusts capitalists is not hard to imagine either. Adam Smith felt this way. A conservatism that pays attention to people making less than $50,000 a year is the only conservatism worth defending.

Of course, being the out-of-touch wanker that he is, Brooks frames Huckabee’s message as a concern for family cohesion rather than a desire for economic justice. But if he acknowledged that, then he probably wouldn’t be able to say this:

[Obama has] made John Edwards, with his angry cries that “corporate greed is killing your children’s future,” seem old-fashioned. Edwards’s political career is probably over.

So, yeah, economic populism is sooo over. Unless it’s coming from Republicans, in which case it’s The Next Big Thing. But I digress.

Fox News may have gotten the message too, and they’re not happy about it:

During a discussion today on the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses, Fox News’s Neil Cavuto ran a chyron asking: “Did populism win and America lose in Iowa?”

Niiice. Still, it’s better than admitting that the religious right has finally found a candidate of their very own instead of letting the GOP establishment dupe them into supporting some corporate neocon shill who knows how to speak Evangelese.

Yes, I know I suggested that Huck’s economic populism was a factor in his success, but based on the Iowa exit polls, I think I got it dead wrong. 60% of IA Republican caucus-goers described themselves as born-agains or evangelicals, and 46% of them voted for Huckabee (which works out to 27% of the Republican vote, out of his 34% overall total). 19% voted for Mitt, 11% for Fred, 10% each for Paul and McCain, and 2%(!) for Rudy.

That looks like pretty strong evangelical support to me. I’m surprised at just how much support Mitt got, but maybe his landmark “I’m just like you: I want to ban all the same stuff, and I agree that atheists have no place in the public discourse” speech worked, or maybe he just picked up the pro-corporate evangelical vote.

Entry Filed under: Elections,Huckabee,Media,Politics,Polls,Religion,Republicans


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