As a Party we Republicans must get to a point where a very good candidate (a Giuliani or a McCain) has a fighting chance in the general election to win Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. I don't see Huckabee winning any of them.
Huckabee is the "candidate of the evangelicals." The problem is that evangelicals make up one-third of the REPUBLICAN voters. What a Hillary Clinton or an Obama would be targeting would be the other five-sixths of the vote (two-thirds of the Republicans, plus the Independents and Democrats).
What exactly is Huckabee's appeal, say, to young professional women (teachers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, journalists, MBA-types)? His personality and policies are are going to a problem with younger voters, young female professionals, urban "Yankees," gays/lesbians, union members, Blacks, and Hispanics.
We hear a lot lately about the high "unfavorable" ratings Hillary Clinton has. But that view can be very misleading.
If you remember the 2004 poll situation, there was a great deal of discussion about how Bush's approval rating never got above 49%. Well, even with high disapproval numbers, he won the election by nearly 3 million votes (although the electoral college was close).
Kerry won NY, NJ, PA, and CA -- and they add up to a huge total in electoral votes. Mrs. Clinton would have a good chance of winning those states, plus IL, MI, and MN, in addition to MA and all the other New England states. She should also do well in the Pacific Northwest.
In presidential years, we Republicans can't keep riding on the razor's edge and expect to keep winning. We're now hearing how Hillary's favorable rating is only 47%-48%, etc. Well, that's about where Bush was in 2004. Hillary has very high negatives in states the Republicans would be expected to win (GA, UT, ID, AL, MS, and the like).
However, in many of the largest states, her favorability ratings are not that bad. The Republican candidate will have a tough time in the states where the Hispanic vote will be significant, including Colorado, Arizona, NM, and NV.
To get the nomination, Mrs. Clinton will have to win at least one of the early primaries -- IA, NH, or SC. She should be able to do so -- probably Iowa.
The problem with conservatives is that they tend to be egocentric. They say, "Well, I can't stand Hillary, therefore she has no chance of becoming President." What I think (or you think) is not translatable into national attitudes. Tens of millions of Americans think Hillary Clinton is just fine.
The upshot? If Mrs. Clinton can win the Democratic nomination, she has a good chance of becoming President of the USA.
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