Sabato's Crystal Ball

Mike Huckabee

Republican Nominee

UVA Center for Politics January 1st, 2008

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He was born in Hope, Arkansas, lives in the governor’s mansion in Little Rock, and has burst onto the national scene just as primary season approaches. While we could be referring to former President Bill Clinton, the same biographical sketch fits Republican contender Mike Huckabee as well. Huckabee has cracked wise several times about the similarities between his background and that of President Clinton’s: at an early debate, he told the audience they may have heard of Hope, Arkansas, and asked them to “give it another chance.” Huckabee has also focused on drawing a contrast between himself and the two New England front-runners, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Certainly Huckabee has the credentials to win over conservative Christian voters: he is, after all, an ordained Baptist minister. While once considered a long-shot for the Republican nomination, Huckabee’s combination of Southern charm and religious views has lead to a huge upswing in support in Iowa, making Hope residents optimistic that they may soon be able to boast more presidents per capita than any town in the country.

Biography

Huckabee has been a minister for more than 30 years, and much of his work experience has been in the ministry. He’s headed several Arkansas congregations, and also run some regional television networks. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in 1993, and became Governor in 1996, an office he held for more than 10 years. During his tenure as Governor, he also served as chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association.