Mike Huckabee says he's staying in the race to help the Republican Party stay true to its core values. To me this is a virtual admission that he has no chance but hopes to influence the party, and affect the direction of the policies.
(From CNN in part.)
Sen. John McCain could clinch the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, but Mike Huckabee refuses to call it quits.
McCain is 144 delegates shy of sealing the nomination, and 256 Republican delegates are up for grabs Tuesday.
The biggest prizes are Ohio and Texas, where polls show McCain with a comfortable lead. Rhode Island and Vermont also hold contests Tuesday.
Huckabee told reporters the future of his campaign is a fair question if he doesn't take Texas, but he says he believes he has a chance. In Texas, there are 137 delegates at stake.
It would be theoretically possible, but not likely for Huckabee to play spoiler Tuesday, according to CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider.
"If Huckabee were to win the four states by huge margins, he might be able to prevent McCain from going over the top," Schneider said. "But he'd have to win by pretty solid margins."
This is of course wildly speculative given the polls, given that in CNN’s own "poll of polls" in Texas, McCain leads Huckabee 58 percent to 30 percent.
Still, Huckabee says he's staying in the race to help the Republican Party stay true to its core values.
"I do think that many people need to be looking at the future of our party. If we're not reaching out to younger voters, if we're not capturing the issues that people care about ... then we're going to be an extinct party in another few years," Huckabee said on CNN's "American Morning."
This is fair enough although the ‘extinction’ part is unduly pessimistic. I do agree with him however that efforts have to be made to attract younger voters who are showing a tendency to be drawn to the candidacy of Obama.
I doubt that the age of the candidate we are presenting is a crucial factor, Reagan dealt with this issue well in 84 with the comment, "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."
Still it would not hurt to look for quality younger people when selecting a VP to run with him, not only to offer a greater attractiveness to those voters, but for the sake of the future. A really great VP in his or her 40s or so, would offer a great Presidential candidate when Johns second term expires.