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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Beyond the Iowa Pre-Bounce

My last post suggested that Mike Huckabee’s surge is national support is a testament to the power of Iowa, showing that even perceptions of Iowa success have a significant impact on voters elsewhere, in advance of the Caucuses.
At TNR’s The Plank, Jason Zengerle agrees with my Iowa Pre-Bounce hypothesis, but wonders if Huckabee’s high expectations will diminish his actual Iowa Bounce, assuming he wins by a smaller margin than appears likely today. It’s a good if very hypothetical question, though I personally suspect a “Huckabee Wins Iowa” headline, complete with coverage of how he slew the Romney Money Machine, would be more important than the margin of victory.
But via Chris Bowers, there’s an alternative explanation of the National Huckabee Surge I missed, and while its utilization and efficacy is hard to measure, it’s definitely worth noting: Huckabee has access to Randy Brinson’s vast email list.
Brinson, the Alabamian who founded Redeem the Vote, is probably the most under-appreciated power broker in the Christian Right, though Amy Sullivan wrote a profile of Brinson last year, when he was flirting with bipartisanship, probably as a reminder to the GOP about the perils of taking conservative evangelicals for granted. As Sullivan noted, Brinson played a big role in turning out the evangelical vote for Bush in 2004, and now he’s firmly in Huckabee’s camp, along with his email list, which reportedly has an astounding 71 million names.
It’s not clear exactly how much Huckabee has used this list, but it’s certainly a good way for him to spread the glad tidings of his Iowa surge.

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