By Kevin Zwick
Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul are still running in the race for Republican presidential nomination, but why?
Huckabee is unable to acquire enough delegates to get the nomination from the Republican Party and Ron Paul has not been close to winning a single primary in this entire campaign. Both of these candidates represent a certain branch of the disorganized Republican Party: Huckabee representing the Christian Coalition wing and Ron Paul representing the Constitutionalist branch, which is big on upholding the rights of the individual.
Despite the Republican Party giving up on Huckabee, he has been close on the heels of McCain, most recently in the Virginia primary and predicted as of today, he is behind McCain by only 2% in the polls in Wisconsin, according to CNN.
The overwhelming support both these candidates generated on the campaign trail from the media and also their individual supporters is a big reason they are still in the fight for the nomination. Huckabee has the support of the evangelical republicans in the country and Ron Paul has generated a sizable amount from his online campaign.
The Republican race also changed so much in recent weeks, going from an undetermined frontrunner to Giuliani and Romney dropping out and both endorsing McCain, which designated him as the frontrunner and all of this happening in a few weeks. Actually, when Romney suspended his campaign, it left the party looking for a reliable candidate, since Romney was the most Reagan-esque.
Even though Huckabee was still a close runner-up in the Republican race, he would not likely be nominated for the presidency because of his extreme religious stance (he wanted to change the Constitution to include Bible verses, which would infringe on the separation of church and state ideals of this country). Huckabee sticking around has actually been viewed as “irritating” by some working in the McCain campaign.
Some strategists on MSNBC and CNN such as Pat Buchanan and David Gergan say that Huckabee is sticking it out in order to line himself up for a vice presidential spot. This much publicity is also good for Huckabee if he plans to write a book about his experiences on the campaign trail or if he plans on going on the public speaking circuit.