by Max Brantley
A local supporter of Mike Huckabee dropped by the Republican County convention in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday and says the former governor blew away the competition with his speech-making. The straw poll of delegates, which Huckabee led, indicates that's a fair assessment. Whether this gathering is representative of Republican primary voters is another question altogether. Straight coverage of speeches here. And here's coverage of the straw poll vote.
A Huckabee news release (on the jump) shows Huckabee ahead of Rudy Giuliani in Spartanburg and second behind Mitt Romney in a Greenville County straw vote. Sen. John McCain did not compete.
Busy day for the Huckster. He also dropped by the White House press dinner, making a brief appearance at a Bloomberg party. More interesting in this link, is a report that Karl Rove got nasty with Sheryl Crow and Laurie David when they braced him on global warming.
HUCKABEE NEWS RELEASE
Spartanburg County , SC – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee beat out Republican competition Saturday by more than 400 points at the Spartanburg County convention, reflecting growing momentum for his possible 2008 White House bid in South Carolina . Huckabee pulled in 3522 points, followed by Rudy Guiliani with 3161.
Huckabee also came in second place in a straw poll in Greenville County with 111 votes. Mitt Romney placed first with 132.
“My authentic conservative message is clearly resonating in South Carolina , which represents the core of the Republican Party,” Huckabee said. “We’re gaining significant momentum in South Carolina . I’m confident it will carry us through the early primaries.”
“ Greenville and Spartanburg are the two biggest counties and most politically active in all of South Carolina,” said Mike Campbell, who heads up Huckabee’s efforts in the Palmetto State . “You can’t win South Carolina without winning Greenville and Spartanburg .”
“ Greenville and Spartanburg represent the core of South Carolina Reagan-Bush country. It is evident that it’s fast becoming Huckabee country,” he said.
“This is a wonderful – and significant – political development for Mike Huckabee that affirms my strong belief in his values and leadership qualities. I’m very pleased, but not surprised, with these results,” said Mrs. Iris Campbell, honorary chairwoman of Huckabee’s South Carolina presidential campaign.