On Thursday Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, one of the leading decency organizations in the country, endorsed Gov. Huckabee in his bid for the presidency. That according to a press release from the Huckabee campaign which can be found here.
Wildmon was careful to point out that his endorsement was on a personal and not organizational level. However, his position as a pro-family Christian leader means that his support of Huckabee was a boost for that campaign. While the Values Voters have hitherto not expressed support for any single candidate, more endorsements like this could make Huckabee their man.
Republican presidential candidates need to have the support of the Values Voters if they are to win the primary or general election. The fact that millions of evangelicals stayed home in ‘06 was a contributing factor to the Replican’s loss of Congress. As it now stands, Romney and Huckabee are going head to head to prove their conservative credentials on social issues in a battle to unite evengalicals behind their respective candidacies.
Fred Thompson’s entry into the race was watched by the Values Voter bloc as they, along with perhaps every subset of the Republican Party, wondered if he would end up being their man. Thompson’s wishy-washy stance on a Constitutional amendment limiting marriage to it’s historical definition of one man and one woman, combined with his recent ambigous remarks (which may have merely been a very poor choice of words) on abortion make his candidacy less and less appealing to those who (like this author to an extent) make social issues their defining focal point.
Without a doubt if Huckabee were to win the nomination he would play very well against a Clinton campaign. Unlike some of the other candidates on both sides, Huckabee has very little, if any, of the aurora of Washington surrounding him. His biggest handicap to quickly cinching the nomination is his opeque record on free market ideas.