Huckabee brings message to Houston

February 29, 2008 9:13:36 PM PST
Republican frontrunner John McCain is way ahead of Mike Huckabee. The latest delegate figures from ABC News have McCain with 966 delegates to Huckabee's 252. A candidate must get 1,191 delegate for the Republican nomination. Texas has 140 available. Huckbee has said repeatedly he's not giving up, until the nomination is final.

Huckabee was in Houston Friday night standing firm. He has better things to do than run for president he says if he didn't think he could win. Every indication is he'll see this thing through and likely by design.

Polls show he trails McCain in Texas by double digits, still Huckabee got a standing ovation at Houston's GOP annual Ronald Reagan dinner. He continues his run, despite lagging way behind.

"We're in it to win it and we're in it to win Texas on Tuesday," he told the crowd.

But what are his chances?

"There's no mathematical way to do it," said KTRK political analyst Dr. Richard Murray.

According to ABC News, McCain outnumbers Huckabee by almost 700 delegates. The nominee needs 1,191. So why does he stay? Here's his answer.

"The fact is somebody has to have 1,191 delegates in order to be the nominee," said Huckabee. "Nobody has that yet. Until they do, there isn't a nominee and this could go to the convention."

And now the opinion of our political analyst.

"He's running now to build a base to go forward in the future," said Dr. Murray. "He's the youngest Republican in the race at 51. He's shown he's a natural politician. He's won eight states, but he's not going to win the nomination in 2008."

Dr. Murray believes he's looking toward 2012 or 2016.

Huckabee has said he doesn't know what's next if he doesn't win the nomination. He doesn't have a job to go back to. Texas is a key state for Huckabee to work now in preparation for future bids. He says he's giving Texans a choice.

"I personally think that nothing could be more insulting to Texans than to suggest that their choice in the Republican primary would be already made for them," he said.

Dr. Murray think that Huckabee is thinking back to 1976. It was Ronald Reagan against Gerald Ford. Reagan was losing and came to Texas and had a good showing. That one went all the way to the convention. Reagan lost that year, but came back in 1980 to win the GOP nomination and the presidency.

*Are you a politics junkie? We have more political gems on our four political blogs written by a White House insider, Phd and Eyewitness News reporters.


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