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“Some of our guys couldn’t understand that he was governor and we weren’t. We were legislators,” he said.

Mr. Baker, who also served as state party chairman in Mr. Huckabee’s final years in office, said he didn’t recall any races in which Mr. Huckabee campaigned against a Republican in favor of a Democrat, but that Mr. Huckabee was right to choose which campaigns he would help.

“He only had so much political capital to spend, and if you were a legislator, Republican or Democrat, throwing bombs at him because of these policies, well guess what, he didn’t have time to go help you with that campaign,” Mr. Baker said. “When the party was willing to support him, as a governor, he was right there.”

Mr. Huckabee maintains a good standing with Republican voters in the state. A December poll commissioned by Talk Business found that 59 percent of Arkansas Republicans supported Mr. Huckabee over the other Republican presidential candidates.

But when Mr. Huckabee sought surrogates to counter the opposition from Republicans in his state, fewer than half of the Republicans in the state legislature signed up.

Mr. Huckabee’s fellow Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also was succeeded by a Democrat, Deval Patrick, when he left office last year.

Mr. Romney’s political action committee, Commonwealth PAC, gave less than 10 percent of its money in the 2006 election cycle to federal candidates, with the rest going to travel and administrative costs.