- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mike Huckabee cruised to an easy victory in today’s Kansas Republican presidential caucuses, scoring a solid victory hours after he told conservatives he was in the race until the end. I didn’t major in math, I majored in miracles, and I still believe in those, too, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist pastor told the 35th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. He campaigned in the Washington region yesterday, but the electoral action was happening out west. With most results counted, Mr. Huckabee had more than twice as many votes as Sen. John McCain, the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Still to come tonight are results from Washington’s caucuses and Louisiana’s primary, though Mr. Huckabee dismissed the latter contest, saying comments from the state party chairmen in Louisiana showed that election was cooked in Mr. McCain’s favor weeks ago. After Mitt Romney dropped out of the race Thursday, Mr. Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul are the only candidates still giving Republican voters an alternative to Mr. McCain. According to the Associated Press’s count of delegates, Mr. McCain went into the day with 719 of the 1,191 needed to win the nomination, Mr. Huckabee had 198 and Mr. Paul had 14. Mr. Huckabee told the conservatives he would stay in the race to give them an alternative to Mr. McCain. Everywhere there’s still a vote to be cast, I’m still standing, he said. For Mr. McCain, who spoke to the conference on Thursday, the ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel had been packed an hour beforehand with supporters, and Mr. Romney filled the room for his own speech, in which he announced his withdrawal. But when Mr. Huckabee began to speak the audience filled only about two-thirds of the 1,600 seats. Still, they were enthusiastic and, when Mr. Huckabee raised the possibility of quitting, they shouted back at him not to do it. They needn’t have worried. Am I quitting? Well let’s get that settled right now. No, I am not, he said. It’s better to be right and even not to win, than it is to be wrong. Later he told reporters he is helping Mr. McCain and the party by remaining in the race. Competition breeds excellence, and the lack of competition breeds mediocrity, he said.

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