Brownback out. one more GOP candidate down


Registered User

Brownback's Out. Who's Helped?

The news that Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) will likely leave the 2008 presidential race tomorrow comes as little surprise to close watchers of the race.

While The Fix was an early believer in Brownback's ability to influence the race in Iowa due to his roots in the plains and strong social conservative ideology, the Kansas Senator was never able to articulate a real argument for his candidacy.

The death knell of Brownback's campaign came on August 11 when he was finished third in the Ames Straw Poll. Brownback made no secret of the importance of Ames to his candidacy and besides former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.) had the largest operation at the event.

But, he was beaten by not only Romney but also former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.). Huckabee's win installed him as the most electable social conservative candidate -- knocking Brownback off that pedestal and, for all intents and purposes, ending the rationale for his candidacy.

Brownback's struggle for traction was clear in fundraising reports filed earlier this week with the Federal Election Commission. He raised just $817,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30 and ended the period with a meager $95,000 left in the bank. Couple those anemic fundraising numbers with a decided lack of movement in the polls and it's not hard to see how Brownback reached his decision to leave the race.

It remains to be seen what impact -- if any -- Brownback's departure will have. If he simply steps aside and does not endorse a candidate, it seems likely that many people attracted to his pro-family message would naturally migrate to Huckabee's campaign. Huckabee, despite his own fundraising problems, is showing signs of life in Iowa and could benefit from an influx of former Brownback supporters in the Hawkeye State.

If Brownback wades in and backs a candidate -- the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder floats former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain as possibilities; New Republic's Noam Scheiber posits Romney -- he could give either of their Iowa campaigns a shot in the arm.

Romney looks like the clear favorite in Iowa but second place is very much up for grabs with Huckabee, Giuliani, McCain and former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) all with an eye on a surprise showing. A Brownback endorsement won't guarantee that result but it could be a boost of momentum that any of the campaigns would welcome..
one more candidate down, more speaking time for dr. paul. hopefully tancredo, hunter, and huckabee will follow before too long. huckabee not right away, but again he is struggling raising money, his support seems paper thin.