Last night I posed the question everyone’s been asking — If Huckabee can’t win in South Carolina, where can he win? — to Huckabee senior adviser Jim Pinkerton. “We won the Republican vote, we came within 3 percent overall,” He replied. “If it hadn’t been for Thompson, we’d’ve won handily… As the race winnows, we expect to do better.”
Of course, if it weren’t for Thompson, Romney would have put a much bigger effort into South Carolina, and you can bet that Huckabee’s appalling record of scandals and tax-hikes would have been more widely-known. And even if Pinkerton’s counterfactual is correct, it’s not clear that Thompson will get out of Huckabee’s way soon enough for it to matter.
I asked Pinkerton what his campaign’s financial situation is like, and how long they can afford to stay in the race. He said they’d raise money as they went along. Right. If they’re still strapped for cash even after winning Iowa — and they are — they’re not going to suddenly get a big stack of donations now.