Huckabee's Plan to Revive GOP Doesn't Add Up

Nate Silver shows why party shouldn't play to social conservatives
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2009 12:24 PM CDT
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks during a "fair tax" rally Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, in Duluth, Ga.   (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

(Newser) – Perhaps it's Mike Huckabee's admitted distrust for math, but he's dead wrong about the best strategy to bring back the Republican Party's power, writes Nate Silver on his blog. To make the case that the party shouldn't move to the middle, Huckabee says, "People that are social conservatives are also economic conservatives, but a lot of the economic conservatives are not social conservatives." Statistician Silver disagrees, and he's got diagrams to back up his point.

In reality, some people are socially conservative but economically liberal, some are the reverse, and some are conservative on both fronts. The latter group is now the GOP's base, but the party is losing a lot of the others to the Democrats. Ironically, says Silver, Huckabee's greatest support is probably from socially conservative economic moderates (or even liberals), a combination he claims doesn't exist.