KANSAS….In a way, the fact that Mike Huckabee won the Kansas caucuses isn’t all that surprising. It’s fertile evangelical territory for him, it’s right next door to his home state, and the caucus format probably helps him.
But….still….what a blowout. Usually, even among true believers, you expect a party to rally around its presumptive nominee. Even the hardcore wingers at CPAC, who booed McCain at the beginning of his speech on Thursday, warmed up to him by the end. But Kansas Republicans weren’t buying, and they weren’t content just to show a pro forma lack of enthusiasm. They crushed McCain like a bug, voting for Huckabee 60%-24%. Hell, “other” almost beat McCain.
There’s no point in making too much of this. McCain is going to win the nomination and the party faithful will support him. But it’s going to be a fight for McCain to win their love, and that fight might well keep him from broadening his appeal to the middle. Come November, liberals might not be the only ones asking What’s the Matter With Kansas?