The shape of the Republican presidential race depends on Mike Huckabee. The primary season will be one kind of contest with the former Arkansas governor in the race, and another without him. With Huckabee, the race would feature a favorite of social conservatives in a leading role in a campaign likely to focus on economic issues. Without him, a more economic-minded candidate might lead, with several other candidates vying for what would have been Huckabee’s social-conservative spot.
Which will it be? These days, among the people who have known and worked with Huckabee, there is a growing sense that he’s leaning toward another run for the White House.
Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished in a virtual tie for second place in the 2008 Republican race. Now, Romney is running while Huckabee, happily appearing on Fox News, ABC radio, and in best-selling books, is holding back. Yet an undecided Huckabee is still a major factor in early polls.