Skip to content

Jon Huntsman drops out of the race and endorses Mitt Romney for president

January 16, 2012

  At this point this is not breaking news, but Jon Huntsman announced earlier today that he is dropping out of the race for president and is throwing his support behind Mitt Romney. In my opinion Jon Huntsman’s undoing was threefold:

1. Name recognition

2. A mistrust among conservatives

3. Political miscalculation and campaign strategy

  I believe that these three issues are intertwined and so I will address them collectively instead of individually: Because Jon Huntsman did not have name recognition and because he worked in the Obama regime as ambassador to China conservative voters didn’t really know much about him other than the fact that he was employed by Barack Obama.

    This led to a mistrust with conservative voters and while all the candidates were trying to tout their conservative credentials, Jon Huntsman tried to carve out a niche with Republican voters by portraying himself as a more moderate option to the other Republican candidates in the early debates, further alienating himself with conservative voters.

 This was a political miscalculation from which he was never able to recover. Coupled with the campaign strategy of skipping the Iowa Caucuses and making his stand in New Hampshire he was not able to gain enough traction from the New Hampshire primary to keep his presidential bid alive through South Carolina.

  Once he realized his political miscalculation he pivoted and tried to more accurately describe himself as a consistent conservative and his record as governor of Utah seems to back up this claim–he is more conservative than he was willing to admit early on–but because he tried to remake his image in the middle of the campaign it led to more doubt with the voters about who he really was. If he had been more honest about his record early on when the voters still hadn’t made up their minds about him he may have fared better, but at this point it is all hindsight and we know how the saying goes about hindsight.

  As is so often the case, in dropping out of the race he showed that he is a man who probably should have been more well received by the voters and siting the need to defeat Barack Obama in 2012, and the need to unite Republican voters against Barack Obama, he endorsed the man who he feels will be the most likely to defeat Barack Obama–Mitt Romney. We can argue that point but that is not the purpose of this post.

  With the latest polls showing Mitt Romney with a big lead in South Carolina we are left to wonder exactly what the effect of his endorsement will be. He was polling at around 5% in South Carolina and because he is still on the ballot I expect him to still pull in 1% of the vote. So the question is; where will the other 4% of Jon Huntsman’s supporters go?

  I expect the race to tighten up in South Carolina before all is said and done so if enough Huntsman supporters follow his lead and go to Mitt Romney it could be just enough to put Romney over the top in the state. But there is still a wildcard: Jon Huntsman’s position on Afghanistan more closely resembles Ron Paul’s position so those voters who are voting for Huntsman for his stance on Afghanistan may end up in the Ron Paul camp, thus bolstering the campaign of the only man besides Mitt Romney who has had a respectable showing in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim Knight permalink
    January 16, 2012 10:58 pm

    You could ery well be spot on.

    But, ya know, the one and only debate I’ve seen so far, I thought he was the most impressive of them all.

    And here in Florida I voted for him on the absentee ballot, and now I’ve lost that vote because he’s gone.

    And you don’t become the ambassador to CHINA without having some shit together.


    • January 17, 2012 8:29 pm

      I wouldn’t consider it a lost vote because you still voted for the candidate you thought was the best, just because more Republican voters didn’t agree with you does not mean that your vote was wasted. The person I voted for in New Hamphire isn’t going to win either but I do not consider my vote wasted, in fact I would have considered my vote wasted if I simply voted for the man that the media told us was going to win.


  2. January 17, 2012 12:29 am

    Not a fan of Huntsman at all. I agree with you when you say his following could split between Paul and Romney. We shall have to wait and see.


    • January 17, 2012 8:30 pm

      I wasn’t a fan of Huntsman either but it does appear as if he was more conservative than even he was willing to admit early on and his political miscalculation is what did him in in the end.
      I do believe his vote will split and it will be interesting to see how this plays out on Saturday.


  3. bunkerville permalink
    January 17, 2012 10:05 am

    Meanwhile, Romney has all of 12 delegates, when over 1100 are needed, with about 160,000 votes and he has been proclaimed the “presumtive” nominee. What little I knew of Huntsman,was not appealing. Having said that, is this the way we are to pick candidates? Poll number discussions are all we get, few facts.


    • lou222 permalink
      January 17, 2012 1:26 pm

      B, we are being told who it will be before we even vote. I don’t know about you, but I did not think that was the process for an election. What does it take for the country to wake up and finally tell the media to back off and stop what they are doing, which is controlling the vote? Each week there is someone new they focus on to take down, but it seems that Romney is their golden boy, so I am sure that is who we will get. It was like that with McCain, did most people want him? No! The powers that be decided it would be him. This election is nothing but a farce, in my opinion. I am not sure anything we do as voters will make a difference, there are ways around that if they want a certain candidate. Although I would hope Obama does not get in, I do ot think we have a say in the matter, it appears to be another dog and poney show.


      • January 17, 2012 8:36 pm

        Yes Lou, this is very much like the campaign in 2008 when the media told us McCain was the only man who could stop Obama. We are seeing it again as the media attacks everyone who gets close to Romney while leaving Romney alone. Once Romney is selected and the race is between Obama and Romney they will take the gloves off and attack Romney. It is time for us to stop falling for this tactic and elect the person we feel is best, not the candidate the media tells us is best.


    • January 17, 2012 8:32 pm

      Regardless of what the media and the Republican establishment would have us believe this race is still far from over and I expect and hope that it will tighten up as the primaries move on. It is sad however that so many people look at the polls and decide who to vote on based on the polls because the media is driving the polls trying to affect the outcome and it appears as if they are very successful using this strategy.


  4. January 17, 2012 11:26 pm

    Huntsman was near the bottom of my list, but after hearing him talk with Huckabee one night, I’m convinced he wasn’t entirely a bad guy. Not right for the presidency, but, like any of the other candidates, if it was between him or Obama-no contest.


    • January 18, 2012 6:24 am

      That is pretty much the way I would sum him up also.


    • lou222 permalink
      January 19, 2012 9:10 am

      You are correct, RJ, he was not a bad guy, but not right for the top position. At this point, I am not sure there is that person. All the fighting and slinging going on is getting old. And, like Harrison said below, then they turn around and endorse that person. We all know that, unless something horrible comes up, Romney is the one that will run against Obama. Too bad he doesn’t have the quick wit and knowledge of Newt, some of Dr. Pauls wanting to take the feds down, Santorums morals, Cains work savy, Bachmanns compassion, Palins honesty, well, he is just not the whole package. I know that would be a pipe dream, but one should set their sites high for that office. I just have not seen that person, yet. We, unfortunately are out of time.


  5. January 18, 2012 12:28 am

    I liked Huntsman but he was no Republican. Also, a bit hypocritical saying there is a lack of civility in the race when he contributed towards some of that hostility.


    • January 18, 2012 6:26 am

      Kind of like Newt claiming he wasn’t going to fall for the media’s attempt to get the Republicans fighting and then launching a brutal attack on Romney after Iowa.


      • January 18, 2012 1:06 pm

        Ha ha yeah kind of like that one!

        Also, Huntsman said Romney was not fit to be president then endorsed him!


      • January 19, 2012 6:51 am

        It is always interesting to see candidate endorse people they were slamming during the campaign, but it does make you realize this is all a kind of game to them and they all will say whatever it takes to come out the winner.


  6. January 31, 2012 2:02 pm

    Hey! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: