Campaigns 101

Why Huntsman Has Flopped

Tired of the media hype surrounding Jon Huntsman’s margin-of-error presidential candidacy? No? Good, because The New York Times’s Ross Douthat explains today why the well-credentialed Republican has failed to gain traction. It’s not that he’s a moderate—his record is more conservative than much of the field—it’s that his campaign has cast him as a smarter-than-thou centrist. He alienated the base by picking fights over evolution and climate change, and allowed his campaign manager to call GOP leaders “a bunch of cranks.” Douthat concludes: “Voters don’t necessarily need to like a candidate to vote for him, but they need to think that he likes them.”