I think this is due partly to his laid-back personality and partly to his timing. He peaked about the time he was contemplating entering the race but not acting on it. By the time he jumped in, it was anticlimactic, and he still hasn't recovered from that reversal.
There has also been a negative momentum hovering over his already-stalled campaign, acting as a psychological barrier to his catching fire among conservative voters.
There is simply too much herd mentality among us about electability. We tell ourselves a candidate is not inspiring, then pretty soon we're convinced he's unelectable, and, voila, he almost becomes so. Yet, at that very moment, he's proving to us that he is quite presidential, quite electable and quite motivated for the job -- if we can only shed our predispositions against his "electability." Since electability is often a matter of collective perception, it can turn on a dime, as with the reversal of the respective fortunes of screaming Howard Dean and somniferous John Kerry in 2004.
This primary season, relatively speaking, has just begun. But Fred is now up against the wall. How can we expect him to have done much better than he has to date with everyone prattling on about the overwhelming odds against him? The "experts" continue to be wrong at almost every turn, so why can't they be wrong about Fred, too? It's time to quit empowering them by following their dictatorial doom-prophecies. Its encouraging that John Zogby's latest South Carolina poll shows that while levels of support for McCain and Huckabee "have remained static," Fred is starting to move up.
Supporters have asked Fred to step up, and he has -- he has shone brilliantly in the last month, setting himself head and shoulders above the pack in many cases. Now it's time for conservative voters to step up and quit placing artificial limitations on Fred, and on themselves.
Fred has answered the conservatives' call. Shouldn't we answer his?