Romney Hampered by Religion?

Posted: Feb 01, 2008 11:08 AM
How has John McCain -- despised by much of the base -- become the Republican front-runner?  According to First Read's Chuck Todd, it has a lot to do with conservatives supporting Mike Huckabee ... because of Romney's religion:

... we're starting to hear from a lot of smart Republican strategists about what happened. And the thing that everyone seems to come back to is Romney's religion. Why? Ask yourself: Without the issue of Romney's religion, does Mike Huckabee ever take off? Because Mike Huckabee is the single biggest obstacle to Romney coalescing economic and social conservatives behind him to take on McCain. Take a close look at the Florida results by county from Tuesday night. In more than half of Florida's 67 counties (37 to be exact), the Romney-Huckabee combined vote total equaled or surpassed 50%. And in those counties, 17 of them tipped to McCain. Well, extrapolate this out to, say, Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee or Georgia this Tuesday. Will the combined Romney-Huck total surpass 50% while delivering all four states to McCain? Now, if Romney hadn't given evangelicals second thoughts simply over his religion, would Mike Huckabee have happened? It may be Romney needs another four years to convince evangelicals his religion won't interfere with their priorities.