Posted: August 21, 2007 5:59 PM
Hunter Still 'Upbeat' About His Chances
“Inspired by the response he received in Iowa,” presidential hopeful Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., “continues to be upbeat about his chances of winning the White House,” according to his campaign Web site.
“We received a barrage of support from Iowans who heard our messages about solving the problems confronting us in America today,” Hunter said in the statement.
At the Aug. 11 Ames, Iowa GOP straw poll, Hunter received 1.2 percent of the vote, far behind the other candidates. Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who received 7.3 percent, dropped out of the race the next day.
The campaign also touted a front-page article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal about its candidate, even though the article starts by stating, “Duncan Hunter came in third-to-last of 11 candidates. … Out of more than 14,000 votes, he pulled 174.”
The Review-Journal quoted Hunter as saying, “We were pretty happy with our 174 votes.” The article went on to say that, “The little-known member of the House of Representatives, who gets less than 1 percent of the vote in most Republican polls, insists he still has a chance to become president.”
The article did quote one 63-year-old retiree as saying she had favored former Massachusetts GOP Gov. Mitt Romney, but after taking an online quiz found that her views lined up more with Hunter. “He’s got great ideas, I just like everything about him,” Jean Heatherly said, but when asked if she imagined that Hunter could win the presidency said, “I think he’s got a lot of hard work ahead of him.”
Another campaign write up touted the National Federation of Republican Assemblies confab in St. Louis in early August, where Hunter beat Thompson in vote-getting. The National Federation describes itself as “the Republican wing of the Republican Party” that is “organized to unite conservatives to counteract the left within the party.”
According to Federation President Rob Martin, the vote “says grassroots Republicans of the most conservative stripes say Hunter is impressive. But it doesn’t mean he’s the one who is going to win. But it does mean that they think he most reflects their values.” He added, “This is an organization that has a lot more members in California, so there is a certain amount of home team loyalty.” When asked specifically about Hunter’s prospects, Martin said, “I think his prospects are that he’d make a wonderful nominee for vice president or secretary of defense, or secretary for homeland security. But I don’t think he will break out of the pack.”