A few weeks before Iowa in 2004, it was Howard Dean who was riding high. John F'n Kerry was bouncing along the bottom at 5%.
The system is designed to crush the early front-runner. If he has any flaws at all, he will not last.
And Mike Huckabee has flaws-a-plenty.
While true, the problem with that analysis is that Huck has already displaced a former frontrunner. Romney, like Dean, was looking good there for like 10 months. Huck knocked him out.
So I’m not sure who is going to emerge to knock out the new frontrunner. I know a lot of FR like to think that Fred is going to make a strong move there and anything is possible (theoretically) in politics. But Fred is trending down, from as high as 15 to south of 10 now, even slightly below Giuliani according the the latest realclearpolitics.com poll averages. The point being: someone is going to have to make a serious, serious comeback to knock out Huck. Rapid ascents are rare in politics, but comebacks are almost non-existent.
Unless Fred makes a move, Huckabee's main competitors are flawed as well.
If Romney can't dominate a state that he has outspent his main competitor in 10-1, he is loser. For good reason, he is flip-flopper no one finds credible.