Which is why the current Republican race is so interesting - it's a laboratory, in a sense, for determining which interest groups really have clout in the GOP primaries, and which issues really excite the faithful. If Rudy Giuliani wins the nomination, it will tell us a lot about the real influence (or lack thereof) of folks like James Dobson; if John McCain gets the nod, we'll know that immigration and (to a lesser extent) campaign-finance reform are more important to activists than to actual voters; if Huckabee becomes a significent spoiler (or, though it's much more unlikely, an actual contender) then we'll know the Club for Growth doesn't have quite as much clout as most people, left and right, assume to be the case. And if Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney wins, it will reinforce the notion that all of the various issues and interest groups jostling in the GOP tent really are a package deal, and that the best way to take the nomination, now and forever, is to make sure you've checked all your boxes, even if it means flip-flopping like crazy.
Truly this primary season is a barometer recording the strengths and weaknesses of the right, the GOP and conservative leaders.
I trust the word of the Club for Growth who is more often than not spot on. Huckabee is a tax and spender. No thanks.