APRIL CASTRO writes:
NAVASOTA, Texas - After a disappointing second place showing in the South Carolina Republican primary, Mike Huckabee hoped a fundraiser at the ranch of television star Chuck Norris Sunday would be the start of a momentum shift in his favor.
"Starting today, we reset the clock," Huckabee said. "I woke up this morning and I thought 'the momentum is back.'"
Huckabee needed to win South Carolina to validate his win in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. Instead, he came in second to John McCain, who solidified a shaky GOP front-runner status that he first claimed after winning the New Hampshire primary Jan. 8.
As the first Southern primary, South Carolina was supposed to be friendly territory for Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister.
"We obviously wanted to win and we really thought we would win," he said. "The fact of Fred Thompson's being in the race took some votes that we would have most likely had."
Huckabee also blamed late snowfall in parts of upstate South Carolina.
"The snow not only froze the streets of the Greenville-Spartanburg area, the votes kinda stopped once it started snowing," he said. "That was an area we were looking forward to having a significant vote margin."