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Ethanol to keep Huntsman out of Iowa
Ethanol subsidies are such a wedge issue in Iowa that one candidate says he will stay away.
Tue, Jun 07, 2011 at 05:38 PM
STAYING OUT OF THE HUNT: While he hasn't officially decided to jump into the race for president, Jon Huntsman knows he's not going to compete in the Iowa caucus. (Photo: ZUMA Press)
If you're looking for a sign that ethanol subsidies are becoming a bigger wedge issue for Republicans, Jon Huntsman just sent one.
Candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have stuck to their guns by supporting the subsidies, which is likely to play well during the Iowa caucuses. Others have boldly gone where John McCain went in 2008: coming out publicly against ethanol subsidies. McCain finished fourth in Iowa in 2008 but held on to win the Republican nomination. But the Huntsman approach is intriguing — just don’t show up.
Huntsman, who hasn’t officially entered the race for president, is banking on being able to recover from a lack of momentum in Iowa. If he doesn’t compete in Iowa, he is likely to let the other candidates do their ethanol dances while he watches from a distance. If the plan works out, Huntsman will limit the hedging he would have to do to compete in Iowa and, instead, focus on other early contests like South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada, none of which grow much corn.
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