According to the conventional wisdom, the Iowa straw poll tomorrow for "Republicans only" is set to launch former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, into a higher echelon of the American consciousness.

I have no quibble with that analysis. In addition to his superior Iowa organization, Romney is the only top-tier candidate contesting the vote tomorrow. He will undoubtedly win the canvass handily. Afterwards, for a fleeting moment, all eyes will be trained on Romney. It is up to the candidate to make the most of that opportunity.

However, tomorrow is also an important day for virtually unknown Republican candidate Mike Huckabee.

If Bill Richardson is the best candidate for the Democratic nomination that you've never heard of, Mike Huckabee is his opposite number.

Kris Kristoferson once said of Billy Joe Shaver (before the Texas songwriter became quasi-famous), "if he were a TV show, he would come on at 4:OO AM." Mike Huckabee has taken over the time slot.

The former governor of Arkansas is funny, true-blue conservative, and engaging, but he is currently in the tall weeds of the GOP primary race.

Will Iowa be the place where Mike Huckabee emerges?

Crazier things have happened.

Why might Iowa be kind to the former governor?

Mike Huckabee, an Baptist minister turned politician, ought to play well in Peoria. He is an authentic son of the heartland and a candidate that genuinely embodies the values of evangelical America. Remember Iowa is the place that briefly created an air of viability for Pat Robertson in 1988.

If Huckabee cannot gain traction tomorrow in Ames, he most likely becomes merely an obscure footnote in American presidential election history. However, I would not be shocked if Mike Huckabee did well enough on Saturday to make him worth talking about on Sunday. A GOP electorate in search of an appealing conservative could do worse.

UPDATE: Sorry I missed this excellent profile of Huckabee from Roger Simon of the Politico (worth reading: here).