ROCK HILL, S.C., Jan. 18, 2008 -- Jesse Graston is a foot soldier in Huck's army, one of an estimated 12,000 volunteers organized through the Internet for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, many of them drawn to him by their common evangelical faith.
"What stood to me was basically his moral fiber, not necessarily that he was an ex-pastor or anything but where he stood on the issue of life," Graston said.
Short on funds, Huckabee is relying on these young, enthusiastic volunteers for a much-needed victory in South Carolina, Saturday. Up to 40 percent of the Republican primary voters in South Carolina will be evangelicals, a group Huckabee can't expect to win without.
"He's got conviction," said Rebecca Graston, a student at the Morningstar School of Ministry. "We believe in that. Our heart is for that. He hears from God."
Huckabee, a Baptist minister, has a message that appeals to these voters.
Speaking about the need for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman this week, Huckabee said, "What we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family."
Huck's army was formed by 19-year-old twins Alex and Brett Harris — motivational speakers, authors and evangelicals.
"We just said there is incredible grass-roots support for this candidate and there is nowhere online for supporters to get together, interact, network, organize, strategize," recalled Brett.
Added Alex, "There's a lot of appeal just in the fact that he's a statesman who really values family and mom and dad being able to make the decisions they need to to make the best choices for their kids."
Soldiers in Huck's army from all over the country, they say, recently placed 20,000 phone calls to South Carolina Republicans to get out the vote
Other troops are staging a ground invasion. Victoria St. Gelais drove to South Carolina from Florida after getting the Huckabug.
"Initially, it would have to be his Christian stance because I am an evangelical Christian, as they say, but also his governance," St. Gelais said.
Brenda Brown drove from North Carolina with her husband and their home-schooled twin sons.
"I've never seen anything like it," she said. "What makes his campaign so different is people like me who couldn't give a lot of money, but can give a lot of time."
Brown and Huck's army have just one more day here, then they'll march southward to Florida.