Having said that, there are some people who won't. I think that those people are mostly in the south, a region known for being tough on crime (with death penalty etc being common), and Huckabee will win the south anyway since he is a southern conservative (the only major candidate from the south).
Still, you never know what an attack ad might do. An ad showing pictures of the police officers who died, or even worst, of the grieving family, may be hard to respond to.
Here is my advice to Gov. Huckabee: No more clemencies, no more pardons, no more commutations or whatever it's called. Promise that you as a president would never pardon anyone, not during any circumstances. Show that you have learned your lesson.
No-one thinks that Huckabee enjoyed seeing those police officers get killed, I'm sure he felt horrible about it. And people understand this too; no-one thinks that he wanted to get anyone killed. All he has to do now is to show that he really does regret it and will do anything, even something as radical as never issuing any new pardons as president, to make sure it never happens again.
Huckabee wasn't responsible for those deaths. Maurice Clemmons was. Washington State bears more guilt than Huckabee, but as long as Huckabee can be associated with Clemmons in some way, he'll have to respond. Perception matters in elections.
Will this completely repair any damage caused by the clemencies? No, of course not, but people may get tired of hearing of it if you hammer it long enough, especially if Huckabee has already stated he'll never pardon anyone. Just like cap-and-trade is unlikely to hurt Pawlenty, now that he has turned around completely on the issue (in light of new evidence which seems to contradict the man-made global warming hypothesis). No, it's not the same thing, but the best way to make an issue die away is to just apologise and promise never to repeat the mistake. If you can do so credibly (and Huckabee is good at appearing credible), it's not too hard to earn the voters' forgiveness. If Huckabee were to promise not to issue any pardons as president, who wouldn't believe him? Like I said, it's not like he wants anyone to get killed, if he says that he has learned from experience, that will be hard to dispute.
What do the rest of you think? Would it be enough of Huckabee to simply promise never to pardon anyone if he becomes president, or what does he have to say?