(CNN) – Mike Huckabee has clearly done well tonight, largely thanks to Southern conservatives. But a closer look into the exit polls show the former Arkansas governor's conservative support largely evaporates beyond the South.
According to our exit polls, Huckabee beat Romney among all Southern conservatives, 41 percent to 28 percent. McCain came in third among Southern conservatives, with 25 percent.
But beyond the Southern states, Huckabee falls into a distant third for conservative support. Among non-Southern conservatives, Romney beats McCain, 44 percent to 33 percent. Huckabee is all the way back at 16 percent.
Translation: Huckabee is a regional candidate.
– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider