1) Mitt Romney Trending Even (Last Week: 1)- While the field continues to morph below him, Romney maintains his numbers at the top in the polls and in fundraising. He has solid name recognition, the question is: are there enough moderate GOP primary voters out there to counteract the “anyone but Romney” hardline conservatives that will be organizing in force against him.
Current Headline: Mitt Romney: No Apologies on Climate Change Stance
2) Sarah Palin Trending Down (Last Week: 2)- A well publicized gaffe on colonial history sums up both how dedicated Palin’s core supporters are, and exactly why she will never garnish enough mainstream credentials for the nation’s highest office. Watch out for the emails being released soon in Alaska, it may sink her 2012 hopes once, and for all, if something earth-shattering comes out of those documents.
Current Headline: Sarah Palin and the Wikipedia War Over Paul Revere
3) Herman Cain Trending Up (Last Week: 10)- The former Pizza Exec skyrocketed up the polls and the rankings this week. He has stolen the tea party mantle right out of the hands of Paul and Bachman. Talk radio loves him, and he certainly qualifies for outsider status in the political game. The downside is any unknown quirks or scandals that have yet to come to the surface.
Current Headline: Herman Cain: A Longshot’s Steady Rise
4) Tim Pawlenty Trending Up (Last Week: 8)- With other candidates dropping out and blowing up, Pawlenty’s previous weakness, his steady, boring approach to the campaign, has come around to lift his ranking and status up. He could map out a path to the nomination with a strong showing in Iowa.
Current Headline: Pawlenty Bets Big on Reaganomics, but Some Economists Say It Won't Work
5) Ron Paul Trending Even (Last Week: 5)- Paul is who he is. He has a lockdown on this #5 spot because of his poll numbers, but the most authentically libertarian of the candidates will not be able to expand his base without compromising his values, something he will all but certainly refuse to do.
Current Headline: Candidate Ron Paul thinks GOP, Nation Moving Closer to His Libertarian Views
6) Michele Bachman Trending Up (Last Week: 7)- Bachman is looking more and more like she will make a serious run in 2012 as she organizes campaigns in Iowa and New Hampshire. She is now starting to go hard at the political figure who most mirrors her own style and following, trying to separate her image from that of Sarah Palin.
Current Headline: Palin, Bachmann Camps Feud Over Who Gets To Be Defined As A 'Serious' Candidate
7) Newt Gingrich Trending Down (Last Week: 4)- After a totally disastrous showing on Meet the Press where he bashed Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “Rightwing Social Engineering” and an ill-timed European Luxury Vacation, Gingrich’s staff has mutinied on him. The Gingrich campaign has blown up like a cartoon cigar, right in his face. He is down, is he on the verge of being out?
Current Headline: Will Gingrich’s Staff Exodus Kill His 2012 Chances?
8) Rick Perry Trending Up (Last Week: Unranked)- Rumblings are that Perry is serious about getting into this race. Gingrich going down in flames could be the best thing to ever happen for the Texas Governor. Perry is a proven and polished campaigner. It should be interesting to see if he gets his bid off the ground.
Current Headline: Perry Watch: Is Rick Perry Playing Games With the Date of the 2012 Texas Primary For His Own Gain?
9) Rick Santorum Trending Down (Last Week: 6)- Santorum has officially announced his bid, but continues to stay in the bottom half of the polls and the rankings. It seems like he doesn’t have a lot of room to gain any traction. The former Senator from a trending blue swing
Current Headline: Rick Santorum: The Hapless Holy Warrior Starts Another Crusade
10) John Huntsman Trending Up (Last Week: Unranked)- Zero name recognition, but there is plenty of time for Huntsman to close that gap. And with the field above him full of flawed candidates and gaffe potential, the former ambassador may be able to crawl through the early campaign minefield unscathed and become a player in this contest.
Current Headline: Huntsman Hones a Dovish Foreign Policy Pitch to Republicans
If you are interested in anything else in regards to these rankings, please leave a comment below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org