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Michelle Bachmann has vaulted up from a strong showing on a national debate, some positive press, and a new Iowa poll showing her nipping at the heels of the Romney campaign. She will be listed as trending up, but really she has skyrocketed from potential tea party darkhorse to household name seemingly overnight. She has some serious, serious momentum behind her and if her fundraising numbers come up strong, she can easily overtake Romney for the #1 spot. But not quite yet. Let’s see where this all is heading before we start to do a state by state breakdown of her vs. Obama.
I know there is some Rudy Giulliani speculation out there. I don’t think he will run, and if he does run, I don’t think he’ll put in enough effort to win. Rudy is still a recognizable name-brand in some circles, but an empty and hollow one in proper context. He might have squeezed into the 11th spot on this list if I had one, but I feel that the 10 folks listed above are either more serious about running (Santorum and Pawlenty) or have a better chance to win the nomination if they do jump in (Palin and Perry), so the former NYC mayor remains outside my core group of candidates.
This is also the 1st time since I started these rankings that my list consists of the same 10 candidates as the last list, I think that is a sign that as we get into the summer that the field is solidifying. Anyone seriously thinking of getting involved, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, better start organizing teams quickly, before this train leaves the station, if they want to have a legitimate chance to win. History shows that late coming ‘saviors’ to the party get a quick boost media fueled spike, but fizzle out as the logistics of being months behind in fund raising and ground organization ultimately dooms them.
1) Mitt Romney Trending Steady(Last Week: 1) Lost in all the Bachmann hoopla is the fact that frontrunner Romney still won a plurality of the Iowa poll which vaulted her into the primetime conversation. His money numbers can be expected to blow smaller ships out of the water. He got to this point for a good reason, and he may be vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean he will be an easy knock off.
Current Headline: Mitt Romney, Boring Genius?
2) Michelle Bachmann Trending Up (Last Week: 6) Things sure are looking up for Bachmann. It was obvious that there was plenty of room at the top of the field, and she surged into the vacuum to challenge Romney, whom hardline conservatives see as weak and compromising. Can she unite and hold the ‘Anyone but Romney’ voters all under one tent?
Current Headline: Michele Bachmann's Moment: Can She Sustain It?
3) Herman Cain Trending Steady (Last Week: 3) Bachmann halted Cain’s advance to a dead stand still. He can really go either way from here, but the potential upswing has been blunted by the space that Bachmann now occupies. He has to be smart and prove his business sense can translate to political savvy to stay this high in the running.
Current Headline: Black GOP Candidate Missing Right Words
4) Sarah Palin Trending Down (Last Week: 2) I’m beginning to really believe Palin when she says that she isn’t sure if she is running for president or not. Everything seems to indicate to me that Palin is just winging and ad-libbing her way through this summer. She has proven to be a loose cannon in the past, so who really knows with the former Alaska Gov. But I don’t think you do as many bus tours as she is without at least making a run. With Palin though, anything is possible.
Current Headline: Not a Whisper From Palin
5) Ron Paul Trending Steady (Last Week: 5) Paul has become the dividing line between those in the hunt and those in trouble. If you are above Paul, you are in serious contention. Fall below and it may be time to rethink some strategies. Paul remains constant, the rest of the field shifts. What else would you expect from an old congressman who is more devoutly independent than 95% of his colleagues?
Current Headline: Ron Paul’s Anti-Fed Message Drives 2012 White House Bid Gaining Respect
6) Rick Perry Trending Up (Last Week: 8) If the Texas Governor wants to get into the field, he had better make his decision soon, but if he is in, he has a strong chance to make up ground quickly. He is not one to shy away from controversy or a political bout. He would at least make the debates very interesting if and when the gloves come off.
Current Headline: Rick Perry's "Tough-Talking" Texan Brand May Help Him In The Primaries
7) John Huntsman Trending Up (Last Week: 10) The good thing about being a candidate most voters have not heard of: you still have plenty of room and time to change their minds. Trying the John McCain model in 2012 though may be a tough, if not impossible, road to the nomination.
Current Headline: Selling John Huntsman, the Un-Republican
8) Tim Pawlenty Trending Down (Last Week: 4) If Iowa’s poll numbers were a boon for Bachmann, they were an absolute bust for Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He has staked a lot in his neighbor state, and a poor showing there will all but doom his campaign. His constant focus on foreign policy in what looks to be a heavily domestic driven campaign is starting to seem bizarre as well.
Current Headling: Pawlenty Goes After "Isolationist" Republicans
9) Newt Gingrich Trending Down (Last Week: 7) Things just keep looking worse for Gingrich in 2012. His staff is abandoning him, his numbers are dropping, and the press and talk radio are killing him over attacking Paul Ryan’s fiscal plan. The end may be near for Newt.
Current Headline: Can Big Ideas Restart Newt's Engine?
10) Rick Santorum Trending Down (Last Week: 9) The unrepentant social conservative from PA keeps plugging away. It is a long, uphill climb for him to even seriously get into the conversation however. His best chance has been, and remains, to latch on as a potential VEEP.
Current Headline: Is Rick Santorum In Line For Vice President?
If you are interested in anything else in regards to these rankings, please leave a comment below or email me: email@example.com
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