With potential unifying frontrunner, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee dropping out of consideration for the 2012 Republican Nomination for President of the United States, the race just got blown wide open. Who will benefit most from Huckabee dropping out? We have a new list of rankings and news stories below. Click here to view last week’s standings for comparison if you are interested in how this race has unfolded thus far.
I’ll be keeping the trend and the updated stories surrounding the candidates, if you are interested in anything else for these rankings please leave a comment below or email me: email@example.com
1) Mitt Romney Trending Even (Last Week: 2)- With Huckabee dropping out, Romney reclaims his mantle as fatally flawed front runner. As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed a healthcare law similar to Obama’s with a mandate and voucher system. Evangelicals don’t trust Romney’s Mormon faith, and Fiscal Conservatives are skeptical as well. These are two crucial blocs that will be out in force in the 2012 primaries. He will not run well in Iowa or South Carolina in the early primaries, so he absolutely must win New Hampshire and try to parlay that into some sort of momentum. If Florida manages to get all its delegates seated due to its defiance of the established primary order, Romney has a chance to score a big victory there. It is a pretty tight needle for Romney to thread,and he is looking more and more like 2012's Rudy Giuliani
Headline: Why Romney's Authenticity Problem Won't Go Away
2) Sarah Palin Trending Up (Last Week: 3)- It is Palin who stands to benefit most from Huckabee’s exit, she now takes on the role of the candidate most likely to unite social and fiscal conservatives. If she is going to make a run, I feel she has wisely chosen to stay out of the headlines and in the background of this early speculation. When she is ready to jump in, she will do so headfirst and nobody in this field can move the needle as a fundraiser and garner as much media attention as Palin can.
Headline: Sarah Palin Supporters Dance On The Grave Of Mike Huckabee’s 2012 Presidential Run
3) Donald Trump Trending Down (Last Week: 4)- The initial buzz about the Real Estate Mogul and Reality TV star has died down, and I will continue to question his credentials and seriousness as a candidate until he does something to prove otherwise. His poll numbers move him up in the rankings by default, but I don’t think those polls will square with reality when, and if, the rubber ever really meets the road on a Trump candidacy.
Headline: Election 2012: Donald Trump Losing Favor Even Before He Enters the Race
4) Newt Gingrich Trending Up (Last Week: 6)- The former House Speaker rounds out the top 4, after which there is a serious drop off in the candidates below this spot. If he can grab the southern white males that Huckabee left behind, there is a chance for him to make a hard charge. His biggest liabilities are his temper and all the residual baggage that comes from his longtime stay in the media spotlight.
Headline: Newt Ditches Mandates Today After Defending Them ... Yesterday
5) Ron Paul Trending Even (Last Week: 5)- Paul will pretty much keep an even keel as an also run candidate. His core supporters are fiercely dedicated him, but he seems to lack the charisma and gumption to move up the ladder. He might be too honest of a man to get a nod at the Presidency. His best case scenario for this race is that his ideas transcend and go farther than his candidacy does.
Headline: Ron Paul: Why The Young Flock To An Old Idealist
6)Rick Santorum Trending Up (Last Week: 9)- If Huckabee’s socially conservative supporters are looking for a new standard bearer, the former Senator from Pennsylvania just might be their man. I’ll be watching closely to see if he scores an uptick in the polls and the underlying numbers as a result of Huck’s exit. If he doesn’t get a bounce, it may be time for him to seriously reconsider if he is a legitimate candidate.
Headline: Back Channels: A chat with Rick Santorum
7)Michelle Bachman Trending Up (Last Week: 8)- The firebrand congresswomen from suburban Minnesota is great at getting her name out there with soundbites. If the Tea Party momentum can swing behind her, she has a good chance to vault ahead into the top of the field at some point.
Headline: Minn. GOP Rep. Bachmann: From school board agitator to tea party hero unsettling 2012 campaign
8)Tim Pawlenty Trending Down (Last Week: 7)-Pawlenty needs to do some serious soul searching if he is to continue on toward the nomination. He needs some issue to rally around and take ownership of. Right now he is just treading water toward the bottom of the field, and is not even doing a good job of that.
Headline: A surprisingly early emphasis for Pawlenty campaign: foreign policy
9) Mitch Daniels Trending Even (Last Week: 10)-The Governor of Indiana is a smart man and good political operative, but can he get his name recognition up there and make enough of a splash to get into serious contention? As acting Governor he may end up taking a hard line on Labor issues in his State in order to garnish his reputation as a Conservative’s Conservative.
Headline: Daniels Vetoes Forfeiture Bill; Unconstitutional
10) Herman Cain Trending Up (Last Week: Unranked)- The conservative talk radio host and former pizza exec. is a Tea Party favorite and scored some strong points in an early Fox News debate, albeit with many of the major players still on the sidelines. He is gaining some momentum however, and it will be interesting to see how far his charge goes and if he registers any points in upcoming polls. Headline: Cain a smash at Georgia GOP convention
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