Who is Running for Prez in 2012?

This is meant to be a fun post speculating about who might run for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Here’s my list, who do you think will run?

Likely Running:

Rick Santorum-former Senator from Pennsylvania

Tim Pawlenty- Governor of Minnesota

Mitt Romney-former Governor of Massachusetts

Still looking into it:

Mike Huckabee- former Governor of Arkansas

Mitch Daniels-Governor of Indiana

Sarah Palin-former Governor of Alaska

Newt Gingrich-former Speaker of the House

Long shots:

Bobby Jindal-Governor of Louisiana

Paul Ryan- Congressman from Wisconsin

Mike Pence-Congressman from Indiana

Tom Tancredo-former Congressman from Colorado

Ron Paul-Congressman from Texas

John Thune-Senator from South Dakota

Jeb Bush-former Governor of Florida


I think potential candidates like Huckabee and Palin have to be considered front runners in Iowa because of that state’s social and culture conservative leanings. Pawlenty may have an advantage in Iowa since he governs a neighboring state.  Meanwhile, I think potential candidates like Romney and Daniels will play well in New Hampshire. I think all the candidates are going to have to build their war chests for the remaining candidates. I don’t really see any one of the current candidates running away with the nomination early on, so it may be a long drawn out battle. I don’t think it will go the distance like Obama-Clinton, but its not going to be wrapped up in a few primaries. What do you think?

44 Responses to Who is Running for Prez in 2012?

  1. Pinky says:

    Interesting topic. There are always plenty of people who run, or make the first steps toward running, or waffle in a way to attract the greatest possible attention. For example, I think that Jindal and Ryan would like to keep their names in circulation for the sake of their political futures, but they won’t mount a full-bore run in 2012.

    If I had to bet, I’d say that Huckabee, Pawlenty, and Romney will be standing after New Hampshire.

  2. Pinky says:

    Oh – Also, the GOP won’t have the only contested nomination.

  3. jonathanjones02 says:

    Huckabee, Pawlenty, and Romney are clearly in, and only Huckabee understands that the main reason they exist in the race is to sell stuff (namely, their talking head). The other two are true believers in their own cause with no place to go but with the prevailing wind.

    I want Paul Ryan or Bobby Jindal. Interestingly, the fact that Jindal has cooled to Vitter is likely an indicator of his 2012 interest, as it closes him off from the line of attack that he actively supported an official of questionable personal judgement.

  4. Blackadder says:

    Here are the Intrade rankings as of today (numbers are percent chance of securing the nomination):

    Romney 31%
    Palin 18%
    Thune 18%
    Pawlenty 12.5%
    Gingrich 10.4%
    Daniels 10%
    Huckabee 6.1%
    Paul 5.5%
    Bush 5.3%
    Jindal 5%
    Pence 4.7%
    Ryan 3%
    Santorum 1%

    Tom Tancredo isn’t listed. Haley Barbour, who isn’t mentioned above, is listed at 7.6%.

  5. Teresa says:

    I like Huckabee, Palin and Santorum. I am also open to others on the list as well.

  6. I don’t get the Romney hype. He was a favorite in 08 and whiffed then and he backed a big healthcare bill as gov. of Mass. that most Republicans in their backlash against Obamacare will view as suspect. What exactly has changed since 08 that makes Romney the favorite?

  7. Was it Chesterton who said, “Don’t vote, it only encourages them!”

  8. David says:

    I agree with Art Deco…

    In 2012 it will be Obama/Clinton vs. Romney/Newt. Clinton will be our next President at some point in the future.

    I personally prefer Huckabee, Jindal or Santorum.

    I’m looking forward to 2016… Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush.

  9. Patrick says:

    I don’t think Palin is viable, at least not in the general election. She comes from a state with 3 electoral votes. No one has gotten elected President from that small a state.

    I also don’t think that a Mormon is electable. You can draw parallels with Kennedy, but I think that prejudice against Mormon beliefs and practices is deep enough that he can’t win. If I recall correctly, there was a poll two years ago that asked people if they would vote for a Mormon and the no’s were in the 40% range.

  10. Jonathan says:

    I want to see Chris Christie at some point.

  11. Joe Hargrave says:

    Rand Paul 2016!

  12. Donald R. McClarey says:

    It will be Palin if she wants it. If not Palin it will be a dark horse candidate.

  13. David says:

    Both Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are trojan horses of the establishment to infiltrate the Tea Party Movement…

    Romney with his business background will be the establishment candidate. He has the money and connections… It’s his time.

    It’s also Clinton’s time very soon, maybe sooner than later.

    Jeb is young enough and connected enough as well. He has time to wait out this go around until folks have forgotten about his brother.

  14. Zach says:

    Wow, that’s a sad field. We need new blood.

    Blackadder, Darwin, why don’t one of you run for office?

  15. Elaine Krewer says:

    I think we will end up with a Pawlenty/Daniels ticket, although which one is the POTUS candidate and which one the VPOTUS remains to be seen. Palin did herself in by leaving her job as governor. As I’ve said before, I would not feel comfortable voting for her right now, and I would prefer she get some more experience at the federal level, perhaps as a Cabinet official in the next GOP administration. I’d LIKE to see Ryan run but he’s too far in back of the pack at this time. Romney blew it last time around, and Gingrich has too much baggage, as does Rand Paul. Jindal has been around long enough to have a track record, but, I don’t think he will run this time. Chris Christie can wait until 2016 or beyond, give him a chance to get New Jersey straightened out first.

  16. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “Both Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are trojan horses of the establishment”

    Sarah Palin has endorsed candidate after candidate this election cycle opposed by the GOP establishment. Christine O’Donnell, who has just upset Castle in the GOP Senate primary in Delaware tonight, is a typical Palin endorsed insurgent candidate.


    Beck isn’t even sane let alone a trojan horse for any establishment in this frame of reality.

  17. Donald R. McClarey says:


    Only if the economy improves, Obama’s numbers look good, and the GOP nominates sacrificial lambs a la Dole\Kemp in 96.

  18. Blackadder says:

    Republicans have a habit of nominating runner ups from previous elections (think McCain). That’s Romney.

    Also, while I don’t think conservatives are ready to hear this yet, ultimately I think Romney’s history with healthcare will be a plus for him. Right now Republicans have the wind at their backs, but it’s quite likely that sometime in the next two years they will overreach. Obamacare is very unpopular, but several of the main provisions (e.g. the ban on pre-existing conditions) are popular, so a successful Republican candidate is going to have to thread the needle of opposing Obamacare without getting branded as opposed to the popular stuff. Romney is in the best position to do that.

  19. Paul Zummo says:

    Palin is not running in 2012, but if she did she’d be the front-runner. Huckabee and Romney will both run, with pretty much the same result as last time.

    I’m with Don – it’ll be a darkhorse that wins the nomination.

  20. restrainedradical says:

    Palin will run and poll well but free fall as Iowa approaches like Giuliani and Howard Dean. Romney is a good bet. He’ll just claim that health care is a state issue. Huckabee’s fiscal policy history is more anathema. I’m gonna say Obama/Biden over Romney/Pawlenty. That combo is not only the most probable but the Republican’s best shot and I think they match up well. Would love to see those debates. Jindal ruined his chances after that horrendous State of the Union response but he would make an interesting VP. Thune and Daniels are the only other possibilities I see. Gringich went off the cliff with his more recent rhetoric and Santorum is a has-been.

  21. Donald R. McClarey says:

    I could think of few politicians less like Palin than Rino Giuliani and Screamin Dean. Palin starts out the favorite of the conservative base of the party. She has a national organization in Team Sarah, and fervent supporters in every precinct. The last Republican to have those type of advantages was Reagan.

  22. Jones: Palin, a trojan horse? C’mon, dude! Need I remind you of your previous political prognostications? How’d that Newt in ’08 campaign work out? 😉

  23. Romney? I hope not.

    My vote is for Jeb. But given that it doesn’t look like he’ll run, I have no idea who my next pick is. Jindal, maybe? Pawlenty, perhaps? Plenty of time to decide, at least.

  24. Tito Edwards says:

    I’m still miffed that people think that Jindal bombed at his presidential response?

    The libs say so, but where is it?

  25. Anthony says:

    I’m going to agree with Chesterton…

  26. John Henry says:

    Jindal’s response to the State of the Union was awful, Tito. I tuned in specifically to see it; and within five minutes I called a friend (who had worked with Jindal while he was in DC) and we tried to come up with plausible explanations for his odd delivery. And we were (and are) both fans of the guy.

  27. Ditto, John Henry. Unfortunately. But IIRC, he’s had the opportunity (and taken it) since then to redeem himself. So it’s not like it doomed his chances.

  28. Tito Edwards says:

    I just saw it for the first time since then and what you all are saying are plain appearance and image problems.

    Just because he moved his hands a bunch of times and he looked uncomfortable does not warrant the response people gave (mostly from the left).

    I think it’s plain balderdash.

    And you think that’s really bad then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  29. Jindal’s problem is going to be that LA hasn’t really had a remarkable turn-around, though his policies will please many in the GOP. Of course, LA doesn’t have it as bad as many other nations, but it’s not at all clear that that’s due to Jindal’s efforts more than the peculiarities of our state economy.

    Jindal also has seemed kinda set his sights more towards 2016, though I imagine if Obama continues to falter and the GOP field remain this unpalatable, he will strongly consider throwing his hat into the ring.

  30. restrainedradical says:

    I was expecting big things from Jindal until that speech. He sounded like he was talking to a kindergarten class. His worst line: “my own parents came to this country from a distant land.” Did he not think Americans knew what India was?

    Even Fox News didn’t like it.

  31. Blackadder says:

    I missed the Jindal speech, but I do find it odd that a single bad speech seems to have single-handedly doomed his presidential prospects.

  32. John Henry says:

    I missed the Jindal speech, but I do find it odd that a single bad speech seems to have single-handedly doomed his presidential prospects.

    Well, watch it, then you’ll understand. 😉 Actually, I don’t think that view is very widespread; most people agree that it was just one speech (even if he sounded like he was auditioning for a role on Sesame Street). The more serious problem for Jindal is that the timing of the LA elections and the Presidential primary season don’t lend themselves well to a run in 2012.

  33. Dave Hartline says:

    I think too many are underestimating Governor Jindal. I realize some in his family would rather he not run. However, I think the country would feel very comfortable with his experience and intellect. Some have said that his rebuttal speech last year didn’t sizzle, and he can come across as somewhat geeky. However, my guess is the country has had enough of flash and dash, they want someone who knows what he is doing.

    Governor Jindal’s stature was helped by the Gulf Oil Spill and I believe many will remember his command of the situation. As far as Catholic candidates go, I can’t imagine anyone more familair with Catholicism than Jindal. He actually got into trouble when he ran for Governor due to an article he wrote (New Oxford Review?) years before concerning his dim view of the Protestant Reformation. He still won handily.

  34. Pat says:

    My 2 cents…

    I believe that we’ll have several candidates initially step forward, but only the deep pockets will stick around. After this Nov. election the GOP will be able to slow down Obama’s socialist agenda and he’ll become a mute point. (Thank the Lord!) As weak as this field is and “IF” the winds stay behind the Tea Party movement don’t count out Palin for a hard run in 2012. She’s not my favorite in the field, but look at what happened in Del. and look at her “Rock star” status. The conservative GOP NEEDS to get ready to go in 2016 and have a much stronger field of candidates!

  35. Jonathan says:

    I suspect Jindal’s issues will come from the legislation referenced in the below article, which he signed into law (and which, if I understand correctly, had he had not signed it, would not have become law):


  36. Dale Price says:

    Don’t write him off because of the State of the Union clunker. Bill Clinton gave an absolute stinker of a keynote at the 1988 Democratic Convention.

  37. Dale Price says:

    I think Thune is a pretty likely to run, and will be a tough opponent. He’s an excellent campaigner and he’s flying under the radar right now. Plus, he hasn’t stepped on any toes playing endorsement bingo.

  38. jonathanjones02 says:

    The question for Thune and Ryan and Daniels (great candidates, all) is the ability to raise money. This challenge will keep at least one of them out (and I doubt Ryan will run).

  39. John Thune is my senator, and I think he’s a great guy, but what does he bring that, say, Pawlenty doesn’t? Not that they don’t have policy differences, but what makes Thune a more viable presidential candidate?

  40. Eric Brown says:

    Pawlenty, Huckabee, or Paul. Given any other candidate I’m unlikely to vote Republican.

    Pawlenty, Huckabee, or Paul are the only three potential candidates that I would even consider voting for. Truthfully, I would probably vote for either of them for different reasons, most of which are wholly pragmatic.

    Pawlenty is a sensible, moderate conservative. He doesn’t fall into the habit of demagogic manipulation. He strikes me as pragmatic — and this is most evident to me in his openness to health care reform and his statements on the issue over the last few years. I, quite obviously, don’t agree with everything he thinks, but he wouldn’t be a terribly intolerable president. Some good policies, some bad policies. But I think I can in good conscience vote for Pawlenty.

    The same is true of Huckabee. Huckabee supports the DREAM Act, the FairTax, education reform, and a few other policy initiatives that I would love to see. There are again, the inevitable disagreements, but Huckabee would be a great president. He gets kudos from me because Ann Coulter doesn’t like him. I would have cast a vote for Huckabee in the Republican primary in Texas in 2008 if I weren’t so busy voting for Mrs. Clinton trying to crash Obama’s populist “change” party.

    A vote for Ron Paul is wholly pragmatic. I despise libertarianism more than what we presently call “conservativism.” But Ron Paul isn’t such a nutcase that he thinks we should go from “big government” to “small government” in 24 hours. He is much more pragmatic. I can already anticipate that I’ll generally loathe the social policies promoted by any Republican president, to a degree, so Ron Paul is no exception. The major difference is that Ron Paul easily has the best foreign policy views, to my mind, than any Republican in the field — particularly on Iraq and Aghanistan (not that I imagine these will be issues in 2012). Moreover, Paul at least has an integrated worldview and political philosophy — never mind my disagreements with it on some level — that instructs his governing, which beats today’s sensational political opportunism and pragmaticism that is virtually void of substance or coherency. Therefore, surprisingly, I could probably most easily vote for Ron Paul if I had to vote Republican.

    At this point, any other candidate is not getting my vote particularly Santorum, Palin, Gingrich, Ryan, Romney, and Bush. I’ll, as the partisans call it, “throw away” my vote on a third party candidate, or on Mickey Mouse — I hear he gets a few thousand votes every election.

  41. David says:

    Blackadder – You are exactly correct. Personally I can’t stand Romney, but the tea-leaves are crystal clear on this one.

    Burgwald – Newt was too smart to run last election cycle b/c he knew it was a lost cause. Not so this time around. He will be on the ticket, likely a VP candidate, but definitely a cabinet member in the next Republican administration (King Bush III), from royal dynasty of Bush. That’s after the Clinton dynasty has their turn, which brings up an important point…

    I don’t know why you guys are all hyped up about this anyway. Obama/Clinton is going to win re-election.

  42. Jones: my point was that you *insisted* (practically until the GOP convention!) that he was going to get in the race.

    So why should I trust your Romney prognostications? 😉

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