I wrote a blog post back in March where I analyzed the 2012 Presidential Race. I correctly predicted that Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump were not going to be in the race, and they are not. However, I also said that Sarah Palin would be running for President, and as of yet she has not entered the race.
Several important things have happened in the last few months. Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump declined to run. Huckabees decision was quite puzzling because polls had him near the lead in the race for the 2012 GOP Nomination. But Huckabee decided he enjoyed being a TV show host and living a good life -- without all the headaches of running for the White House.
Donald Trump was making the biggest noises in the race for a while, until President Obama stuck a dagger in his back and actually produced a long form birth certificate, making Trump a bit sheepish and embarrassed over some of his wild claims. There are some in the Conservative camp who believe that Obamas birth certificate is a fake based on inconsistent typefaces....but I believe the President was born in Hawaii...and this line of attack really goes nowhere and is best forgotten.
Haley Barbour and Buddy Roemer both declined to run. With Huckabee, Barbour, and Roemer all out of the race, it leaves an opening for a Southern Conservative. Governor Rick Perry of Texas might be just the guy to take advantage of this opening.
President Barack Obama
The President is still defeating other candidates by slim margins at this point in most polls, however, this is not necessarily a good sign... as voters are not happy with the economy, joblessness, and high gas prices. Any two of those three issues can kill a Presidency all by themselves. All three in the mix might spell certain doom for Obama in 2012. However, Obama is the sitting President, and he is still the favorite in this race. The Democrats seem to be too gutless to run anyone against him in a primary.
Romney is the top candidate in the GOP. A fact that I'm not happy about, but a fact nonetheless. Romney has raised a ton of money and is near the top spot in most polls. However, Romney has a big anchor around his neck called "Romneycare" and the weight of it is starting to pull him down. Michele Bachmann has exploded out of the pack and is now only inches behind him in some polls. And that is without any of the Big 4 jumping into the race.
The Congresswoman from Minnesota really put on a show at the New Hampshire debate, separating herself from the rest of the pack of candidates by using her style and charm and well-worded attacks on the policies of President Obama. Bachmann, to me, is the only good candidate the GOP is running at this point. She is a true Conservative who will vote against big government policies and I trust her more than I do any of the other candidates at this point. However, some segments of the GOP do not want her to be the candidate, and if Bachmann wins Iowa, (which is highly possible) all hell will break loose as the RINO segment of the party tries to drag some of the Big 4 into the race out of fear of Bachmann losing a general election to Obama.
The Big 4
There is a segment of candidates that I call "The Big 4" because of their power, prestige and national appeal. Any one of them could jump into this race and immediately soar to near the top of the poll rankings.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey
Governor Rick Perry of Texas
Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida
Former Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska
The two of the four in this category that I would call "somewhat unlikely" candidates would be Christie and Bush. Christie has repeatedly denied interest in running for the White House, but has an emotional appeal to many serious donors and campaign volunteers, all of whom seem to be hoping and praying that Christie jumps into the race. Conservative columnist and icon Ann Coulter has been banging the drum for Christie for quite some time. Bush has denied any interest in running, but a weak field may make him rethink his position.
The two that I suspect will actually run are Rick Perry and Sarah Palin. Governor Perry has the successful economic growth record of Texas to run on, and many in the party (myself included) think he is just the right guy to defeat Obama. Sarah Palin has never been one to run from a challenge. She may eventually jump into the race, but she needs to do it sooner rather than later, as voters are starting to commit to specific candidates now. Palin is a charismatic figure, but also quite polarizing. I predict that if she jumps into the race, she will do quite well, but she won't win. She will finish in second or third place.
Gingrich, Pawlenty, and the others...
Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty did reasonably well at the New Hampshire debates, but along with the rest of the candidates, they are losing ground right now. Pawlenty isn't even the best candidate from Minnesota right now, which does not help in a national contest. Most of these "other" candidates are struggling right now... and if Rick Perry or Sarah Palin jump into the race, it is pretty much over for them. Perry or Palin would suck up all the media attention and the other candidates will end up being lost and forgotten in the mix. The rise of Bachmann subtracts from all these other candidates, and as such, I am adjusting their odds downward.
NEW ODDS (as of 7-6-11)