The 2012 Republican Primary Field: July, 2011
Once a month, we give a rundown of the Republican field for the 2012 Presidential nomination.
Texas Governor Rick Perry and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are still on the sidelines, looking at the game. They both have been making noises for two months with no significant movement.
Last month, there were 11 candidates judged by Intrade to have better than a 1% at the nomination. This month, there are nine, and only five of those have declared; the other four (Perry, Giuliani, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin) have not. My best guess is that there is one Republican candidate who has not yet declared that we will see in the early primaries next year; what I can’t predict is which one of the four listed here will be “it”.
I’ve gathered Real Clear Politics aggregated poll averages and July 20 Intrade probabilities for each candidate, rounded to the nearest whole number.
I’ll list the potential Republican candidates after the jump, in order of their Intrade percentages, from highest to lowest. In each case, the polling numbers are given in parentheses after the candidate’s name, rounded to the nearest whole number, followed by the change from last month:
- RCP = the most recent available Real Clear Politics aggregated polling data.
- In = Intrade July 20
I’ve compiled rank-order listings from the three monthly surveys I’ve done, including this one. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney holds on to first and Palin holds on to sixth. In between these slices of Wonder Bread, the meat and mayo are found in a different order, or appear and disappear. May’s #3 (Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels) declined to run, and #5 Herman Cain has dropped off the radar. Bachmann jumped into the sandwich last month, having climbed from #7 to #5; she moved up to #3 this month. Perry was nowhere in May but has leapt to #2 in two months.
|Candidate||May rank||June rank||July rank|
Perry and Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) are the big movers upward, taking over the second and third place slots, respectively, in the Intrade rankings. Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman’s campaign is sputtering but not dead; he fluctuates between third and fourth. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is the big loser in this list, dropping from second to fifth.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (RCP 24% +2; In 33% 0)
This month’s rundown is characterized by a whole lot of nothing. The first week of August will bring the Ames Straw Poll; for now, everyone seems to be focused on the unraveling of the Murdoch empire, and the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney does what he does best.
He just keeps on truckin’.
Meanwhile, Herman Cain gave a Washington Times interview that read like a push-polling script. (“If you found out Mitt Romney was a psychopathic axe-murderer, would you say you would be more or less likely to vote for him?”)
I know the South and you have to win the South. Mitt Romney didn’t win the South when John McCain won the South and Mike Huckabee won the South. And I think that the reason he will have a difficult time winning the South is when he ran the first time he did not do a good job of communicating his religion.
Texas Governor Rick Perry (RCP 12% +8; In 29% +16)
So many mysteries and persistent rumors surround Perry. It’s getting awfully late to make a run. His “fish or cut bait” moment should be coming very soon. In my opinion, he is seriously overvalued on Intrade and should not be at a 1 in 4 chance; I’d place his odds at 1 in 10 to get the nomination.
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) (RCP 14% +9; In 9% +1)
Bachmann cemented her reputation as the hardest-working Stepford Wife in politics. She was everywhere, voting against “cap, cut and balance” because it didn’t go far enough, kissing llamas, and defending her husband’s fringe views on human sexuality and marital politics.
Former Utah Governor, former Obama Administration Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman (RCP 2% 0; In 8% –6)
After an initial burst of energy from his candidacy announcement, Huntsman star has faded. His path to the nomination is unclear. Romney is the front-runner; Bachmann is the spoiler; Perry waits in the wings for a major stumble from one of the others; Pawlenty is the guy who asks you to the prom at 5 pm when the dance starts at 7. Who is Jon Huntsman? More and more, I’m beginning to believe that I’ve been right about Huntsman all along. He’s running for 2016, not 2012. He’s willing to trade his personal fortune for the experience of running a national campaign, to see how things work and make his bones so that next time, when there is no incumbent, he will be the consensus choice. If the Tea Party is either split from the GOP or discredited, then an establishment candidate like Huntsman looks that much better five years from now.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (RCP 4% –1; In 6% –10)
It’s going to be the Jack Nicholson election. Some of you are probably too young to remember the movie A Few Good Men, but there’s that famous line when he’s on the witness stand and says, “You can’t handle the truth.” The American people, I think, can handle the truth.
Predictably, this strategy backfired. T-Paw is no Jack Nicholson, and Aaron Sorkin doesn’t see Pawlenty moving into The West Wing.
Former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (RCP 11% –5; In 5% 0)
Her bus tour ended earlier than expected, and for a month now, no one has been talking about her. Her biopic, The Undefeated, didn’t live up to its name; it has a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I heard it was a smash in Grapevine, Texas, though. Time’s Richard Corliss weighed in on the movie:
The movie may tempt even the most ardent conservatives to emulate their idol’s tenure as governor and walk out halfway through.
Whether she can do something outrageous to get the public’s attention is anyone’s guess. Every day that passes without the oxygen of money and attention fed into her campaign, is another day it becomes less likely that she can secure the Republican Presidential nomination.
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) (RCP 7% 0; In 2% 0)
Paul remains stubbornly popular amongst a certain type of Republican voter, but his appeal hasn’t grown beyond that demographic.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (RCP no data; In 2% 0)
Didn’t Rudy try this last-minute entry in 2008?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (RCP no data; In 2%)
A sign of desperation. Christie has made it clear that he wants no part of 2012. 2016, on the other hand…
And the Rest…
Declared candidates who are now judged by Intrade investors to have between a 0.1% and 1% chance of securing the Republican nomination have been dropped from the monthly rundown. They are, in order:
- Newt Gingrich 1.0%
- Herman Cain 0.7%
- Rick Santorum 0.5%
- Gary Johnson 0.4%
- Thaddeus McCotter 0.2%
Undeclared candidates ranking between 0.1% and 1% include:
- Paul Ryan 0.4%
- George Pataki 0.3%
Many, many undeclared candidates are scored at 0.1% by Intrade and are not listed.
- PPP: Bachmann leads GOP 2012ers, Palin bid would help Romney (dailykos.com)
- Bachmann Ahead in Another Presidential Poll (dakotavoice.com)
- US-2012 Primary: 30% Romney, 16% Bachmann, 11% Perry, 9% Paul (NBC/WSJ 7/14–17) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Rick Perry’s most rapt audience: Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney (csmonitor.com)
- Obama vs. Romney, an Early Skirmish (economix.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Bachmann Surges in New National Poll (politicalwire.com)
- Finance reports offer insight into GOP field (msnbc.msn.com)
- GOP governors looking to their own as 2012 race takes shape (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- RANKING THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES: Here Are Their Odds Of Winning (businessinsider.com)
- Why Bachmann Could Win in 2012 — Terry Jeffrey — Townhall Conservative (gds44.wordpress.com)
- Chris Weigant: 2012 Republican Presidential Field Update (huffingtonpost.com)
- Reëlection Watch: July 2011 (logarchism.com)
- My Fallow Republicans (logarchism.com)