The 2012 Republican Primary Field: October, 2011
Once a month, we give a rundown of the Republican field for the 2012 Presidential nomination.
In June, there were 11 candidates and potential candidates judged by Intrade investors to have a better than 1% chance of securing the Republican nomination. Throughout July and August and September the “more than 1% on Intrade” club still numbered nine, with about half undeclared candidates. Now there are seven, all officially declared. In a significant development, this month’s rundown has none of the undeclared candidate hoo-hah that sullied previous months. The time for latecomers and maybe-candidates seems to have truly passed, and the advancement of the primary calendar has the side effect of solidifying the field.
Still, the “anybody but Romney” movement seems strong, but its adherents have fallen into a sulky silence. Could Newt be next month’s anti-Romney? There’s a disconnect between the polls and political futures markets.
I listed the potential Republican candidates below, 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 October 19.
I compiled rank-order listings from the six monthly surveys I’ve done, including this one.
This month’s big winner is the Mittster himself, who used strong debate performances (or his opponents’ weak debate performances) to ride to clear front-runner position in the political futures markets. In the polls, he’s still in a virtual tie, but this month his poll antagonist is Herman Cain. Perry holds onto a weak second place in the Intrade standings, and Cain is in third. After those two, there is another steep drop to Gingrich, Paul and Huntsman in a three-way tie for fourth. Bachmann is the only remaining candidate above 1% according to Intrade, and she’s right on the line.
|Candidate||May rank||June rank||July rank||August rank||September rank||October rank|
1. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (RCP 25% +5; In 68% +29)
Romney saw a huge spike in the political futures markets this month, but his poll numbers still lag. He’s in a virtual tie, poll-wise, with the October Flavor of the Month, Herman Cain.
2. Texas Governor Rick Perry (RCP 13% –19; In 15% –21)
Perry sinks like a stone. Score one for filistro’s predictive capabilities: she said he wouldn’t wear well, and he hasn’t. Perry seems to be one of those politicians we like less and less, the more we get to know him.
3. Businessman Herman Cain (RCP 24% +19; In 8% +7).
Cain, buoyed by a strong showing in a Florida straw poll and passable debate performances, is this month’s “NotRomney” darling. His meteoric rise has been matched only by his ability to put his foot in his mouth, followed by the standard comeback, “I was only kidding, guys.” It’s probably still not okay to kid about electrocuting illegal aliens, though.
4 (tie). Former Utah Governor, former Obama Administration Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman (RCP 2% 0; In 3% –2)
Huntsman, like the other third-tier candidates, doesn’t have a clear path to the nomination, unless you count a hung convention.
4 (tie). Representative Ron Paul (R-Lake Jackson, TX) (RCP 8% –2; In 3% 0)
Paul’s position in the rankings has changed over time, but his overall poll numbers have been very steady. He has a core group of vociferous supporters, but can’t seem to extend his reach much beyond them.
4 (tie). Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (RCP 8% +7; In 3% +1)
After his spring and summer struggles, Gingrich has a strong showing in the polls this month, but it’s not reflected in the political futures markets. Clearly the public was impressed with his debate performances, but the people who would bet money on him don’t think as much of his campaign. There doesn’t seem to be a clear path to the nomination for him: through Iowa? New Hampshire? Perhaps South Carolina or Florida, but those still have to be considered longshots for Gingrich.
7. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater, MN) (RCP 5% –2; In 1% –2)
Bachmann continues to sink in both polls and political futures markets. Apparently, the Representative from Stillwater keeps running deeper.