When the clock struck 12:01 AM on November 3, 2010 – the focus on election 2012 began and those in the polling business aren’t missing a beat. Rasmussen recently revealed who likely voters prefer as the leading choice among likely GOP presidential candidates…
[...] Asked who they would vote for if the Republican presidential primary were held today, 20% say Romney, 19% Huckabee and another 19% Palin. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Romney and Palin are tied among male GOP voters, while Huckabee has a slight edge among female voters.
In October 2009 when Likely Republican primary voters were given a choice of five potential presidential nominees, Huckabee led with 29% support, followed by Romney with 24% of the vote and Palin at 18%.
Rounding out the list of seven candidates chosen by Rasmussen Reports for the question, with their levels of support, are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (13%), Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (6%), Texas Congressman Ron Paul (5%) and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (3%). Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), who wasn’t included in the Rasmussen survey, is resigning from his position as House Republican Conference Chairman – a signal that he’s readying for a 2012 run. Pence recently sent a letter to colleagues in which he stated:
“As we consider new opportunities to serve Indiana and our nation in the years ahead, I have come to realize that it may not be possible to complete an entire term as Conference Chairman. As such, I think it would be more appropriate for me to step aside now, especially since there are other talented men and women in our Conference who could do the job just as well or better.”
Tim Pawlenty has been sending strong signals for awhile now that he’s going to get in the race and is pitching his meat-packing, blue-collar background.
Another quirky twist in presidential scuttlebutt is that of a possible Donald Trump candidacy. He may or may not be serious about a go at the White House, but given our nation’s dire jobless situation, hearing what he has to say can’t hurt. Here’s video of Trump on Greta Van Susteren’s show (FOX News) last night offering his businessman’s perspective on America’s waning manufacturing sector, our unfair trade relationship with China, jobs going to Mexico, NAFTA, etc. (Trump echoes some of the same concerns regarding China that Mitt Romney has been warning of since 2007):
For additional news on potential GOP candidates, beginning tonight, Bret Baier is airing a series of profiles on a dozen potential GOP candidates for 2012. His series is called 12 in ’12. Governor Romney declined to be interviewed.
Special Report with Bret Baier is launching a 12-day series on the topic called “12 in ‘12″ that each day will feature a profile of one of 12 Republicans who may launch presidential bids for the 2012 race. Exclusive interviews with 11 of the 12 candidates are planned for the profiles, which begin Thursday evening.
Those candidates include: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
McPike reports, “A thirteenth story is also planned with long-shots such as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and others like Donald Trump.”
So, every possible 2012 Republican nominee covered? Looks like it. But Romney wasn’t willing to talk. “We’ve talked to them a number of times,” said Baier of Romney’s camp. “They’ve told me they are hesitant to do anything that has a 2012 connotation to it.”
So the series will air with no interview – although his 11 best competitors in two years will get to begin to make their case to the Fox News audience. Well, three of those 12 get to all the time, since they’re FNC contributors.
Governor Romney has said many times that he would discuss 2012 considerations after midterm elections were over – possibly over the holidays – with his wife, Ann, and his family. This time around, it’s clear he’s going to do things his way.
► Jayde Wyatt