Race for the White House: Which Way to the Romney Campaign?

stampede: noun – A mass movement of people at a common impulse…

Today we enjoy the creativity of fellow Romney supporter Mike Sage as he artistically illustrates the meaning of stampede:

Mike is the resident genius at AmericaNeedsMitt.com:


Mitt Romney 2012.




► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Polls First in Quinnipiac, Public Policy Polling, Sunshine State News, Reuters

Yes, it’s early, the GOP presidential race hasn’t cemented yet, but we still like to keep tabs on public sentiment. Here’s the sweet poll picture for Governor Romney today…


Quinnipiac July 13, 2011:

Gov. Mitt Romney remains ahead of the GOP presidential pack as U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has zoomed into second place,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “With almost a dozen candidates and most of them not very well known, even to GOP activists, Gov. Romney’s lead remains. Gov. Rick Perry, who is still a maybe candidate, breaks into double-digits and runs fourth, an indication that he could be a serious contender should he run.”

“The question about Rep. Bachmann is whether she is the flavor of the month, like Donald Trump was for a while, or does she have staying power? Perhaps more than any of the other GOP contenders, Bachmann’s fortunes may depend on whether Governors Palin or Perry get into the race. All three of them are likely to appeal to the GOP’s Tea Party constituency.”

Preferences of those polled:

Mitt Romney – 25 %
Michele Bachmann – 14%
Sarah Palin – 12 %
Rick Perry – 10 %
Herman Cain – 6 %
Ron Paul – 5 %
Newt Gingrich – 5 %
Tim Pawlenty – 3 %

At 1% or less:
Rick Santorum
Jon Huntsman
Thaddeus McCotter

Independents prefer Romney over Obama by 42% to 40.


Public Policy Polling (Utah) July 13, 2011:

From PPP blog

It’s a good thing for Jon Huntsman that his home state of Utah isn’t a terribly important one to the Republican Presidential nomination process. A plurality of GOP primary voters there have an unfavorable opinion of him and he gets absolutely crushed by Mitt Romney in the state.
[...]
Asked to choose directly between Romney and Huntsman 82% of respondents pick Romney to only 14% who side with Huntsman. [...] He’s the Republican candidate that Democrats love and filling that niche won’t win you a lot of primaries.

Mitt Romney – 63%
Jon Huntsman – 10%
Michele Bachman – 6%
Sarah Palin – 5%
Herman Cai – 4%
Rick Perry – 4%
Ron Paul – 4%
Newt Gingrich – 3%
Tim Pawlenty – 1%


Sunshine State News Poll (Florida) July 12, 2011:

Mitt Romney Ahead of President Obama

A Sunshine State News Poll released Tuesday shows Mr. Romney leading President Obama in Florida, the first poll to show Mr. Obama trailing the former Massachusetts Republican.

According to the latest poll, Mr. Romney leads Mr. Obama 46 percent to 42 percent. The poll comes less than one week after a jobs report shows that nation’s unemployment rate rising to 9.2 percent.

The survey of 1,000 likely Florida voters shows 54 percent disapprove of President Obama, while 38 percent approve. That result tracks with Florida voters’ sour view of the economy, with 56 percent saying it has worsened in the past year.

The poll finds Mr. Romney winning among Republicans 74 to 14 percent, while Democrats are supporting Mr. Obama 71 to 20 percent. Mr. Romney leads among independent voters with 42 to 38 percent support.


UPDATE from Reuters July 13, 2011:

Republican Mitt Romney easily leads rival Michele Bachmann in a head-to-head matchup of the two top declared candidates for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has a 40 percent to 23 percent lead over Bachmann among Republicans and independents. Among independents only, Romney’s lead was 10 percentage points.

For further details on all polls, click on TITLE links.

(emphasis added to all quoted articles)


► Jayde Wyatt

Sen Jim DeMint: Romney’s Religion Non-Issue, Disappointed in Bachmann

The sticker on Senator Jim DeMint's lapel and the expression on his face reveals his support for Mitt Romney. (2008)


Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), a man who could rightfully be dubbed The Tea Party Senator, issued solid words of wisdom yesterday…

Mitt Romney’s religion is ‘not an issue’:

The Hill

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) Mormon faith won’t be an issue for him in the Republican presidential primary, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) argued Wednesday.

DeMint, the conservative icon who endorsed Romney in 2008 but hasn’t decided whether to do so again in 2012, said that Romney’s religion might not be the hindrance it has been traditionally considered to be.

“The religion is not an issue,” DeMint said on MSNBC. “[...] I think what Americans are looking for right now is a person with principle, but courage.”
[...]
As for DeMint’s support, he’s still keeping his powder dry when it comes to Romney or any other candidate. The South Carolina conservative said Romney “could” still win his endorsement, but that he’s keeping a close eye on how the presidential candidates handle the upcoming fight over raising the debt limit.

“I’m keeping an open mind,” he said. “I’m not endorsing anyone right now because I want to see what they want to do on the debt limit.”

It’s good to hear Senator DeMint keep the door open after saying this a few months ago.

Romney will sign the ‘Cut, Cap, & Balance’ pledge to cut federal spending and balance the budget. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum also support the pledge. Jon Huntsman Jr. and Michele Bachmann both declined support.

Bachmann has balked. DeMint is disappointed:

“I am disappointed,” DeMint said Wednesday on CNN’s “American Morning.” “We have to stop spending more than we’re bringing in.”
[...]
The Minnesota congresswoman argues it doesn’t go far enough to bring down the deficit.

DeMint, a South Carolina kingmaker and early supporter of the tea party movement, has said a commitment to the pledge is necessary in order to win his support, which could prove valuable in the early voting state of South Carolina and within his larger conservative following.

(emphasis added)

DeMint was a fervent supporter of Governor Romney during the last presidential primaries. Read his letter profusely endorsing The Gov here.


► Jayde Wyatt

Donors Believe In Mitt Romney, Give $18.25 Million

Second quarter fundraising numbers are in for Mitt Romney; he raised a healthy, hefty

$18.25 million:

Romney reports raising $18.25M in Q2

Republican Mitt Romney plans to report raising $18.25 million during the second quarter for his presidential campaign.

The former Massachusetts governor said in a statement today that he had raised that sum between April 1 and June 30, and still had $12.6 million on hand.

While he has yet to release the report due to the Federal Election Commission by mid-month, Romney’s statement said he had received donations from all 50 state and Washington, DC.

Voters are responding to Mitt Romney’s message that President Obama’s policies have failed and that we need new leadership in Washington,” said Romney for President National Finance Chairman Spencer Zwick. “Our fund-raising for the second quarter represents the strong support Mitt Romney has across the country.”

Some reports on Romney’s numbers – compared to an equivalent period during his last presidential race – paint him as falling short. Kevin Madden, an informal adviser who served as spokesman in Romney’s 2008 campaign, explains:

It’s a challenging time to raise money, given the economy. This campaign season also got off to a much slower start for the candidates, as well as donors. But you are wrong that it’s “small potatoes.”

The total from 2007 included a personal donation. This total does not. It’s all money raised from donors and it’s also all primary money. The cash-on-hand total is also emblematic of a much more efficient operation than the one in 2007. The burn rate was higher back then.

Also, that $12.6 million cash-on-hand added to the $12 million being reported by a super PAC means that there’s a total reserve of around $25 million in the bank aimed at helping his primary bid. They are in a much stronger position financial position right now than the one we we found ourselves in when I was on the 2008 campaign.

The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

Mr. Romney’s campaign said all of the money raised was for the primary campaign from donors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, meaning it is available for use now, not in the general election. The campaign has $12.6 million in cash on hand.

That dwarfs the $4 million figures already announced by former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty,former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, so far the closest rivals in the money race. In Mr. Huntsman’s case, about half came from his own deep pockets.
[...]
Still, Mr. Huntsman’s campaign tried to exploit what it saw as disappointing numbers after far larger goals were hyped by some Romney fund-raisers this spring, then walked back by campaign aides.

The Romney team has been straight about the Q2 numbers, saying for some time now that they expected The Gov’s totals to be between $15-20 million.

Newt Gingrich scraped up $2 million but his campaign is already in debt. Michele Bachmann will release her numbers on July 15th – the date when reports of campaign contributions and expenses over the past three months must be submitted to the Federal Elections Commission. Details on fundraising for other GOP candidates may be found here.

Obama is expected to bring in around $60 million for this quarter, but that isn’t an exact indicator of strength. Liberals are raising money for one candidate, whereas right now, GOP candidates are splitting the dough.

As it stands now (we await reports from Santorum and Bachmann), when the figures are all added up, Romney’s Q2 dollars are more than triple that of any one of his Republican competitors.

It’s imperative that each of us continue to budget in donations for Governor Romney.



(emphasis added to all referenced articles)

► Jayde Wyatt

New Hampshire: Romney Widens Gap (WMUR Poll), Talks Economy in Hampton & Wolfeboro (VIDEO)


A new state poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire shows Mitt Romney continues to widen the gap in The Granite State and would defeat Obama:

The Daily Caller:

WMUR Granite State poll:

Mitt Romney – 35%
Michele Bachman – 12%
Rudy Giuliani – 7%
Ron Paul – 7%
Rick Perry – 4%
Sarah Palin – 3%
Tim Pawlenty – 3%
Herman Cain – 2%
Jon Huntsman Jr. – 2%
Newt Gingrich – 1%

BELOW 1%:
Gary Johnson
Buddy Roemer
Rick Santorum

General election:

Mitt Romney 47% Barack Obama 43%
Barack Obama 47% Tim Pawlenty 38%
Barack Obama 47% Michele Bachmann 41%

Romney would beat Obama in a head-to-head competition, the poll found, surveying both Republicans and Democrats. The former Massachusetts governor got 47 percent of the vote, while Obama got only 43 percent.

Palin and Newt Gingrich top the list of candidates that Republican voters “would not vote for under any circumstances.” 23 percent said they would never vote for Palin, and 16 percent said they would never vote for Gingrich.

The poll surveyed 773 people – 357 likely Republican primary voters and 263 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

(emphasis added)



The Gov’s schedule today:

● Mitt Romney
Hosting a townhall meeting at Bayside Grill and Tavern
51 Mill Street, Wolfeboro, N.H.

● Mitt Romney
Participating in a roundtable discussion with small business owners
325 Lafayette Road, Hampton, N.H.

Romney talks economy in visit to Hampton


HAMPTON – Presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney met with locals from Hampton Tuesday, July 5, to talk about what he claims are failed policies of President Obama that have worsened the economy, and about what he would do if elected president.

Romney met with roughly a dozen residents and business owners during a lunch at the Galley Hatch to hear what they consider the biggest barriers to a thriving economy.

Those in attendance talked about how the economy has impacted their businesses and some said they even fear of the country heading into a double-dip recession.

Romney said if elected president he would concentrate on seven areas to reinvigorate the economy including having tax rates for employers that are competitive with other countries, and trade policies that work “for us and not just the people we trade (with).”
[...]
State Rep. Chris Nevins, R-Hampton, said he was impressed with Romney.

“I really believe this man has the capability to be the next president of the United States. His business background, intelligence, experience history all point to that direction,” said Nevins.

(emphasis added)

Continue reading here.

The Business Insider picked up on Romney’s seven rules of successful economies:

Romney lays down what he describes as seven rules of successful economies.

1. Make employer tax rates competitive, to attract businesses. He argues that U.S. corporate tax rates are now the second-highest in the world after Japan and must come down. (This does not include the state tax burden, which puts the U.S. over the top in most states.)

2. Streamline regulations and create a bureaucracy geared to cooperating with the private sector.

3. Embrace fair trade policies, and work to eliminate unacceptable infractions, such as China’s persistently undervalued currency and theft of intellectual property.

4. Energy policy must be practical; no country should be spending money needlessly on energy imports.

5. Any successful country must have an unquestioned rule of law.

6. Immigration and education policies must ensure the availability of extraordinary human capital.

7. A government should not be spending more than it takes in.

How does the president score on these guidelines?

Read more here.

Romney’s townhall meeting in Wolfeboro, NH today:




H/t Crystal (The Business Insider article)

► Jayde Wyatt

Inquiring Minds Want to Know: How Much 2nd Quarter Money did Romney Raise?


Hope everyone had a fantastic July 4th weekend

We’ll jump right in today with a look at how Mitt Romney’s second quarter fundraising is fodder for speculation:

TheHill.com – Romney’s war chest sets Republican fundraising yardstick

The strength of Mitt Romney’s war chest — expected to be between $15 million and $20 million — will be the yardstick against which other GOP presidential candidates’ are measured.

The former Massachusetts governor’s official second-quarter haul will become known in the next few weeks. He faced high expectations after having raised $10 million in pledges during a single day of calls, which his campaign sought to tamp down on.

Regardless, the front-running candidate is expected to outpace his rivals when it comes to fundraising.

Only three GOP presidential contenders — former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) and pizza magnate Herman Cain (R) — have released their second-quarter numbers; none of them came close to Romney’s suspected haul.

Pawlenty raised $4.2 million, a figure considered relatively disappointing for a candidate of his stature, while Huntsman raised $4.1 million, a figure padded in part by self-contributions from his personal fortune. Cain said last week that he’d raised just under $2.5 million.

Meanwhile, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) have yet to release their numbers.

Bachmann turned heads earlier this year after boasting that her combined funds (from her congressional campaign and her PAC) were greater than Romney’s first-quarter haul. She’s unlikely to come close to repeating that this quarter, but as she surges in the polls, her fundraising report could provide some indication of her traction.

By contrast, Gingrich’s report will provide some indication of just how much his campaign was crippled by the departure of top aides and finance officials in the last month. He set low expectations over the weekend, telling the Los Angeles Times that his numbers “will not be as good as we would like, and candidly, the consultants left us in debt.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) was a fundraising machine during his 2008 presidential campaign, drawing on the fervor of grassroots supports to fund his so-called “money bombs.” His quarterly filing will be a test of whether those intense supporters will still drive his 2012 effort, financially and otherwise.

And, in terms of possible candidates, observers will be watching former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) Sarah PAC for signs of strength, especially after the bus tour she took last month that received heavy media attention, along with a revamped website and online operation for the PAC.

However, the combined totals of all the GOP contenders are unlikely to come close to President Obama’s second-quarter total. His campaign set a $60 million goal but hasn’t released its official haul.

(emphasis added)

For details on fundraising for Senate candidates continue reading here.

By the way, Bachmann’s first-quarter fundraising wasn’t all she hyped it to be.

Whatever Romney’s second quarter fundraising numbers are, Restore Our Future PAC, a recently created super PAC formed by independent Romney supporters, should give The Gov additional heft.

UPDATE: Pro Romney Super PAC raises $12 million

Restore Our Future, a so-called “Super PAC”organized by former political aides to Mitt Romney and designed to help him in the 2012 presidential race, collected $12 million in the first six months of 2011.

“There is tremendous support across the country for Mitt Romney,” said Charlie Spies, one of the PAC’s founders. “Americans are coming out in support of Governor Romney because they are confident he has the experience to turn our economy around.”
[...]
The pro-Romney super PAC is the only one of its kind in the Republican race. The PAC has not yet said how or where it will spend its money but given the involvement of McCarthy it seems likely that Restore Our Future will focus on television ads.



► Jayde Wyatt

Update from Ross
Romney Raises More Than All His Republican Contenders Combined

State Rep. Renee Schulte makes some interesting observations as well.

Romney Receives CA Endorsements, Leads in all 5 GOP Early States

Mitt Romney stands in front of fence separating the U.S. from Mexico with former CA Assemblyman Tony Strickland (now CA Senator) and CA Senator Mark Wyland in San Diego, CA (8/13/07). Yesterday, Romney received endorsements from a group of CA politicians, including Strickland and Wyland.

From prestigious California endorsements yesterday to strong polling results in Florida, Mitt Romney is making coast-to-coast news.

From The Golden State: Romney Racks Up Endorsements for 2012

Mitt Romney is solidifying his status as front-runner in the GOP presidential nomination race. On Thursday, he picked up the backing of a group of Californians[...]

That includes House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon and Rep. Mary Bono Mack of the state’s contingent in Washington. The group also comprises state Senate GOP Leader Bob Dutton, state Sens. Tony Strickland, Sharon Runner, Bob Huff, Sam Blakeslee and Mark Wyland; and Assemblymen Paul Cook and Jim Silva.

McKeon cited Romney’s strength on economic issues in his endorsement. “President Obama’s policies have failed California and the country,” McKeon said. “Mitt Romney has a proven record of job creation in both the private sector and as a governor.” McKeon also supported Romney in 2008.

(emphasis added)

Bob Dutton also added: “Mitt Romney knows how the economy works and he has the much-needed experience to lead the country out of the economic downturn.”


From The Sunshine State: Romney Leads the Way in Florida (PPP poll)

Mitt Romney has a double digit lead for the Republican Presidential nomination in Florida, further cementing his front runner status in the wake of Mike Huckabee’s exit from the race.

Romney is at 27% to 17% for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, 10% for Herman Cain, 8% for Newt Gingrich, 7% for Ron Paul, 4% for Tim Pawlenty, and 2% for Jon Huntsman.

Romney now has the outright lead in PPP’s most recent polls in all 5 of the key early Republican contests: in addition to the Florida advantage he’s up by 9 in South Carolina, 6 in Iowa, 15 in Nevada, and 23 in New Hampshire.
[...]
Romney’s Florida lead is built on a familiar formula. He’s not winning with the far right voters who constitute a plurality of the Republican electorate, but he’s at least staying competitive with them. Meanwhile he’s dominating the field with moderates (a 36-15 lead over Palin) and with voters who identify themselves as just ‘somewhat conservative’ (a 32-15 advantage over Bachmann.)

While Bachmann’s rising with Florida Republicans, Gingrich has tanked. On our last poll he was tied for the lead with Romney at 18%. Now he finds himself in 5th place and with less than half as much support at 8%. Beyond Gingrich other people who have to be seen as losers on this poll are Huntsman and Pawlenty. Huntsman’s 2% standing is consistent with how he’s polling with pretty much every group of voters except beltway journalists. And Pawlenty’s 4% in Florida matches his 4% in South Carolina- he doesn’t have any resonance yet with GOP voters in the south.

(emphasis added)

Continue reading here.

► Jayde Wyatt

Mitt Romney Leads Poll in Michigan

'The Motor City' otherwise known as Detroit, Michigan.


It’s early… but Governor Romney is doing well in Michigan:

Romney ahead in Michigan poll

Lansing — Support in Michigan for native son Mitt Romney is far ahead of the backing for any other GOP presidential hopefuls, according to a new statewide poll.

The poll was taken after Romney’s June 9 visit to Detroit and the June 13 GOP debate in which he made clear his opposition to the federal bailouts of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which many credit with saving the automakers and their suppliers.

(emphasis added)

Mitt Romney – 28.7%
Sarah Palin – 5.8%
Michele Bachmann – 4.5%
Tim Pawlenty – 2.8%
Newt Gingrich – 1.8%

Attorney General Bill Schuette, Romney’s statewide chairman in Michigan, said he’s “very pleased” by the numbers, but it’s early and “the most important poll is the one in 2012.”

The poll was commissioned by the bipartisan Lansing public relations firm Lambert, Edwards & Associates and The Perricone Group and conducted June 16-17 by Denno Research. Chuck Perricone is a former GOP House Speaker. Dennis Denno is a former Democratic communications expert.



► Jayde Wyatt

Romney Out West: CO & ID Today, Tops CA Poll, Names NV Campaign Co-Chairs


Governor Romney is continuing western work

After spending time in *Nevada last week, he’s in Colorado today. Then, he’ll be heading to California for a few days and will be in Utah on June 24th.

Here’s a look at early good news for Romney from The Golden State..

Mitt Romney fares well in California Field Poll

Mitt Romney is getting some good news as he arrives to spend three days fundraising in California this week: He holds a solid lead over his 2012 GOP presidential rivals among the state’s Republican voters, a new Field Poll shows.

Romney is preferred by 25 percent of registered GOP voters, giving the former Massachusetts governor a double-digit lead over each of his challengers.[...]

Mitt Romney – 25 %
Rudy Giuliani – 17 %
Sarah Palin – 10%
Ron Paul – 7%
Newt Gingrich – 6%
Herman Cain – 6%
Rick Perry – 5%
Michele Bachmann – 4%
Tim Pawlenty – 3%
Rick Santorum – 2%
Jon Huntsman – 1%

Romney’s closest competition comes from two candidates who haven’t even joined the race to deny Democratic President Obama a second term: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (17 percent), and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (10 percent). If Giuliani is taken out of the field, Romney’s lead widens – to 30 percent and a more than 2-to-1 lead over Palin at 12 percent in second position, the poll shows.

The poll was taken June 3-13 among 950 registered voters, including 322 registered Republicans. The margin of error is 3.3 percentage points on the general sample, and 5.7 percentage points on the GOP sample.

(emphasis added)

*Nevada News (6/17/11)…

Mitt Romney returns to Las Vegas for fundraiser

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is staying close to Nevada’s GOP leaders.

The former Massachusetts governor returned Friday to Las Vegas to collect more campaign donations during a $2,500-per-person fundraiser at a Lawry’s restaurant.

He also named Congressman Joe Heck and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki as his Nevada campaign co-chairs.

Krolicki told reporters at the fundraiser that Romney is best positioned among the Republican presidential hopefuls to fix the economy.
[...]
He is the only major GOP presidential contender focusing on Nevada so far. He has made several visits to the Silver State in recent months.

(emphasis added)

UPDATE – Romney is also touring The Gem State today:

Associated Press

Romney attended a private campaign fundraiser breakfast in downtown Boise Monday morning before heading off to another event in Idaho Falls.

Romney is no stranger to Idaho. In the last presidential election cycle, Romney made several stops to the Gem State to raise money and support in his bid for the GOP nomination.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Romney also announced his statewide steering committee. The list includes Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, among other top Idaho Republicans.




► Jayde Wyatt

16 Days in June… Mitt Romney’s Very Good Month

Mitt Romney announces candidacy for President of the United States at Scamman Farms in Stratham, New Hampshire. June 2, 2011


Only 16 days since Mitt Romney announced his candidacy for President of the United States and June is being called…

Mitt’s very good month.


Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has enjoyed an impressive last month in the presidential race as his strengths, his opponents’ weaknesses and an economy-centered national debate have combined to solidify his status as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

The new NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll affirms Romney’s strengthened position. He stood at 30 percent in a hypothetical 2012 matchup followed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin at 14 percent and businessman Herman Cain at 12 percent. No other candidate received double digit support.

So, what’s gone right for Romney over the past month?

As always in politics, movement never happens because of just one factor. Here are a few that have likely fueled Romney’s rise:

* His formal entrance into the race earlier this month drew considerable media attention and was, by and large, favorably reviewed.

* The May jobs report showed just 54,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate moving up to 9.1 percent, allowing Romney to double-down on his attacks against President Obama’s fiscal policies.

* Romney was solid and serious during Monday night’s debate, a performance that put him on most post-game “winners” lists. The stumbles in that same debate by former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who tried to make up for lost time on Thursday, further elevated Romney.

Read more at Politico.

Chris Cillizza ranks the candidates:

10. Ron Paul
9. Newt Gingrich
8. Rick Santorum
7. Herman Cain
6. Sarah Palin
5. Rick Perry
4. Jon Huntsman
3. Michele Bachmann
2. Tim Pawlenty
1. Mitt Romney

This is what a well-run presidential campaign looks like. Unlike in 2008, Romney isn’t trying to be everything to everyone. Instead, he’s picking his moments and, like the debate on Monday, performing well when he does wade in. His upticking poll numbers reflect the steadiness of his effort over the past month. Romney’s path to the nomination is still a complicated one — especially for a frontrunner — but he sits in the catbird’s seat at the moment. (Previous ranking: 1)




► Jayde Wyatt