Expert political analysis

Posted on April 25, 2011

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With Haley Barbour announcing he will not run for President and slightly increasing Mitch Daniels’ odds, I figured I would succumb to all the requests for me to give my analysis of the 2012 GOP field (my mom won’t leave me alone about it).  I broke it down into five categories.  Top tier (good chance of winning), second tier (plausible chance of winning), crap factory (not so much), third tier (I like, but will not win) and not running (not running).

Top tier:  Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels

Second Tier:  Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman

Crap Factory: Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Satorum

Third Tier: Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Herman Cain

Not Running:  Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin: Huckabee seems genuinely disinterested and Palin knows it would hurt her when she eventually lost.

I really like Gary Johnson, but he’s a slightly more palatable Ron Paul.  He’s a successful 2 term governor but the media will treat him like he’s some fringe lunatic.  Trump, Bachmann, and Santorum will all draw from the same base and cancel each other out.  Trump will probably find an excuse to bow out after the novelty wears off.  Bachmann will do her best to trick people into thinking she’s Sarah Palin, but if Palin wouldn’t stand a chance, a crazier, stupider person in a Palin Halloween costume has even worse odds.  Santorum will bank on convincing enough people that he can single-handedly stop abortions.  Unfortunately for him, most people have heard of the Supreme Court.  Cain kind of falls in between those two groups.  Seems like a good guy, he’s a smart guy, but there’s no reason to think he should be President.

That leaves us with Romney, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Huntsman, and Daniels.

Romney is considered the front-runner, but with Romneycare and Huntsman siphoning off a large chunk of the Mormon vote, I don’t like his odds.  Romneycare is going to absolutely kill him and he’s going to look like an idiot trying convince everyone how much he hates Obamacare.

I thought Gingrich was going to have a pretty good chance if he could stick to his genius side and not let his crazy side show too much.  That’s not happening so far.

There aren’t a whole lot of reasons to vote against Pawlenty.  There aren’t many reasons to vote for Pawlenty.  I think he’s the 2nd most likely candidate.

Huntsman’s only chance is if he can unify the moderate and liberal Republicans.  Maybe by convincing them Mitt is too conservative?  I don’t like his odds.

I really think Daniels has a very good chance.  The people that are flipping out of his truce comments and refuse to think about what he’s actually saying (even though he has a great pro-life record) are the ones that will be voting for someone like Bachmann or Santorum anyway.  If he’s able to effectively communicate his ideas for reforming Social Security and Medicare without causing riots, I think he’s the front-runner.  He’s remarkably effective at crafting a message, but it’s still a moderately large “if”.  However, I think his advantage is three-fold.

First fold: His experience.  He has private sector experience, he has White House experience, he has the experience of being the best governor in the country.

Second fold: His superior brain:  His brain is vastly superior to yours or anyone else in the race.

Three fold: His endorsements:  I have theories for all of the following endorsements I believe he will receive: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Haley Barbour, Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, Mike Huckabee.

Fingers crossed!

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