It appears that the Republican field of presidential nominees is set. Unsurprisingly, Sarah Palin announced yesterday that she is not running for President as did New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Marco Rubio also shot down any rumours that he is considering a run for even Vice President. With a filing deadline approaching that means the current crop of candidates are the ones Republicans will have to choose from.
Hardly anyone ever really believed that Sarah Palin would entertain the notion of running even though the Tea Party was holding out hope. And the media was gratefully getting tired of giving her all the free attention. Christie had emphatically said all along that he was not interested nor was he prepared but apparently he had taken time recently to give it some serious consideration due to pressure from political pundits.
This isn’t promising for the Republican party. After several lackluster debates there hasn’t been a lot of improvement for any of the candidates save Herman Cain. Romney still leads the pack with about a %23 approval rating. Cain; after a good showing in Florida, has jumped to second place (Ron Paul flash mobs are slipping in their duties) followed by Rick Perry.
This means that whoever the nominee will be has to poach the supporters of the other candidates in order to win the nomination. Who will Newt Gingrich supporters get behind should (when) he decide to drop out? Probably Romney. How about Huntsman supporters? Probably Romney. Michele Bachmann supporters? Best guess; Rick Perry. Romney stands to gain the most support from candidates as they drop out.
It will also be interesting to hear the endorsements of candidates as they drop out. Will they fall into the party line and endorse Romney? It’s possible that the party could arrange a Hail Mary pass and urge the support of Herman Cain in the hopes that he is the ‘dark horse’ that can unseat President Obama.
And that remains the real question: can any one of these candidates unseat the President? It’s doubtful. Seems most of the smart people have stayed out of the race for that reason (well, Palin never had any intention of running so she is excluded from the smart people argument). At this point, barring any unusual moves, it looks as though Mitt Romney is on track to be the Republican
loser candidate for President. We’ll have to wait until spring to see.
There is another debate approaching next week that promises to be primarily about the economy but the next big benchmark is January. The primaries are beginning to take shape with Florida now in the mix as an early primary. What happens then is anybody’s guess. Will Bachmann hold on to Iowa? Will Cain take South Carolina? Many of these candidates will likely drop out after January and we’ll probably be looking at field consisting of Romney, Perry, Paul, Cain, and maybe Bachmann in February.
But there’s still time for someone else to jump in.
- With GOP field set, Romney woos the unconvinced (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- With GOP Field Settled, Romney Looks to Iowa (abcnews.go.com)
- Sarah Palin pulls the plug on her non-campaign for U.S. presidency (calgaryherald.com)
- Sen. Marco Rubio: ‘I Am Not Going To Be The Vice Presidential Nominee’ (mediaite.com)