Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Election 2012: GOP handicapping developments


No sooner had I started writing down Jeb Bush's prospects than those prospects began to start looking up.

With the early resignation of US Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), Bush's name went under the spotlight as a possible interim replacement. He's now officially disclaimed interest, but it's good "pre-trail" publicity, as it points up the fact that he's previously won two statewide elections and is still well thought of in that key state.

Bush's name also appeared on a survey sent out by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, asking respondents about their 2012 presidential preferences. Other names listed on the "proxy ballot" included Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels (governor of Indiana), Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman (US ambassador to China and former governor of Utah), Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Pawlenty and Mitt Romney.

I'm bumping Jeb up from 5% to 10% on the old KN@PPSTER-o-Meter, and taking that 5% out of Huckabee's (3%) and Gingrich's (2%) hides.

I'm also replacing Fred Thompson's name and mug shot with a question mark, and keeping Thompson's former 5% on it. Henceforth, until things shake out quite a bit more, that question mark will represent the entire "also possibly running" pack, to include Thompson, Barbour, Ron Paul (or a Paul movement "heir"), and oddball possibles like former US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), who's setting up for an Iowa stump tour this fall.

Hell, the eventual nominee may resolve out of that question mark. But at this early date, I still think we're looking at a likely Huckabee/Gingrich shootout with Huckabee prevailing.

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