United States presidential election, 2012
The Presidential Election 2012 is on Tuesday, November 6, when the United States elects a president. Candidates are expected to file formal papers indicating their interest in early 2011; many have been quietly lining up support throughout 2010. The key early primaries are Iowa (caucuses), South Carolina, Nevada (caucuses) and New Hampshire.
The Presidential Election 2012 features "stalking horse" candidates in the primary, just as McCain backers used Fred Thompson in 2008 to prevent Mitt Romney from winning. Thompson obtained undeserved endorsements from national pro-life groups plus promotion on the Fox News Channel, and thereby siphoned off pro-lifers and other conservatives from Romney. Then Thompson withdrew and endorsed McCain. Stalking horses for Newt Gingrich in 2012 with evangelicals are expected to be Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and possibly Sarah Palin. But the longer that Sarah Palin remains a candidate, the more difficult it becomes for Newt to gain socially conservative support to defeat Mitt.
Ranking of Potential Republican Candidates by Likelihood of Winning Nomination
|Candidate||Pros||Cons||Fox News Exposure|
|Mitt Romney||First runner-up in 2008, business experience, Republican governor of a Democratic state, prodigious fundraiser and tireless campaigner, polling at 40% in the key early primary state of New Hampshire, credited for helping Scott Brown win an upset victory for the seat held by Ted Kennedy||Criticized by the Tea Party Express chairwoman and others due to his ObamaCare-like health plan in Massachusetts, which included mandatory insurance and taxpayer-funded abortion; struggles in Iowa and won only 15% in the South Carolina primary in 2008.||Rarely on Fox, which prefers Newt|
|Newt Gingrich||Articulate, credited with 1994 landslide, balanced the federal budget in the Clinton era, leader in fundraising, likely to obtain endorsement of older "right to life" groups against Mitt; has the stalking horses of Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and possibly Sarah Palin to help him win the nomination.||Struggled to win reelections in his own congressional district; has previously endorsed liberal ideas like "cap-and-trade" (global warming hoax) and a Con Con; resigned as Speaker rather than follow through with the impeachment of Bill Clinton; divorced twice and married three times, most recently to a women 23 years younger than he; has never won statewide office; Sarah Palin is suggesting that she may not pull out and this would prevent Newt from defeating Mitt.||Promoted almost daily by Fox|
|Marco Rubio||The Republican Party will want this Senator-elect in the primary debates, which he's then likely to win because of his charisma, stronger stance on social issues, and Tea Party appeal; in the general election he would pull Florida and many Hispanic voters away from the Democrats.||Will face the liberal double standard: what's OK for Obama (e.g., inexperience) is somehow not OK for a conservative. Some Republican voters may think he's really running to be selected as Vice President.||Did not seek Palin endorsement; sometimes on Fox|
|Rand Paul||Could be the next Ronald Reagan; is the heir-apparent to massive support for Ron Paul; won the U.S. Senate seat by a 56-44% landslide in 2010, despite an intense effort by liberals to smear and defeat him; is 100% pro-life.||May pursue a Senate career first if his dad runs again for president.||Other stations have him on more than Fox does|
|Michele Bachmann||A movement conservative who is popular with the Tea Party movement; spectacular fundraiser for reelection campaign; won a stunning 52-40% landslide in 2010 in a liberal-leaning district in Minnesota.||As with Ronald Reagan, liberal bias is at its worst against her; she's said she's not running for president this soon and pulled out of the "Values Voter Summit" (Family Research Council convention) straw poll in September 2010; has never won statewide office; Ron Paul did not support her for a House leadership position and did not join her Tea Party caucus.||Often on Fox|
|Ron Paul||Won the CPAC poll, is strong in national polls, can raise the money needed to win; people may look to an anti-war Republican||His age (76 in 2012) will be used against him; has never won statewide office.||Excluded by Fox because he opposes the war|
|Sarah Palin||Empathetic, attracts crowds, personally pro-life, fiscal conservative, popular, track record of supporting upset victories in primaries; has a popular television series and book tour that emphasizes the grassroots rather than the "inside the Beltway" mentality.||Appointed a former Planned Parenthood board member to the Alaska Supreme Court and inexplicably resigned early as governor; could merely be a stalking horse for Newt Gingrich; lags in fundraising despite publicity and came in a disappointing fifth in the Values Voter Summit in September 2010. Favorability rating is only 22%, compared to a 48% unfavorable rating. Most of her candidates (Ken Buck, Joe Miller, Christine O'Donnell) struck out on Nov. 2nd, and recently many Republicans from George W. Bush to Peggy Noonan have been critical of her.||Promoted heavily by Fox|
|Rick Perry||Conservative-talking governor who has run Texas for a decade (since George W. Bush became president); crushed RINO Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 primary and then won a landslide in the general election against a popular opponent, carrying others to victory on his strong coattails; has a stellar jobs record in his State and which he can contrast with liberal-run states like California, Nevada and New York||More conservative in his rhetoric than his policies; endorsed RINO Rudy Giuliani in 2008; tried to force all schoolgirls to receive the HPV vaccine; raised business taxes while governor; and supports exceptions for allowing abortion||Rarely on Fox|
|Mike Pence||Communicates a very strong conservative message: "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." Won straw poll held at the Values Voter Summit in September 2010. On Nov. 3rd, gave up his House leadership position apparently to prepare to run for president.||Unsuccessfully proposed a "comprehensive" immigration plan that was widely criticized by conservatives; lacks legislative achievements; not widely known and has never won statewide office; either he or Huckabee could become a stalking horse for Newt Gingrich with respect to evangelical voters in Iowa||Sometimes on Fox|
|Chris Christie||True fiscal reformer, puts liberals in their place, has an unscripted "Joe Sixpack" style and appearance that resonates with frustrated voters||Picked a pro-abortion running mate when he ran for governor, and has little experience with national issues; repeatedly says he is not running; campaigned for RINO Mike Castle in Delaware who was then defeated; neither added New Jersey to one of the lawsuits against ObamaCare nor joined an amicus brief against it.||Promoted heavily by Fox|
|Steve King||A conservative Iowa congressman who could win the Iowa caucuses; resonates well with independents; recommended by Bachmann||Not well known yet; has never won statewide office.||Excluded by Fox|
|Mike Huckabee||Pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-Bible; strong in polling, particularly among evangelicals||Could be a stalking horse for Newt; also supporter of big government, and as governor released man who later killed officers; disliked by CPAC-types and by Club for Growth||Promoted by Fox with his own show|
|Gary Johnson||Former libertarian two-term governor of New Mexico, he has been recommended by Ron Paul if Dr. Paul does not run for president; Johnson is a strong advocate of less government.||Like other libertarians but unlike most Republicans, Johnson favors legalizing marijuana, expanding legal immigration and allowing same-sex unions.||Excluded by Fox, which opposes libertarians|
|John Thune||Defeated Tom Daschle, relatively conservative voting record for a senator; also taller than Obama, and enjoys broad support||May lack an essential "fire in the belly"; voted for TARP financial bailout and McCain-Feingold campaign finance; no-show at some conservative events; hasn't effectively criticized Obama; could simply become a stalking horse candidate for Gingrich||Rarely on Fox, but featured in a cover story by the Weekly Standard|
|Ken Cuccinelli||Has won statewide office. Leader in challenging ObamaCare, advancing pro-life principles, and opposing the global warming hoax, including investigating Liberal University of Virginia's involvement in the Climategate scandal. Wants to stop the homosexual agenda prevalent at the University of Virginia and other Virginia universities.||Only 42 years old, he'll probably become governor of Virginia before running for president. Not as frequent a speaker at Tea Party events as others, such as Steve King and Michele Bachmann. Also, Cuccinelli may be more influential on domestic policy in his current position than a president is.||On Fox because he's been so newsworthy|
|Haley Barbour||must be somewhat conservative to be governor of Mississippi; was a consummate lobbyist, so he could raise many millions for a campaign||lack of conservative accomplishments and rarely seen at conservative conferences||rarely on Fox|
|Jan Brewer||Stands up to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on issue of illegal aliens||May be too busy as Governor of Arizona to run for president; lacks an image on issues other than immigration, and single-issue (immigration) candidates can rarely win a presidential nomination||Often on Fox due to Arizona lawsuit|
|Tim Pawlenty||Young; popular in his home state of Minnesota||Still not well known outside of Minnesota; accepted stimulus funds after arguing against them||Sometimes on Fox|
|Scott Brown||Proven ability to appeal to moderate voters even in blue states||Inexperience; already voting with the Democrats in the Senate||Has been on Fox|
|Rick Santorum||Outspoken supporter of conservative values as a senator, well-received by Iowan evangelicals at campaign-like event in March 2010||His all-out support of RINO and now-Democrat Arlen Specter prevented Pat Toomey from defeating him in 2002, and Santorum endorsed Romney for President in 2008; could simply be a stalking horse for Romney||Promoted on Fox|
|Mitch Daniels||Rust Belt Governor, effective critic of the Obama administration||Unknown nationally, criticized when he tried to downplay significance of social issues||Promoted by Fox; featured first on its "12 for 2012" series.|
|Jeb Bush||More conservative than his brother George W. Bush, and popular in pivotal Florida; criticized Palin as a rival candidate might||Says he's not running, and could have been tagged with negatives via George; not liked by many Tea Partiers; why not wait and defeat Hillary in 2016 or 2020?||Rarely appears on Fox or anywhere|
|Jim Demint||strong support by social conservatives, libertarians, Tea Party, and evangelicals; a tenacious advocate willing to criticize Obama||stated at a conservative conference in July 2010 that he is not running for president; a Southern conservative who will need to work hard to gain support in Iowa and New Hampshire, the key early primary states||Often on Fox|
|Allen West||'America First' conservative patriot, Lt. Col West knows leadership from experience. He won the Florida U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 2010 Midterm Elections.||New to national politics, not well known and maybe a future presidential candidate beyond 2012.||Rarely on Fox|
|Bobby Jindal||Conservative Governor of Louisiana, strong critic of Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill in the summer of 2010||Not well known yet; says he's not running for president.||Promoted somewhat by Fox`|
|Todd Akin||A movement conservative from Missouri, which he serves as a congressman||Not well known yet||Rarely allowed on Fox`|
|Bob McDonnell||Won landslide election as Virginia governor; has Obama's height||Not widely known yet, but gave Republican response to State of the Union; seemed more conservative as a candidate than as governor||Rarely allowed on Fox|
|Rudy Giuliani||Widely respected for his post-9/11 leadership in New York City||Struck out completely as a candidate in 2008; very weak on important social issues; cross-dressing for comedic purposes when it suited him||Frequently on Fox|
|Dick Cheney||Prominent and consistent opposition to Obama||Of dubious health; has explicitly disavowed interest in running||Has been on Fox; daughter is a commentator for Fox|
|John Bolton||Expert on foreign policy and national security issues ||Polarizing figure that Democrats refused to appoint to permanent UN position||Frequently on Fox; both focus on foreign policy|
|Donald Trump||Business-savvy billionaire, well known ||Huge ego, no government experience||Sometimes on Fox|
The Chess Game for the Republican Party
The short-form analysis is that 2012 will be a replay of 2008 with Newt Gingrich trying to play the role of John McCain. Also, Sarah Palin may run along with Mike Huckabee to contest for early primaries before dropping out and endorsing Newt.
The challenge for social conservatives is to run a candidate, such as Marco Rubio, who can capture the large Tea Party and evangelical voting blocs despite the stalking horse candidacies of Palin and Huckabee.
There are three key steps to the Republican nomination: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. It's a chess game for Mitt and Newt to try to emerge from those three as the leader.
There are four basic components of the Republican Party. To win the nomination, a candidate needs to obtain the support of at least two out of four:
- social conservatives (pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-Republican Party platform)
- libertarians (lower taxes, less government, pro-business, anti-union)
- religious voters (Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons)
- neoconservatives (foreign intervention, "better" government)
In 2008, John McCain won the nomination by capturing the support of 1 and 4 above. Ron Paul had the support of 2. Mitt Romney enjoyed support by 2 and part of 3. Mike Huckabee had support of 1 and part of 3. The division of 3 by Romney and Huckabee caused them to block each other: Huckabee blocked Romney in Iowa, and Romney returned the favor in New Hampshire. This dynamic prevented either from winning the nomination.
In 2000, George Bush won with the support of 1 and 3. But John McCain enjoyed the support from 2 and 4 and this enabled him to win the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries, giving Bush a close contest. Some felt McCain mishandled his victory in Michigan.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan had the support of 1 and 2.
Potential Democratic Candidates
|Evan Bayh||Democratic base sees Bayh's retirement from the Senate as "a symbol of what's wrong with the party" as moderates are increasingly marginalized. ||Lags behind Obama in fundraising. ||Has appeared on MSNBC.|
|Hillary Clinton||Her criticism of Obama's massive deficits hinted at a possible run against him in 2012, and Ted Kennedy cannot interfere with her nomination this time; moreover, waiting until 2016 is unattractive because she will be 71 then. She has the highest approval ratings of any potential challenger. Tested the waters with Bill backing a challenger to Obama's Colorado Senate candidate (who then lost), and by Hillary saying she won't serve a second term as Obama's Secretary of State. The chances of Hillary running and winning the nomination increase with every decline in Obama's approval ratings.||Her feminism is not wanted and she'd lose the general election as Martha Coakley did.||Disfavored on MSNBC.|
|Howard Dean||Liberal media personality, politician with physicians license and a former Vermont governor.||Progressive/Socialist/Marxist philosophy combined with numerous public gaffes. Dean ran in the 2004 presidential elections.||Heavily promoted on MSNBC.|
|Barack Obama||He's not Hillary Clinton, and he receives biased support from the media.||He depends on a teleprompter to speak, and has run the nation into the ground. Numerous broken and unfulfilled campaign promises, implementation of socialist Obamacare program.||Heavily promoted on MSNBC.|
The New York Times has reported many liberals are so upset over recommendations by the Deficit Reduction Commission which President Obama himself created after the Democratic controlled Congress voted the idea down, that "if Mr. Obama were to embrace its major parts, he would invite a primary challenge in 2012."
Independent Candidacy by Mike Bloomberg
The man who spent $185 per vote to garner 51% of the vote to remain as Mayor of New York City in 2009, Mike Bloomberg, is increasingly looking like an independent, self-funded candidate for president in 2012.
$185 per vote times 50 million voters equals $9.25 billion, which he can easily afford as one of the richest men in the world! The catch is that 50 million Americans are not as likely to be persuaded by self-funded campaign ads as 51% of New Yorkers were. The more likely result is the he would split the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda vote with the Democratic nominee.
- In a Newsmax interview in February 2010, Jeb criticized Palin by saying, "my belief is in 2010 and 2012, public leaders need to have intellectual curiosity." 
- Jim Demint has the best favorable-unfavorable rating of anyone at CPAC 2010.
- POLITICAL INSIDER: John Bolton weighs a WH run, Breitbart, September 10, 2010
- Trump 'Seriously Considering' 2012 Presidential Bid, FOXNews, October 5, 2010
- Traditionally commentators have referred to the three legs of the Republican Party: the values voters, the small businessmen, and the national security supporters. While that model still has support, it fails to account for recent shifts (such as the Tea Party Movement) and the impact of new media (such as FoxNews).
- Evan Bayh For President? Senator May Be Eyeing White House Run, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, 02-15-10.
- 58% View Hillary Clinton Favorably, January 19, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2010.