United States presidential election, 2012
This article is about the U.S. Presidential Election 2012. See Presidential Election 2012 (disambiguation) for other presidential elections.
The next presidential debate is on October 11, 2011, in New Hampshire.
For the Republican nomination, the leaders are Mitt Romney (likely to win New Hampshire) and Rick Perry (likely to win the South). Neither seems to have broad enough support to win the nomination. Ron Paul has a solid base of about 10% and his ideas are being adopted by other candidates. Additional candidates (perhaps Jeb Bush) are possible.
Ranking of Potential Republican Candidates by Likelihood of Winning Nomination
|Mitt Romney||First runner-up in 2008, business experience, Republican governor of a Democratic state, cut taxes and the deficit, 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 long held by Ted Kennedy. Likely to be endorsed by Chris Christie, Marsha Blackburn, Jim Talent. Only 26% of voters said they would never vote for him, which is the lowest negative of any major Republican candidate. Out with a new jobs plan.||Refuses to sign the same pro-life pledge that all other major Republican candidates signed; continues to believe in liberal propaganda claiming global warming; Romney once supported abortion and civil unions, is criticized by the Tea Party Express chairwoman and others due to his ObamaCare-like health plan in Massachusetts, which featured "the mandate" and taxpayer-funded abortion; struggles in Iowa and won only 15% in the South Carolina primary in 2008.||He has lost ground despite winning most of the debates so far, finished only 5th in the straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference, and received only 4% in the Values Voter Summit straw poll in October 2011.|
|Jeb Bush||The opportunity for Jeb to win is now, not in 2016 when another Republican would be the incumbent; Jeb is sure to win Florida and Obama cannot win reelection without Florida; George W. Bush's book sold far better than expectations, making the name an asset again; Jeb could unite the Republican Party with a late candidacy; is more conservative than his brother George W. Bush; Jeb has already criticized Palin as a rival candidate might; Jeb published an editorial on Jan. 3, 2011 taking credit for saving Florida public schools with vouchers.||In February Jeb polled unusually poorly (54-34%) against Barack Obama; Jeb says he does not intend to run in 2012, when he could still be tagged with negatives via George; not liked by many Tea Partiers; would be seen by many as the "third" Bush.||With unemployment high (9.1%), it is more likely a Republican will win in 2012, and Jeb might not wait until 2020 when he's old,|
|Ron Paul||Won the CPAC poll, terrific on economic issues, can raise the money needed to win; people may look to an anti-war Republican; appeals to many social liberals.||Voted twice to repeal DADT, which the vast majority of Republican primary voters support; his age (76 in 2012) will be used against him; has never won statewide office; his views on the war on drugs and the military also alienate many Republicans.||Surprisingly won the Values Voter Summit straw poll in a landslide in Oct. 2011. Obama's support is lowest when Paul is his opponent. Was the clear crowd favorite in the Iowa debate on Aug. 10. Finished only 1% behind Michele Bachmann in the Ames straw poll; In an online poll, Paul easily won the MSNBC-sponsored candidates' debate at the Reagan Library on September 7.|
|Herman Cain||Polls the highest on the issue of trust, and seems less scripted than other candidates. A former successful Godfathers Pizza CEO, conservative radio host, Tea Party favorite, tremendous speaker, triumphed over a health problem. Cain has lots of momentum. Won a stunning landslide victory in the Florida straw poll on September 24.||Has gotten much more exposure and recognition since winning the Florida straw poll.||Finished second in the Values Voter Summit in Oct. 2011; has improved significantly in recent polls.|
|Rick Perry||Announced his candidacy late, on August 13. His support is primarily in the Old South. He is a 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, carrying others to victory on his strong coattails; has an excellent jobs record in his State and which he can contrast with liberal-run states. Strong religious faith that he is not afraid to show. Understands the concept of states' rights. Is a formidable fundraiser.||It can be argued is more conservative in his rhetoric than his policies; endorsed RINO Rudy Giuliani in 2008; tried by executive order to force all schoolgirls (except for parental opt-outs) to receive the HPV vaccine; raised business taxes while governor; supports exceptions for allowing abortion; and continues to champion a Texas policy that allows in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Could simply block Mitt Romney from winning the nomination, without winning it himself.||Stumbled in his first major statements on abortion and same-sex marriage, and then lost support by declaring that he is opposed to building a fence to reduce illegal immigration. May be focusing on a southern strategy that is unlikely to give him the delegates needed to win. Was ahead in national polls after his declaration of candidacy, then fell behind Romney.
Did well in the first debate that he participated in, but seemed awkward or uncomfortable during his second and especially his third debates, causing second thoughts about his electability. Did poorly in the Values Voter Summit straw poll.
|Michele Bachmann||A movement conservative who "knocked the ball out of the park" with her nationally televised response to Obama's State of the Union address in January 2011, Bachmann is popular with the Tea Party movement; she is a strong fundraiser and won a stunning 52-40% landslide in 2010 in a liberal-leaning district in Minnesota. Did very well at CPAC in Feb. 2011. Bachmann's beliefs are similar to Ron Paul's, but she is more of a conservative than libertarian, and is trying to appeal to Ron Paul's fanbase, thus a Bachmann candidacy could unite Tea Party conservatives.||As with Ronald Reagan, liberal bias is at its worst against her; has never won statewide office.||Did extremely well in the first debate and jumped to #1 in Zogby poll of primary voters. Won the Ames Straw Poll but was upstaged by Rick Perry's declaration of candidacy on the same day. Has slipped badly in the polls since Perry's entrance.|
|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 one-sided promotion by the Fox News Channel and the WSJ, who will likely criticize his opponent Mitt Romney; Gingrich's record of passing conservative legislation as Speaker of the House is remarkably strong, including welfare reform, DOMA, the Solomon Amendment, and even term limits. He also had the courage to shut down the government.||Has previously endorsed liberal ideas like "cap-and-trade" (global warming hoax) and a Con Con, but when the presidential debates turned instead to illegal immigration, national defense, and Obamacare, Newt came across as knowledgeable and strong. Resigned as Speaker rather than follow through with the impeachment of Bill Clinton; divorced twice and married three times, most recently to a woman 23 years younger than he; has never won statewide office. Since 9/11, Newt has come to adopt more big-government and pro-regulatory neoconservative views, unlike the push for limited-government and deregulation he spearheaded during the 1990s.||Lost ground when his senior staff jumped ship on June 9th, but may be making a modest comeback. Finished third behind Perry and Romney in a major poll released in late September.|
|Chris Christie||Led Barack Obama in Zogby's polling as of January 2011 and again in October; takes on the public school teachers' unions and is a fiscal reformer who puts liberals in their place; is liked for his budget cuts, particularly to Planned Parenthood; has an unscripted style and appearance that is a refreshing alternative to the Teleprompter President. Widely discussed as a potential center-right candidate to overtake the Republican primary field with no clear frontrunners.  Well liked in his home state, unlike Sarah Palin.||Significantly overweight, 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; will probably support Mitt Romney.||Announced, in a press conference called for the purpose on October 4, his presumably final decision to serve out his term as governor of New Jersey rather than seek the presidency in 2012.|
|Rick Santorum||Outspoken supporter of conservative values as a senator, well-received by Iowan evangelicals at campaign-like event in March 2010, strongly conservative across the board.||His all-out support of RINO and now-Democrat Arlen Specter prevented Pat Toomey from defeating him in 2002, although he has regretted it at CPAC 2010; could simply be a stalking horse for Romney, who he endorsed in 2008.||Was fabulous in the Iowa debate August 10th, and has won praise for his performance in more recent debates, but has been slow to climb in the polls|
|Jon Huntsman, Jr.||Has foreign policy and executive experience. Appealing to moderates, although this is because he holds numerous liberal stances.||Worked in the Obama administration; Criticized the economic stimulus package as not being big enough, favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform, supports civil unions, and is a believer in man-made global warming; the "civility" candidate adored by the media for being more willing to attack his fellow Republicans than the Democrats; could simply be a Utah decoy used by Team Newt to siphon support from Mitt Romney||Getting only minimal support, except among the media and multiple Democrats|
|Marco Rubio||A movement conservative who could unite the Party, he is the most charismatic speaker in politics today; in the general election he would pull Florida and many Hispanic voters away from the Democrats. Both of his parents were Cuban exiles seeking asylum in the U.S. at the time of his birth in Miami, making him an inspiring, uniquely American success story. Many Republican voters think he would be the ideal candidate for Vice President.||Could face the liberal double standard on two fronts: 1) what's OK for Obama (e.g., inexperience) is somehow not OK for a conservative. 2) Liberals who have been deriding the strict definition of "natural born citizen" which some conservatives have been applying to Obama might also turn around and use the same logic with Rubio, claiming that his non-citizen parents invalidate his natural-born status.
||Declared on October 5 that he will not be a candidate for Vice President|
|Sarah Palin||Empathetic, attracts crowds, personally pro-life, fiscal conservative, popular, track record of supporting upset victories in primaries; had a popular television series and book tour that emphasizes the grassroots rather than the "inside the Beltway" mentality.||It's difficult to take seriously someone who relies so heavily on Facebook; even liberal Hollywood preferred The King's Speech at the Oscars. Her taxation policies were somewhat liberal. Appointed a former Planned Parenthood board member to the Alaska Supreme Court and inexplicably resigned early as governor; lags in fundraising despite publicity, came in a disappointing fifth in the Values Voter Summit in September 2010 and fared badly at CPAC. Several of her prominent 2010 candidates (Ken Buck, Joe Miller, Christine O'Donnell) struck out on Nov. 2nd, and many Republicans from George W. Bush (allegedly) to Peggy Noonan have been critical of her running for president. 58% of American voters in a May poll said they would never vote for her.. Frequently mocked by the liberal media.||Announced on October 5 that she would not be a candidate for president in 2012. Marist poll conducted September 13-14, 2011 showed gains but also that a large majority of Republicans still didn't want her to run.|
|Mike Huckabee||Pro-life in rhetoric, pro-Second Amendment and pro-Bible; strong in polling, particularly among evangelicals||Announced on May 14th that he's not running; was stuck at 20-30%; as governor raised taxes and state spending; released man who later killed officers; disliked by CPAC-types and by Club for Growth; supported the cave-in by the Republican leadership to continue funding Planned Parenthood (the nation's largest abortion provider) as part of the budget deal in April 2011. Has ruled himself out of contention.||Losing relevancy|
|Donald Trump||Tied for first in Gallup Poll; forced Obama's to take seriously voters' concerns over his birth certificate, and is also willing to criticize liberal media; has business savvy and resources as a billionaire; is well-known. His unscripted, abrasive and arrogant style may be just what voters want. Not a career politician helps his cause.||Said he's not running. Criticized for his ego and has never held elected office. Needs to explain his previous support of liberal policies such as socialized medicine, as well as donating to various Democrats including Harry Reid in the past. A reliable poll (Quinnipiac) found that 58% of voters said they would never vote for Trump.||Declining in support|
|Thad McCotter||Congressman from Michigan who is sometimes promoted by Fox News, and does not need to read from a teleprompter to give a speech.||Thad who? Not enough people know who he is yet. Twice this year voted against ending the preference for union labor in government construction projects. Could be seeking name recognition rather than the Republican nomination.||Never rose above 1% in polls. Ended his campaign on September 22, 2011 and endorsed Romney.|
|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. Failure of Congress to cut spending enhances likelihood that voters will turn to someone strong on reducing government.||Rand, immensely popular after his landslide victory for Senate, will not run for president unless his dad drops his own campaign for the same office. Time is running out for Rand to assert himself as the candidate in 2012.||Will almost certainly be supporting his dad's run for President.|
|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, and kept a high profile ever since. Sports a crew cut, usually rises above petty inside the Beltway bickering, and carries a camouflage bag rather than a briefcase||New to national politics, not well known and maybe a future presidential candidate beyond 2012.||A terrific congressman|
|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, but after Mike Pence pulled out in Jan. 2011 Jim DeMint is showing interest again, before announcing again in late March that he is not running; as a Southern conservative, he would need to work hard to gain support in Iowa and New Hampshire, the key early primary states||Definitely not running now|
|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.||Busy achieving good things in his current job|
|Bobby Jindal||Conservative Governor of Louisiana, strong critic of Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill in the summer of 2010.||Says he's not running for president. Has endorsed Perry.||Made a good statement on birth certificate issue|
|Tim Pawlenty||Young; popular in his home state of Minnesota; Had a surprisingly good record on immigration.||Still not well known outside of Minnesota; signed $893 million in meddlesome fees/taxes including a "health fee" for cigarette smokers (which was ruled unconstitutional), a harvest fee for farmers, a 9-1-1 fee on all telephone lines, a fee for traditional marriage, and large increase in parking fees; supported the liberal cap and trade; accepted stimulus funds after arguing against them; lacks a socially conservative base; arranged a meeting with a liberal medical society in 2003 in order to cave into the pro-abortion side by downplaying medical harm caused by abortion, despite hard-fought passage of the Woman's Right to Know Act mandating disclosure. Came off as as drab and uncompelling. He endorsed Mitt Romney after he ended his own bid.||Lost ground after a perception of underachieving in the first debate June 13; then his criticism of Michele Bachmann seemed to backfire with her rebuttal in the second debate. Pawlenty finished third in the Iowa Straw Poll and quickly announced that he was ending his bid for the nomination.|
|Mitch Daniels||Signed a law that defunds Planned Parenthood, has been an effective Rust Belt governor and critic of the Obama administration, promoted heavily by neoconservatives||Stated in May 2011 that he's not running for president. Sided with Democrats in 2011 in opposing right-to-work legislation, is little known nationally, was criticized when he tried to downplay significance of social issues, is not telegenic, lacks a socially conservative base, and his state budget relies heavily on gambling revenue. Has chastised conservatives for calling Obama a socialist.||Although not a candidate for President, he has declined to rule out accepting the nomination for Vice President.|
|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.||Likely to endorse Michele Bachmann, and stay in the House|
|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. Has since announced a run for Governor of Indiana in 2012.||Announced on Jan. 27, 2011 that he's not running for president; previously he unsuccessfully proposed a "comprehensive" immigration plan that was widely criticized by conservatives; lacks legislative achievements; not well-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||Focusing on the Indiana governorship|
|Todd Akin||A movement conservative from Missouri, which he serves as a congressman||Running to win a U.S. Senate seat from a liberal instead||Gaining in ability to defeat an incumbent liberal senator|
|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 in 2010; seemed more conservative as a candidate than as governor||Falling into obscurity|
|Gary Johnson||Former libertarian two-term governor of New Mexico, he has been recommended by Ron Paul, Johnson is a strong advocate of a libertarian belief system.||Like other libertarians but unlike most Republicans, Johnson favors legalizing marijuana, expanding legal immigration and allowing same-sex unions. Given Ron Paul's run, there seems to be little support for Gary Johnson in this election cycle.||Cannot get much support with Ron Paul in the same race, but he did quite well in the second debate that he was allowed to appear in.|
|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||A throwback to an era and issues that matter less now|
|Dick Cheney||Prominent and consistent opposition to Obama||Of dubious health; has explicitly disavowed interest in running||Not running|
|John Bolton||Expert on foreign policy and national security issues ||Polarizing figure that Democrats refused to appoint to permanent UN position||Has ruled out running|
|Fred Thompson||Former Republican Senator from Tennessee, former presidential candidate, has a loyal following||Hollywood type, sided with McCain in campaign finance laws that the Supreme Court overturned.|
|Scott Brown||Proven ability to appeal to moderate voters even in a blue state||Inexperience; already voting with the Democrats in the Senate; voted to repeal DADT, will not repeal Obamacare.|
|Haley Barbour||Rose in ranking based on the victory of his choice as the new RNC chairman; has a conservative record as governor of Mississippi; was a consummate lobbyist and could raise many tens of millions for a campaign.||Announced in late April 2011 that he is not running; also, rarely seen at conservative conferences, and a Republican from the Deep South may have trouble attracting independent voters.||Isn't running|
|John Thune||Defeated Tom Daschle, relatively conservative voting record for a senator; also taller than Obama, and enjoys broad support||Announced on Feb. 22, 2011 that he's not running; 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, brought 100 million worth of earmarks in a spending bill, then awkwardly claimed he backed the projects but opposed the bill.||Not running|
|Jan Brewer||In 2010, stood up to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on issue of illegal aliens||Caved in to the liberals in vetoing legislation requiring a birth certificate to get on the presidential ballot for Arizona in 2012; if Brewer ever was conservative, she seems increasingly less so||Not even conservatives support her after all her vetoes of good bills this year|
|George Pataki||Well known former 3-term Gov. of New York. Has a track record of tax cuts||RINO candidate, Pro-abortion, had health issues in the past, not very compelling||Not running|
|Peter King||Conservative congressman from New York that supports Pro-life, energy independence, free trade, expand border fence, battles Muslim extremists in the USA by Homeland Security position.||Fiscal conservatism lacking: voted for TARP, Cash for Clunkers, CHIP||Seems more focused on his Homeland Security position in the House than any Presidential aspirations|
The Chess Game for the Republican Party
The short form analysis is this: it probably requires a minimum of $25 million in campaign funds to win the nomination, and more if the candidate lacks a strong conservative base. Many of the candidates are probably looking to big fundraisers for support, but they are unsure of whom to back. Karl Rove, with all of his contacts from the Bush years, may be able to raise $20 million for a candidate; Haley Barbour might be able to raise even more. Fox News and its allies can raise eight figures also, as they helped reelect John McCain as senator in 2010.
The fundraising obstacle is no problem for Mitt Romney. Michelle Bachmann could reach that goal also, and benefits from having a strong conservative base too. Ron Paul could sustain his campaign as he did in 2008, relying heavily on the internet. But others lacking in a strong base will struggle unless they can obtain the support of either the Bush/Rove group, or Barbour's network, or Fox News and its allies.
There are three key steps to the Republican nomination: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Mitt can win only one out of the three (New Hampshire), leaving an opening for another candidate to win the other two.
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-market, 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
McClatchy-Marist survey after the 2010 Midterm elections revealed 46% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independent voters said they don't want President Obama to face a Democratic primary challenge, with 45% saying they do want such a challenge to occur. 40% of Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democrats say they prefer a more conservative challenger, while 39% say they want a challenger who is more liberal. The Marist poll says,
|“||Interestingly, a plurality of Democrats – 42 percent – would like to see a more liberal challenger while half of Democratic leaning independents – 50 percent – would like to see a more conservative one.||”|
The McClatchy-Marist poll indicates that 48 percent of registered voters nationwide plan to vote against the president in 2012, with 36 percent saying they'll vote to re-elect Obama.
A Quinnipiac University survey released after the 2010 Midterm elections indicated that a plurality of Americans don't think Obama deserves to be re-elected to a second term, and an Associated Press-GfK survey in the same time span indicates that 54% believe Obama should be voted out of office in 2012. Former DNC chairman Ed Rendell suggested on MSNBC, liberal anger over Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan could lead to a primary challenge.
The New York Times 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, "if Mr. Obama were to embrace its major parts, he would invite a primary challenge in 2012." Clarence B. Jones, who was a personal advisor, legal counsel, and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has called for a primary challenge to President Obama.
|Barack Obama||Ability to compromise and act in a spirit of bi-partisanship when his back's against the wall and career on the line; he's not Hillary Clinton, and he receives endearing 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. Maybe uphill without help from ACORN.||Heavily promoted 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. A recent Bloomberg poll shows she has a 64% approval rating, higher than any other national political figure. 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.||Has stated numerous times that she will not seek an elected position once she leaves her current position as Secretary of State. Her feminism is disliked by conservatives, but is popular with liberal women. She'd lose the general election as Martha Coakley did.||Disfavored on MSNBC.|
|Randall Terry||Pro-life, and ardently so, unlike most Democrats. Will make this issue, which most Americans agree with, the cornerstone of his campaign. Is a conservative, and argued in favor of Terri Schavio's family in the case to allow her to live.||Only recently joined the Democrats, in order to run against Obama in the primary; largely seen as a 'joke' candidate by most people; no media attention, and he likely will never get a chance to go up against Obama in a debate.||Disfavored on MSNBC, when he's mentioned|
|Russ Feingold||His dedication to progressive causes rivals that of Obama, Feingold now has the time to run since his defeat in the 2010 midterms.||Considered a maverick and reformer within the Democratic party.||Disfavored on MSNBC.|
|Howard Dean||Liberal media personality, politician with physician's license and a former Vermont governor. Opposed Obamacare in its current form, and declared that government cannot force people to buy health insurance.||Progressive/Socialist/Marxist philosophy combined with numerous public gaffes. Dean ran in the 2004 presidential elections.||Heavily promoted on MSNBC.|
|Bernie Sanders||Has pledged to "do whatever I can" to thwart compromise and thinks the President's legislative proposals are "an absolute disaster and an insult to the vast majority of the American people."||Genuine out-of-the-closet Socialist, will need to formally register as a Democrat.||Has appeared on MSNBC.|
|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.|
|Dennis Kucinich||Outspoken critic of Obama's escalation of the War in Afghanistan, sellout of the public option and tax cuts for the rich.||Perennial favorite of special interests, particularly AFSCME, lacks popular support and a wider appeal.||Promoted on MSNBC.|
|Alan Grayson||Could do well to rally the progressive base in the anti-war early primary and caucus states of Iowa and New Hampshire.||Ethical concerns over his 2010 failed reelection bid for the House.||Heavily favored on MSNBC.|
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. Also, it is possible that money is becoming less influential in campaigns, not more so. The most likely result from a Bloomberg candidacy would be a split in the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda vote with the Democratic nominee, facilitating election of the Republican nominee.
- The order of the early primaries is not yet finally determined. For estimated dates, see http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P12/events.phtml?s=c
- 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." 
- Why Christie Should Run For President Washington Post, retrieved Sept. 26th 2006.
- As of April 22, 2011.
- Trump 'Seriously Considering' 2012 Presidential Bid, FOXNews, October 5, 2010
- Jim Demint has the best favorable-unfavorable rating of anyone at CPAC 2010.
- Duluth News Tribune: Fees soar as state taxes hold steady (2006)
- POLITICAL INSIDER: John Bolton weighs a WH run, Breitbart, September 10, 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).
- Hillary Clinton approval rating jumps to 64%., September 17, 2011. October 1, 2011.
- Evan Bayh For President? Senator May Be Eyeing White House Run, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, 02-15-10.
- "An Anti-War Challenge to Obama in 2012: The Case for Alan Grayson", Politics Daily, 12-28-2010.