The Five Republican Frontrunners

Jonah Goldberg names his picks for the five GOP frontrunners for campaign 2012:

That leaves us with a top tier of five front-runners: Romney, Palin, Gingrich, Pawlenty, and Daniels. Romney is the organizational front-runner; Daniels is the first pick of wonks and D. C. eggheads; Palin probably has the most devoted following among actual voters; Gingrich will dominate the debates; and Pawlenty (vying with Daniels) is the least disliked.

I hope he’s wrong, because I would hope the Republicans could do better. That Newt Gingrich would dominate the debates amongst this five is true. And sad.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    It’s just so hard to get momentum. A Gary Johnson might be very appealing to those of us with a more libertarian bent but he’s a virtual unknown outside New Mexico. I don’t think you get from unknown to nominee in a year.

  2. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    According to a running poll at Redstate, the race is between only three candidates who garner double-digit polling percentages out of a large field of candidates that keeps getting whittled down each day. And while the number 2 and 3 candidates change from one day to the next, the top candidate is always Sarah Palin who polls nearly 1/3 of all votes.

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    James,

    I think the biggest problem for the Republican Party is the winner-take-all primary system. It pretty much makes it impossible for an outsider to get any momentum going during the season.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Alex: But that was supposed to be a feature, not a bug. The idea was to nominate the guy whose turn it was and then get on to attacking Democrats instead of taking shots at one another.

    That has mostly worked. Dole in 1996 and McCain in 2008 were candidates well past their expiration dates. But I’m not sure that a better candidate existed either year — or that it would have mattered.

    But I’m not keen on any of the frontrunners this go-round. In 2008, McCain was “my least unfavorite” once I figured out what a loon Giuliani was. I’m left hoping for a dark horse this time but, as you say, the system conspires against it.

  5. Linda says:

    Oh bother. Those 5 are the frontrunners? Hopefully the field gets a little more appealing as it gets closer to primary time.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    “I hope he’s wrong, because I would hope the Republicans could do better.”

    With whom?

    “…the top candidate is always Sarah Palin who polls nearly 1/3 of all votes.”

    Anyone who doesn’t want the Republicans to win can only hope…

  7. anjin-san says:

    tack two more on and there will be seven dwarfs…

  8. Herb says:

    “But I’m not keen on any of the frontrunners this go-round. ”

    You could always consider voting for the conservative-ish Democrat who’s also going to be running in 2012.