2012 Republican Presidential Contenders

A Look at the Contenders

Looking ahead to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, one foregone conclusion is that President Barack Obama will run for reelection. The big question is who will run against him? The Republican Party is currently the minority party in the United States, with the Democrats controlling Congress and the White House. The congressional elections in 2010 will help determine what direction the country is moving in, but people have already begun speculating over who will be the challenger to Barack Obama. Below is the 10 most likely people to run for the Republican nomination in 2012 in the order that they are most likely to receive it at this current time.

The Most Likely Options

1) Mitt Romney- Former Governor of Massachusetts and business leader.

Romney is a front runner for the nomination right now, because he is one of the few Republicans with the organization in place to mount a challenge. On top of that, Romney has millions of dollars that he is willing to personally spend to help capture the nomination. If the economy is still in shambles, his business background will look more and more appealing to voters.

2) Newt Gingrich- Former Speaker of the House and Georgia congressman.

Gingrich is a controversial figure within the country from his days as Speaker of the House during the Clinton Administration. His admitted extramarital affair didn’t help him. Since then has worked on his image, wrote a few books, is a frequent commentator on television, and after all was the brains behind the Contract for America and the GOP takeover in 1994. New ideas is just what the Republican Party needs.

3) Sarah Palin- former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee.

Palin is arguably the most famous Republican in the country and the most popular among the base. Going hand in hand with that is her unpopularity with the media and many voters. Her decision to resign as governor is shocking, but it is too early to judge what effect this will have on her chances. A national book tour, speeches, interviews, and being a conservative voice just might give her the leg up on getting the nomination.

4) Tim Pawlenty- Governor of Minnesota and former state legislator.

Pawlenty is a rising star within the Republican Party and was on the short list to be the vice presidential nominee in 2008. The fact that he won reelection in blue Minnesota adds to the fact he may be able to win some purple states. Low name recognition and media presence will hurt his chances, but his experience and low visibility may help him define himself before his opponents can.

5) Mike Huckabee- former Governor of Arkansas and current Fox News show host.

Huckabee shocked pundits with his surprise victory in Iowa in 2008 and winning the second highest amount of delegates after John McCain. His job on the nation’s most watch news channel helps his name ID among voters. What may hurt him is the fact he is too socially conservative. That, along with the view that he is quirky, doesn’t go down well with voters, but it may in the GOP primary.

6) Bobby Jindal- Governor of Louisiana and former congressman

Jindal is the definition of a rising star. Not only is he a strong conservative, but also he is an Indian-American. He was also on McCain’s short list of v.p. contenders, but lack of experience kept him off. Jindal gave a disastrous response to Barack Obama’s State of the Union, which shows he may not be ready for prime time. His age may also be a factor, since he is only in his thirties.

7) Charlie Crist- Governor of Florida and former state attorney general

Crist is a popular executive in the largest swing state. He is running for the U.S. Senate in 2010, probably to boost his profile ahead of a presidential run. Going against him is his blatant desire for the office and the fact voters may not like him switching jobs so often. He may be a frontrunner for the vice presidential position, if he wins the Senate race. If Crist loses the Senate race, he is toast.

8) Rudy Giuliani- former New York City Mayor and U.S. Attorney

Giuliani is one of the most recognizable men in the country following his leadership during 9/11. He has a lot going against him, from being a moderate to business dealings to his private life. Rudy is eyeing a run for New York Governor in 2010 and that could be a barometer of his plans. A win would put him in a good position to run for president, a loss would end his political career.

9) Haley Barbour- Governor of Mississippi and former RNC Chairman

Barbour is one of the brightest governors in the country and certainly looks good following his tremendous display of leadership after Hurricane Katrina. Going against him is his past lobbying ties and the fact that the Republican Party stereotype is an old, southern, white man and that is exactly what Barbour is (no offense). His experience as RNC chair may allow him to maneuver himself effectively to win the nomination.

10) Ron Paul- Texas Congressman and doctor

Paul is the hero of the Libertarian movement in the United States and ran in 2008 in the Republican primaries. He demonstrated a great talent at raising money, but did not win any primaries. There is a possibility he will run again, but is more likely to win the nomination of the Libertarian Party then the Republican Party given his positions on many issues.

Out of the Running

1) Mark Sanford- Governor of South Carolina

Cheated on his wife and there are calls for his resignation from both parties.

2) John Ensign- Nevada Senator

Cheated on his wife and was the target of political blackmail

3) Jon Huntsman Jr- Utah Governor

Nominated to be President Obama’s ambassador to China. Look for him to run in 2016 or 2020.

Long Shot Possibilities

1) Jeb Bush- Former Governor of Florida, member of the Bush Family

Certainly has strong credentials to run, it just happens that his name is Bush. He could run in the future when Bush fatigue dies down.

2) Kay Bailey Hutchison- Senator from Texas and former state treasurer

Hutchison is one of the most experienced politicians in the party. She is challenging incumbent Texas Governor Rick Perry in the 2010 Republican primary. If she wins, her candidacy becomes more probably. If she loses, she is done. One downfall she has is that she is slightly moderate, which may hurt her chances.

3) Rick Perry- Governor of Texas and former state legislator.

Perry is the longtime governor of the second largest state. His conservative credentials are strong. He is being challenged by Senator Hutchison in the primary next year. If he loses, he is toast. If he wins, his candidacy becomes more likely.

4) Eric Cantor- Congressman from Virginia and Republican Whip

Cantor is a rising star in the party for his conservative stances and has become a celebrity within the House of Representatives. His age and the fact that he is in the House hurt his chances, unless he really has a breakthrough.

5) Mike Pence- Congressman from Indiana

Pence is a strong conservative and has endeared himself to the conservative base of the party. Like Cantor, it is hard to go from the House to the presidency unless a breakthrough occurs.

6) Condoleezza Rice- former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser

Rice is one of the brightest minds in the country today, and her status as a minority and as a woman earns her points in the Republican Party. Downside is she seems content to return to academic life and has no domestic policy experience. She remains a possibility as a vice presidential contender or as a presidential one further down the road.

It is important to remember that the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012 might not even be on this list. Recall that this time four years ago, Barack Obama was a brand new Senator and had just left the state legislature. The results in 2010 may very well yield a new leader within the party that could challenge the president. Keep your eyes peeled.

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Comments 17 comments

someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

I doubt very much that anyone would vote for jeb Bush

comp3820 profile image

comp3820 7 years ago from Michigan

I think we are going to have a lot of options in 2012. For me, I'm looking at Huckabee, Jindal, or maybe Pawlenty. I think Huckabee has my vote right now, but I'm not sure the rest of the party agrees with me.

rsmallory profile image

rsmallory 7 years ago from Central Texas

I'm keeping a close eye on Palin, Huckabee and Romney right now.

Ford 7 years ago

I won't vote for Huckabee at all, after him taking away alot of things from our kids and schools in Arkansas.

nicomp profile image

nicomp 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

Rob Portman; has few enemies, got out of the public eye before the Bush administration imploded, has a record of public service at several levels, and he presents well.

mike 7 years ago

id go for big boy limbaugh

Tackle This profile image

Tackle This 7 years ago

Hell will most likely freeze over before my candidate ever graces the White House. (Alan Keyes) Having said that I stumped heavily for Palin as Vice-president. Holding a sign for two weeks which reads: "I'm down with PVP!" Not quite sure the Democrats got the message however. I thought it was brilliant. Most Republicans not being down with "OPP."

The rate that 'entitlement folk' are reproducing frightens me. See my hub entitled, "Top 3 Clues "you" is entitlement folk."

EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV.

Nice hub, but I don't think four of your top five will be contenders at all. With the possible exception of Pawlenty, I don't see any of them making anything beyond a very short campaign. Same for Guliani and Ron Paul (he already tried the Libertarian route). Everybody predicts the retreads from the last election as the favorites for the next, but it rarely happens. There's a reason they lost the first time and the parties are looking for new blood, not somebody who has already been rejected.

Unfortunately, people will be voting for Jeb Bush, because voters like a familiar sounding name. But I think it will be the 2016 elections, not 2012.

JOE BARNETT profile image

JOE BARNETT 6 years ago

mit romney seemed pretty good till i discovered that he believes a religion that says"after jesus was crucified, when he rose and before he went back to heaven. he stopped at this land( before it was named america) and buried three golden plates that were inscribed with the rules of mormonism to be found 1700 years later by the europeans when they arrived" ha ha ha. thats what he believes and he wants to be our president!!!

Tom T profile image

Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

Should you add Scott Brown?

Harold Tinker 6 years ago

In this area Senator John Thune is stirring the hearts of the people.Type in John and be stirred in your heart.The best man I have heard about in a long time.

JAY JOHNSON 6 years ago

We need new faces for 2012. John Thune and Paul Ryan come to mind. Maybe the two of them can team up? I love Ryan's fresh, straight forward approach. The GOP will be able to put Curly Howard in the white house if economic growth stays at 3% and unemployment doesn't drop below 7%. Thune and Ryan instead of Barry and Biden? No brainer for 2012.

scott 6 years ago

Ron Paul is who I'd like to see but I think he'll be too old in 2012 (77). My next choice is on the long shot list GO Condee. Rick Perry is a politician all the way even if he is conservative and Texan I'm not rooting for him. Anyone else would need further vetting for my vote.

Meg G. 6 years ago

Someone with the chutzpah of Chris Christie....I love that man more and more every single day and so do my NJ in-laws.

american 5 years ago

anyone who votes for obama again should be commited to a mental institution, as he should!

Dan 5 years ago

Ron Paul is the man with Andrew Napolitano as VP.

OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 5 years ago


Time for an update!

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