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  • July 06, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    According to reports, Mitt Romney will report raising $18.25 million since officially launching his Presidential campaign in early April. This is way ahead of the rest of the field: Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman have each claimed a little over $4 million, while Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich say they're in the $2 to $2.

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  • June 14, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Man, you could just feel the stupid last night, at the GOP Presidential debate up in Manchester, New Hampshire. The idiocy, the closed-information-loop spiral of nonsense reinforcing nonsense.

    No, I'm not talking about the candidates; I'm talking about the media punditocracy.

    Everywhere you look and listen, you're being told that the candidates, particularly Tim Pawlenty, ruined themselves by not attacking Mitt Romney last night.

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  • June 01, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    "Joey" asks:

    On the InTrade exchange for the 2012 Republican Nomination for President, whose shares are currently undervalued/overvalued in your mind?

    Ecellent question. Rounding off, here are the current Intrade numbers:

    29% Mitt Romney

    19% Tim Pawlenty

    17% Jon Huntsman

    7% Sarah Palin

    6% Michele Bachmann

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  • May 31, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    This afternoon, to stir up some online enthusiasm over Thursday's big Presidential campaign launch event, Mitt Romney launched a little Twitter hashtag fun. It didn't really go so well.

    From his @MittRomney account, the would-be President Tweeted:

    I believe in America & look forward to sharing my vision with the country.

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  • May 15, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Mike Huckabee won't run for President this time around, which is no great surprise. My prediction: he will endorse Tim Pawlenty, either shortly before or shortly after the August 13 Ames Straw Poll.

    I think it's pretty clear he intends to endorse at some point, which makes sense. First of all, doing so -- and going through a period of deciding who to endorse -- plays up the perception of his importance in the party.

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  • April 18, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    It strikes me as a big deal, in GOP 2012 politics terms, that Tim Pawlenty has come out firmly opposed to Congress raising the debt ceiling. Although he's toyed with the notion before, it's really just in the past few days -- including his speech at Friday's Tea Party rally in Boston -- that Pawlenty has flat-out called for a no vote.

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  • April 13, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Much has happened in the two months and change since my last rankings, but my Top 3 remains the same: Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and Mitt Romney.

    I wrote at that time that I could only see realistic chances for five people -- those three, plus John Thune and Rick Perry. Thune has since opted out, and Perry has made very clear that he's not running.

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  • March 08, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    The 2012 Presidential campaign officially began last night -- or so claims the folks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, which held its Spring Kickoff event with speeches from five wannabes for the GOP nomination. God provided C-SPAN coverage, so I can say that I thought Herman Cain did well; Newt Gingrich, despite having just moved into an "exploratory" Presidential campaign phase, gave a condensed version of his year-old 2010 CPAC speech; Tim Pawlenty did fine, but I think he's trying too hard to yell his way past all the 'too bland' criticism (which I don't think hurts him anyway); Buddy Roemer did a great Zell Miller impersonation; and Rick Santorum started slow but had a terrific riff (probably old, but I hadn't seen it) on being the 'ultra' (as in ideologically extreme) Senator.

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  • February 22, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    South Dakota Senator John Thune announced today that he's opting out of the 2012 GOP Presidential sweepstakes. Thune recently rose to #4 on my rankings, thanks in large part to decreasing likelihood of others running. This is the second month in a row that one of my Top 5 dropped out, following Mike Pence in January.

    I'm less surprised at Thune than I was at Pence, who I thought was better than 50% chance of running.

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  • January 31, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Tim Pawlenty -- or, more accurately, "Tim Pawlenty," the character in Courage to Stand: an American Story loosely based on the Minnesota Governor -- comes across as very likable. He's an aw-shucks guy from a small town, self-confident but not conceited, principled but not stubborn, deeply religious but not preachy. He loves hockey, and his family, possibly in that order.

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  • January 12, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    Herman Cain announced his 2012 Presidential exploratory committee formation today, the first (somewhat) significant candidate to do so.

    Most importantly, this forces polijournos like me to decide between "Is Cain Able?" "Yes He Cain?" "A Cain Mutiny in GOP?" "Raising Cain" and "Cain-Do Spirit" for our headlines.

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  • January 07, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein


    Michele Bachmann

    David S. Bernstein: I invited you to have this email conversation about the 2012 GOP Presidential campaign because you and I both follow politics, but from different angles. I, of course, am an award-winning journalist for the Boston Phoenix. You are a political scientist in San Antonio with a PhD from UCal-Berkeley, who blogs at plainblogaboutpolitics.


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  • January 03, 2011
    By David S. Bernstein

    I've been doing these rankings for two years now, starting on the final day of 2008. Looking back at that first list, seemingly so early in the cycle for speculation, what's remarkable to me is how little things have changed since then.

    Sure, a few have dropped off the list -- Mark Sanford, most notably, as well as his fellow adulterer John Ensign; also Kay Bailey Hutchison and Charlie Crist, both of whom got humiliatingly rejected by conservatives in their home states this year; and a few of my thinking-outside-the-box names like Bill Frist and Tom Ridge.

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  • November 09, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Pop Quiz: What is Peter Bragdon's phone number?

    Don't have it? Don't know who Peter Bragdon is? Guess you're not a Republican running for President.

    Bragdon will be Senate President following the Republican takeover in New Hampshire this week. Bragdon also chaired the Republican Senate Majority Committee, which helped elect a stunning 19 GOP candidates to the 24 state senate seats.

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  • September 20, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    With the completion of the 2010 primaries, and the latest 2012 meat-market (the Values Voters Conference), now's a good time to update my rankings of the 25 most likely 2012 Republican Presidential nominees!

    Note that two of my dark horses, Mike Pence and Jim DeMint, have gotten big recent boosts. Pence won the VVC straw poll this weekend, and DeMint has emerged as the hero of what we might call the "Christine O'Donnell wing" of the party.

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