Saturday, May 14, 2011

Huck passes on '12

This leaves a top tier of candidates that currently consists of 4: Romney, Pawlenty, Daniels, and Huntsman. T-Paw's the only one who's officially started an exploratory committee.

Huckabee's exit should really helps Pawlenty. T-Paw is the only top-tier candidate who seems to be making a full out appeal to SoCons.

Daniels, with his "social truce", has clearly tried to move to the center on social issues (despite the fact that, if you look at his record and past statements, he's clearly a SoCon); yet he is a full-throated fiscal conservative. Social conservatives never really trusted Mitt, or he would've won the nomination in '08. Huntsman, IIRC, is actually pro-civil unions and is perceived as soft on illegal immigration, so he's a non-starter for many SoCons.

Unless one of these lower tier SoCons, like Bachmann, Santorum, or Gingrich can really gain traction, T-Paw may have one of the clearest paths to the nomination at this point, unless Daniels can really sneakily play to centrists and conservatives with a wink and a nod.

The inner circle supporters of Mitt, Huntsman, and even Daniels are probably hoping for a Palin entrance to split the SoCon support. For Daniels and Huntsman, an Autumn announcement for Palin would give their candidate time to unseat Mitt as the frontrunner. For Mitt, I'm sure he'd like to see Palin get in right now--the mere threat of a Palin candidacy could probably coalesce much of the GOP around one candidate as the anti-Palin, and right now that would probably be Mitt. In three or four months, after Mitch, Paw, and Huntsman have hammered away at Mitt's incongruous positions on Health Care--the situation may be very different.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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