GOP Presidential Power Rankings

It’s been a couple of weeks since our last round of the GOP Presidential Power Rankings. Rick Perry has dropped off dramatically, though his fundraising is very solid, and Herman Cain has risen substantiall in the polls. Mitt Romney’s support has remained steady, but that’s not exactly a promising sign. But we’ll get to that in a minute…

The News

The Rankings

Mitt Romney (up): Romney’s biggest obstacle to the Republican nomination isn’t Cain or Perry, it’s himself; everything from his flip-flops to RomneyCare to left-of-center positions on certain issues. Conservatives may be slowly warming to the idea of his nomination, but it’s anything but a sure bet. Playing to Romney’s benefit are polls that continue show that he is the only candidate in the field that can take on President Barack Obama.

Herman Cain (up): There is no denying that Cain has seen a big jump in support and is currently Romney’s biggest threat to the nomination. The question is whether or not he has the staying power given that his 9-9-9 plan is already being dismissed by conservatives as unrealistic and potetially dangerous, his inexperience on foreign policy issues will no doubt resurface, and his inconsistancies on TARP and the view of the economy are all already being noted.

Rick Perry (down): Poor debate performances have been among Perry’s issues. Recent fundraising numbers were a positive after a more than a month of bad news. Perry’s campaign is hoping for a restart as they edge closer to the primaries. The good news is he has more money on hand than Romney and far more than Cain, an important factor in rebranding himself.

Ron Paul (even): It appears Paul has peaked and his numbers are starting to come back down. However, he did recently win the Values Voter straw poll, important among social conservatives.

Newt Gingrich (even): He’s risen in the polls recently, but Gingrich’s candidacy is still a long shot, as evidence by his very poor fundraising numbers and his campaign is over $1 million in debt. However, the former Speaker of the House said recently that he would at least consider the VP slot on the Republican ticket.

Michele Bachmann (even): Bachmann continues to be a non-factor at this point. She missed every vote in the House in September while she was out trying to salvage her campaign and she just closed her Virginia office. Bachmann has staked her campaign on her native Iowa, but her numbers there are sliding as Cain rises. Despite all of this, don’t expect her to bow out any time soon.

Jon Huntsman (down): CNN reported last week that Huntsman’s campaign is nearly broke and may be soon coming to an end. He has finally surpassed Santorum in the polls, but is still near the bottom of the pack.

Rick Santorum (down): Someone wrote recently that Santorum could be the next “Flavor of the Month,” but with the first primaries drawing near, time is quickly running out for him to have an impact and his numbers are headed in the wrong direction.

Gary Johnson (even): Unfortunately, Johnson hasn’t been included in any debates since last month; despite some prodding from the Gingrich camp that he be included. It’s hard to make an impact when few are hearing the message.

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