GOP Presidential Power Rankings

Guess what? The race for the Republican nomination has been shaken up again. Many of us saw Herman Cain’s downfall coming, it was only a matter of time. But still the fact that he lasted this far into the race is concerning given his lack of experience and complete lack of knowledge on some of the most basic issues, including foreign policy.

It looks as though Newt Gingrich has been able to capitalize on Cain’s misfortune and, as noted earlier, seems like to receive an endorsement. Gingrich leads in six of the last nine national polls, hold a single-digit lead in Iowa, and double-digit leads in Florida and South Carolina. Mitt Romney still leads in New Hampshire, but Gingrich and Ron Paul are gaining steam.

The News

The Rankings

Newt Gingrich (up): Is there anyone who saw Gingrich rising to the top in this race back in mid-May? As noted last week, the prospect of Gingrich winning the nomination has some Republicans concerned given his propensity for self-destruction. Also, fiscal conservatives are speaking out more against Gingrich due to his betrayal of limited government principles. I wrote last week that Gingrich will likely be the nominee, but that’s only if he can survive the next month.

Mitt Romney (down): Dude, they’re just not that into you. It’s amazing to me that Romney can go from being the conservative alternative to John McCain to being the target of their ire in just four years (I’ve never been a fan of the guy). It’s evidence of the changing dynamics inside the Republican Party, and Romney has certainly done himself no favors either. Not only has Gingrich jumped above him, but some national and state polls show his support dropping.

Ron Paul (up): For someone that has been completely dismissed by the Republican establishment, Ron Paul simply won’t give up. His numbers in Iowa are moving higher, showing him either in second or third. And Paul has also gone on the offensive against Gingrich for his history of inconsistant positions and support for various big government economic policies.

Rick Perry (even): Some believe that Cain’s demise could be to Perry’s benefit. I think it’s unlikely that Perry will able to win them over since many of Cain’s supporters are going to back whoever their guy picks. That’s more likely to be Gingrich than Perry or Bachmann.

Michele Bachmann (even): It didn’t take long for Bachmann to start kissing up to Cain, obviously hoping to win an endorsement. Polls show here falling way back in Iowa, her home state, and she is now in the bottom tier in national surveys.

Jon Huntsman (up): For the life of his campaign, Huntsman hasn’t gotten much of a look. But George Will and Erick Erickson have recently said good things about him and some feel that Huntsman may, with this race’s volatility, begin to cut into Romney’s base of support as well has pick up some conservative voters.

Rick Santorum (up): Like Huntsman, some feel that Santorum may soon surge, especially if Gingrich begins to fall. Santorum has pushed the social conservative agenda very hard during his campaign, but most fiscal conservatives will probably find his record lacking.

Herman Cain (down): We’re keeping Cain in the list because he has only “suspended” his campagin, meaning that his name will still appear on the ballot. It’s possible that some of his supporters may still vote for him in their state’s primaries, unless he formally withdraws from the race

Gary Johnson (even): It seems like a very real possibility that Johnson will bolt for the Libertarian Party to run for their nomination between now and the spring. In theory, Johnson does have until at least the end of April to stay in the GOP race (the LP convention is in early May).

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