Pawlenty Up, Romney Down. Monthly Ranking of Republican Presidential Field Finds New Frontrunner

Bookmark and Share    After a month that saw some of the hottest potential Republican presidential candidates officially decline to get in to the race, White House 2012’s newest monthly ranking produced a few surprises. To begin with, the narrowing down of the potential presidential field prompted WH12 to cut its ranking half and go from a list of the top twenty, to the top ten. This forced many lower tier names that were often found in the ranking, left out. But the smaller list made the ranking competitive that even some big names surprisingly did not make it. Most notably missing is Michele Bachmann.

While Bachmann almost made the cut, in addition to the possibility for several other big names to still jump in to the race, and a the smaller number of slots available in the ranking forced a much harsher analysis of the field. As a result, even though Bachmann has the ability to upset her rivals in Iowa and South Carolina, a lack of electability outside of those two states was more than likely what prevented her from placement in the top ten. Last month, Bachmann was ranked twelfth. This month, a top twenty ranking would have put Bachmann in eleventh place. So even though she did not make the list in June, she still improved her standing in May.

The biggest surprise of all though came in in the number slot. Since WH12 began ranking the candidates several months ago, Mitt Romney was consistently ranked number one. In June, for the very first time, Romney slipped to second place and was replaced by former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

This change was again most likely due to the increasingly competitiveness of a smaller ranking and indicates that Pawlenty benefits the most from Mitch Daniels‘, Mike Huckabee’s, and Donald Trump’s decision not to run. With these, and others out, Pawlenty becomes a fall back candidate for many. But more importantly, as people look closer at a field of fewer and fewer candidates, RomneyCare is probably the one thing most responsible for preventing them from flocking to Mitt Romney and cause them to be more willing to side with other candidates like Tim Pawlenty instead.   RomneyCare continues to be the primary reason why Romney does not have a lock on the nomination.

Another surprise is the third place showing of Herman Cain.

Cain’s outsider status, combined with his fiery articulation of the issues, makes him increasingly viable in an electorate that has fewer hopefuls to back in the ginned up TEA Party movement atmosphere that currently exists. Although it is not likely that Herman Cain will actually get the nomination, if he can raise enough money to compete with people like Pawlenty, he can make a serious run for the nomination. And that is reflected in this month’s ranking.

Behind Cain is Jon Huntsman, followed by Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rick Sanotrum, Ron Paul, Texas Governor Rick Perry and in tenth place is former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani.  Palin and Paul hold the same position in June that they held in May.

While Gingrich, Santorum, and Ron Paul have made their candidacies official, and Jon Huntsman is assumed to make his campaign official soon, it is still not known what Palin, Perry, and Giuliani are doing.  Still, between the likelihood of their running and the impact they could have if they did, the consensus among the staff of WH12 finds Palin in fifth place, Perry in ninth, and Rudy in tenth. If they were to make their candidacies official, their placement would probably be higher.

White House 2012’s monthly ranking is based on an average calculated from the individual rankings of each of the site’s staff writers. The overall ranking reflects where the combined opinion of the staff writers place the candidates or potential candidates, if the election were held today. It does not reflect who WH12 wants to be, or thinks will actually be the nominee. It is only a current snapshot of where the candidates stand today, that is based upon current circumstances and factors and the potential that each candidate is so far showing.

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