Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is Anybody There?

Okay, I know it’s way too early to start the 2012 campaign, but…

CNN reports that there’s no real front runner in the GOP for 2012.

The survey suggests that 22 percent of Republicans would most likely support former Arkansas governor and former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for their party’s presidential nomination in 2012. Twenty-one percent say they would most likely back Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, with an equal number supporting former Massachusetts governor and former White House hopeful Mitt Romney.

Taking into account the poll’s 4.5 percent sampling error, Huckabee, Palin and Romney seem to be locked in a hypothetical dead heat.

The poll indicates that 13 percent of Republicans would back former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 2012, with 6 percent supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Ten percent of those questioned say they would most likely back someone else.

“The Republicans have three very well known candidates. No one is a clear favorite among the three. The race appears to be wide open at this very early date,” says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

Sure, it’s way early yet; at this point in the last Bush administration — June 2001 — the Democrats were still recovering from the recount in Florida and John Kerry was on the same level with Dick Gephardt, and no one outside of Chicago had heard of Barack Obama. But given the GOP’s current mindset, it’s going to take a seismic change in their mindset to get some new blood into the party that can reach out to all of the groups they’ve so far offended — Hispanics, African-Americans, women — in their fevered attempts to attack President Obama.

And remember, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney lost to John McCain in the primaries. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll reach out to the base beyond the pasty old white guys.