• Chris Christie,  John Huntsman,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  Polling,  President 2012,  Sarah Palin,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Insiders Poll Hot on Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty – NOT Hot on Sarah Palin

    According to the latest National Journal “Insiders” poll.

    In the view of Democratic and Republican political operatives, the potential 2012 GOP White House hopefuls whose fortunes are most on the rise are Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a rapidly depreciating asset, according to this week’s National Journal Political Insiders Poll.

    While no Republican could-be candidate towered above the field, GOP Insiders focused on Daniels and Pawlenty as two whose stock has been rising in recent months, but for very different reasons. Daniels, who has taken few overt steps towards mounting a national campaign, is seen as someone who could champion the Republican themes of shrinking government and cutting spending and also has the record in Indiana to back up that message in a campaign. “The more it becomes about deficit reduction, the better he does,” said one GOP Insider. Even Daniels’ serious demeanor is considered a positive. “Increasingly seen as the anti-Obama — no flash and slogans, but real leadership and a plan,” swooned another Republican.

    Pawlenty was rated equally well by GOP Insiders who have been impressed by his disciplined courtship of the party faithful in the early caucus and primary states. Pawlenty is also viewed as a candidate who is acceptable to a broad range of Republicans and has relatively little political baggage. “[He] continues to methodically define himself as the mainstream conservative Republican who can appeal to traditional and new Republican activists,” said one GOP Insider. “Daniels may not run because of family, Barbour has proven surprisingly tone deaf, Gingrich has failed to turn around the marital issue, Palin excites her core group and is unacceptable to everyone else, Romney-care has become the mark of death for Romney,” noted another GOP Insider. “It looks more and more as though everyone has a fatal weakness, other than Pawlenty.”

    Democrats generally concurred and saw Daniels as an “adult” and Pawlenty as “organized.”


    As the GOP primary season heats up, voters will be looking for someone new – not Mitt Romney and not Newt Gingrich. 

    Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (if he runs), former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (if he runs) would fit the bill.

    Note: The “Insiders” are NOT too high on Sarah Palin.

  • John Huntsman,  President 2012

    President 2012: Ambassador John Huntsman Gearing Up for a Presidential Race?

    U.S. Ambassador to China John Huntsman arrives with his wife Mary Kaye for the state dinner hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for President of China Hu Jintao at the White House in Washington, January 19, 2011

    Or is the former Utah Governor just leaning towards the GOP nomination?

    U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) appears to be leaning toward a run for president in 2012 and a team of political operatives and fundraisers have begun informal talks and outreach to ensure he could rapidly ramp up if he decides to run.

    Talk of a Huntsman presidential bid has been all the rage of late — ever since a Newsweek article earlier this month made clear he was seriously considering the possibility.

    During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s official state visit last week, President Obama was even asked by reporters about the prospect of Huntsman, a former Utah governor, challenging him in 2012.

    “I couldn’t be happier with the ambassador’s service, and I’m sure he will be very successful in whatever endeavors he chooses in the future,” said Obama. “And I’m sure that him having worked so well for me will be a great asset in any Republican primary.”

    Huntsman, for his part, has been mum about the possibility of a national bid but the breadth of the team that has formed to prepare for just such an eventuality suggests he is quite serious.

    But, Chris Cizzilla goes on to name Huntsman’s inner circle of advisors or kitchen cabinet, so to speak.

    If John Huntsman wants in the GOP Presidential race, the water is fine.

    But, he better get a move on to increase his name identification and determine how he will beat another fellow Mormon Mitt Romney.

  • Jason Chaffetz,  John Huntsman,  Orrin Hatch

    UT-Sen GOP Poll Watch: Huntsman 48% Chaffetz 23% Hatch 21%

    Looks like Utah voters who threw out GOP senator Bob Bennett last November are in the mood to do the same to Utah GOP Senator Orrin Hatch.

    A new Utah Policy poll shows Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, could be fighting off Republicans and Democrats in 2012.

    University of Utah political scientist Tim Chambless says Hatch will fight an uphill battle because of age, health and distrust of incumbents.

    “There is a possibility that Senator Hatch, the incumbent, would be challenged from within his own party and would be vulnerable to the same fate as Senator Bob Bennett,” Chambless said.

    When Hatch is put up against possible Republican challengers he falls behind both former governor John Huntsman, Jr. and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah:

        * 48 percent support Huntsman, who hasn’t said what his plans are for the 2012 election
        * 23 percent support Chaffetz, who has hinted he might run
        * 21 percent support Hatch, who says he’s definitely running again
        * 7 percent said they favor someone else
        * 1 percent said they don’t know

    Orrin Hatch who sometimes leans to the left, better shore up his right flank and do some fence mending with the Tea Party folks in Utah or he will be OUT in 2012.