On a rather slow day in news (just a Supreme Court vote, two prominent baseball players testing positive for steroids and a keg at the White House), I'm going to take a creative look at the GOP field for 2012, including Mike and his competition. They come in ascending order of best chance of winning.
The Lightweights (Yes Sarah Palin is a lightweight) And let's be clear, it's not that these candidates have no chance of winning, just that they aren't in the front of the pack and that, as of now, I don't see them competing seriously in 2012. However, anything can happen in the world of politics.
Jeb Bush- Surely Republicans won't elect another Bush, right? Maybe not. It's likely without his brother being extremely unpopular he would be the frontrunner. He's smart and very popular in his home state of Florida. Not to mention a candidate essentially being guaranteed Florida would be very hard to beat. So far, "Dubya's" little brother has performed abysmal in the polls. As in under 5%. That being said, don't be surprised at all if those numbers take a steep incline as we climb closer to 2012. However, I think his brother's tarnished name will be too much to overcome. Though his electoral math will look better than his nationwide polling, he won't have enough support to make a serious run at the office. Although don't be surprised if a more serious run comes in 2016. Chances of winning: 3%
Charlie Crist- Another Republican from Florida, he's becoming a champion of bi-partisanism. He is very popular among moderates and again, from a great state for being elected. Although I think he could have a nice following, I'd be surprised if his numbers ever reached double digits. Not to mention, he still has to overcome the conservative Marco Rubio for the Florida Senate seat, which some polls have Rubio neck and neck. If he does beat Rubio, he might have enough support to get into the debate of GOP 2012 Candidates. If not, game over. Chances of winning: 5%
Bobby Jindal- Although relatively unknown now, he could be a household name by 2012. If an unknown were to come out and win, I think Jindal is it. He's popular among conservatives and has appeal to moderates. I wouldn't be surprised if he finishes above Sarah Palin. (in fact, I might be surprised if he doesn't). Right now, Jindal's biggest problem is his recognition. If he can get his name out, he could be a force. Chances of Winning: 10%
Sarah Palin- After much debate, I decided to put Palin below Pawlenty and Gingrich. Although I've always liked her appeal and her fair-mindedness, she is as unpopular as she is popular. Almost everyone has made their minds up about her, and it's more bad than good. She was very popular among Conservatives, but that took a shot with her new "bi-partisan kick" and her promise to campaign for democrats. She's a very interesting political figure, but will not be strong enough to compete in 2012. Chances of Winning: 14%