Just a mini-update, because the VP Power Rankings change about as often as Ryan Seacrest whitens his teeth.

Republicans

1. Mark Sanford – He’s a conservative darling, and fits the profile well, if McCain cares to appease the grassroots. The question becomes, does Mac Daddy really care about the conservative base?

2. Mitt Romney – Wealthy, polished, wealthy, already has some national name ID, wealthy, tireless, wealthy, and negates questions about McCain’s weakness on economics issues. Oh, and did we mention he’s wealthy?

3. Bobby Jindal – He’s a complete long shot, but we’ve not seen a long shot get this much buzz since Geraldine Ferrarro in ’84.

The GOP Darkhorse

Sarah Palin – Great back story, very charming and likable, and serves smack dab in the middle of a drilling-where-the-greens-don’t-want-to-drill state. That state happens to be Alaska. She’s got a bit of a “hottie” buzz about her, but like we said, she’s from Alaska.

Democrats

1. Evan Bayh – He’s the poster boy for Moderate Democrats, plus he’s vetted and experienced. If Obama wants to add very popular, moderate balance, this IS the best pick. By the way, he’s moderate.

2. Evan Bayh – He’s such a good pick, we think he occupies spots #1 and #2.

3. Sam Nunn – He’s also moderate, and very experienced, and also fits the ‘insider’ model that is common with Veep picks. He’s also been out of politics for 10 years, and does the ‘change’ candidate want an old-school Beltway insider? He may need one, and Nunn is just as good as any of them.

The Dem Darkhorse

Al Gore – He’s never been more respected around the world, his pet issue has never been more important, and it would be the ultimate sacrifice for country and would cement a rare place in history. Here’s one for you – who are the only two men to serve as Vice President under two different Presidents?

Welcome to the first edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 VP Power
Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. After ranking the horses seeking the top spot since 2005, we now turn our attention to the bottom of the ticket.

Take note that ranking VP Horses is a much more difficult, fluid, and
subjective task than ranking the presidential candidates. Without polls or primary results to gauge track position it comes down to rumors, tips, and flipping coins.

So let the fun begin!

 

The DEM VP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings
last updated: June 19, 2008


Power
Ranking
The
Horse
Mug Shot Momentum The
Tip Sheet
1 Evan Bayh Bayh Even Bayh has had his eye on this spot
since being the first to withdraw from the big race. He’s popular, he’s
smart, and he’s moderate. Most importantly, he’s got the one trait
Obama might want to balance his historic ticket: He’s whiter
than Donny Osmond.
2 Bill Richardson Richardson Even Richardson has been running for #2 since
his days as a professional baseball player. Bill might be viewed as a
bold and risky pick, but a bazillion-and-one-times safer than Hillary. Still, wouldn’t Obama win the Hispanic vote without him?
3 Joe Biden Biden Even Like Richardson, Biden would bring experience and gravitas to the ticket. But he’s also the consummate Senator: A long-winded, full-of-himself politico who needs 500 words to say what real people could say in 50.
4 Hillary Clinton Clinton Down Hillary’s best chance at being named Veep was
withdrawing with dignity from the race a long time ago. Also, you can’t
dismiss the idea that picking Hillary would mean every parent with a
daughter in a DC-based internship would have to file a preemptive
restraining order against former President Crotch.
5 Jim Webb Webb Down Oh come on, who hasn’t used the phrase “Nazification
of the Confederacy”? The only reason Webb is even on this list is that
he has a military background and hails from VA. The reason he’s falling fast as Obama’s potential Veep is his newly-discovered soft spot for the confederacy.

 

Others receiving votes: Tim Kaine, Al Gore, Claire McCaskill, Michael Bloomberg

 
 
The GOP VP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings
last updated: June 19, 2008


Power
Ranking
The
Horse
  Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Mark Sanford Sanford Even South Carolina’s governor has enemies on the
right and the left, but that’s only among
stick-in-the-mud party leaders,
the conservative grassroots troops love him. Would Sanford want to take
a shot now or bank on being a top-tier front-runner for the top spot in
2012 or 2016?
2 Charlie Crist Crist Even Crist is popular in Florida, the
state that could once again determine who rents the big U-Hall and
moves to 1600 Penn Ave. He has chemistry with McCain, something that’s
not easy to do. Would conservatives embrace him? Or does McCain assume
they’ll come home to the ticket regardless of who’s on the second line?
3 Mitt Romney Romney Even Romney seems to have everything going for
him, except the little bitty fact
that McCain doesn’t like him and by all accounts Mitt isn’t J-Mac’s
biggest fan either. But Romney has more econ street cred than any other
horse on either side, and McCain seems dreadfully out of touch on
economic issues.
4 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Even Huckabee has done everything but get on both knees and
beg for the #2 spot. Sure he’d make social conservatives giddy,
but his tendency to wear his religion on his sleeve could be a
negative. Still, only Obama is smoother on the trail or debate stage.
5 Bobby Jindal Jindal Even Jindal is a hot name at the betting window, but his
age could be a major factor. He’s only 37-years old. For the
mathematically challenged, that makes him 34-years younger than McCain.
The campaign trail for president is no place to start a Big Brother
outreach program.

Others receiving votes: Tim Pawlenty, Jim DeMint, John Thune, Tom Coburn
 
 
The rankings
may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to
PoliticalDerby.com.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.


The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: May 15, 2008
Power Ranking The Horse Mug Shot Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 John McCain McCain Up “Hi, I’m John McCain, I’m running for President, remember me?” That is probably the first commercial Mac should run once the Democrats end their Rocky vs. Apollo brawl. He’s embarked on a foreign policy tour, a biographical tour and a green tour. All that’s left is a three hour tour. (Question – would McCain be the Skipper or Mister Howell?) He’s facing some challenges in the immediate future, like who’s gonna be his VP, and some challenges down the line, like Ron Paul telling his supporters that there is a Star Trek Convention in St. Paul in early September. Beam me up, Johnny!


The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: May 15, 2008

Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Barack Obama Obama Up It has been a tale of two campaigns for Barry Obama, one of offense and one of defense. His offense is sort of like his basketball game – it’s pretty good and he knows it. When he was on offense, he buried Hillary Clinton in the month of February. And then came his defense. Yah, his defense is a bit more like his bowling game – painful to watch. He’s been on the defensive since March and has lost more primaries than he won. Despite these gutter balls, he’s managed to pick up a spare by catching and passing Hillary in pledged superdelegates in the last week and then garnering John Edwards’ endorsement this week. The math is strongly in his favor, but assuming he wins the nomination, he’d better bring his hoops game in the general against McCain, because he doesn’t look good in those funny bowling shoes.
2 Hillary Clinton Clinton Even She can’t win, but does she know it? Of course she does, that’s why she’s already running for 2012. She believes that Obama is fatally flawed in the general, but has she looked in the mirror lately? The feeling here is she takes her wins in Kentucky and Puerto Rico , and then bows out “on top”. What’s next for Hill? She’s still a Senator, so she’s got that going for her. Does she push for VP? Go for Majority Leader? Quit politics, gains some weight, grow a beard, take up some pet cause, make a documentary and win an Oscar and a Nobel Prize? Oops, we forgot. Al’s got that market cornered.
The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: February 2, 2008
Power Ranking The Horse Mug Shot Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 John McCain McCain Up Many thought McCain was done after last summer’s immigration debate. He wasn’t. More suspected that despite a win in his adopted state of New Hampshire, the GOP in South Carolina would deep fry his hopes. They didn’t. Then even more predicted he’d fizzle in the first closed primary in Florida. Nope. J-Mac is now the undisputed front runner and is one Sweet Tuesday away from becoming the presumptive nominee. Is he still old, temperamental, chalky and full of himself? Absolutely.
2 Mitt Romney Romney Down She’s not singing yet, but the fat lady has been forcibly removed from Golden Corral and is gargling with warm salt water in the parking lot. Romney may have distracted her for a moment or two with a decent final debate performance, but it wasn’t enough. McCain played Dean Smith four-corners ball on the Iraq issue and Romney was trapped. Romney needs a big upset somewhere on Tuesday to push the race another week. Utah and Colorado won’t cut it.
3 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Even A month ago Huckabee was a legit contender. Now he’s not even a one-trick pony as his commanding grip on the evangelical vote has disappeared. He pulled 46-percent in Iowa and hasn’t come close to that number since. Sure, Huck could play a role on Time-to-Withdraw Tuesday in southern states, but only to the extent that he guarantees McCain the nomination by siphoning conservative votes from Romney. Judging from Huckabee’s love affair with his McDaddy, it seems he’ll be as satisfied with a McCain win as he would his own.
4 Ron Paul Paul Even Romney gets the most heat for raising and spending millions without much to show for it. Why does Dr. Paul escape such criticism? Paul topped the GOP field, raising almost $20 million in the fourth quarter and spending most of it. Now his web site boasts he’s raised another $5 million already in 2008. What has his impressive booty bought him? An anemic average of 5% of the vote. At least Romney has been burning his own cash.

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: February 2, 2008
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1
(tied)
Hillary Clinton Clinton Even Hillary and Barack, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. The couple did everything in their Hollywood debate but make out like Jack and Rose. Memo to Hill: Put Obama away on Tasty Tuesday – or at least distance yourself – otherwise his momentum may catch and nip you in the next round of scattered primaries. Surely Bill has reminded her that their national lead continues to erode and Obama is making up ground in key states like California.
1
(tied)
Barack Obama Obama Even Doh! Played by the Clintons again, Barack has to wonder how he didn’t see Hillary’s Florida chess move coming. Sure, the delegates mean nothing today, but she could later succeed in seating them at the convention. And even if she doesn’t, Hillary ruled the news cycle and looked like a big winner to millions of news watchers that had no clue Florida was stripped of its delegates. Obama desperately needs to parlay his high profile endorsements by the Kennedys into votes and make their gamble pay off. Because let’s face it, they know people.
The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.


Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: January 22, 2008
Power Ranking The Horse Mug Shot Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 John McCain McCain Up McCain avenged his blood-soaked loss in South Carolina in 2000 and is trying to seize the mantle of front runner in a GOP race that has more personalities than the hypothetical offspring of Rosanne Barr and Rosie O’Donnell. Mac needs to win in Florida, the first closed primary of the season for the ‘Pubs, if he wants to legitimize his ability to win the nomination.
2 Mitt Romney Romney Up Mitt has reinvented his campaign faster than he was able to reinvent his stands on social issues. Going away from the “conservative” candidate to trumpet himself as the “business” candidate served him well in victories in Michigan and Nevada, both of which are struggling economically. Mitt has more delegates than any other GOPer, but his wins thus far aren’t nearly as sexy as NH, IA and SC. A win in Florida? Now that would be sexilicious, and it would make Romney the undisputed front runner.
3 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Down Huck gets credit for running a strong campaign with the loose change he’s scraped from the couches of the Holiday Inn Expresses he frequents as he canvasses for the evangelical vote. But he has yet to prove his ability to win anything beyond his base, and statements about amending the Constitution “so it’s in God’s standards” probably won’t help much. He’s fading fast in Florida. Where can he win again?
4 Ron Paul Paul Up Ron Paul finished second in Nevada. Yippee? He was the only candidate besides Romney to run ads and barely squeezed past McCain to take second. But a silver is a silver, and Paul continues to have a pretty good budget to work with, though it’s unclear where he’s spending it. If the GOP race stays undecided, and Paul somehow, some way fails to pull off winning the nomination, could he have potential to put someone over the top? Or would he even consider endorsing someone he’s so ideologically opposed to?
5 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Down Despite doing everything in Florida but don Mickey Mouse ears and ride on a float to the Epcot Center, Rudy is on the verge of a historical achievement – the worst-run campaign for president in the history of ever. Google “worst Presidential campaigns” and you’ll get John Connelly and Phil Gramm. But Giuliani’s could end up worse then both of theirs. Combined. Times ten. Plus infinity. Plus one.
10 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Down Congratulations Fred, you finished third in your must-win state, and it was your best showing thus far. Unlike most failed campaigns where blame is spread evenly around the horse, staff, consultants, and media advisors, this one is all Fred. This campaign goes down as the biggest bust out of Tennessee since Dolly Parton.

(Thanks, Fred, for dropping out an hour after our new rankings debuted. Didn’t you get my voicemail?)


The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: January 22, 2008
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1
(tied)
Hillary Clinton Clinton Down The Clinton spinning machine is on double-cycle now, lowering expectations in Nevada to then boast about a major victory where just a month earlier she had a 20-point lead. The question remains, can the Hill/Bill Good Cop/Bad Cop routine continue to lure Barack into Thunderdome, where their Master Blaster routine works so well for them?
1
(tied)
Barack Obama Obama Down Ever since his impressive victory in Iowa, Obama has endured a campaign against not one, but two Clintons. Team Billary has succeeded in baiting Obama into the mud pit more and more in the last couple of weeks, right where they are comfortable. But with the Iowa glow long faded into the hangover of a campaign battle, Obama needs a strong win in South Carolina for a boost heading into Tsunami Tuesday.
10 John Edwards Edwards Down Poor Edwards. This guy never stopped running after losing out to Emily Kachowski for third grade class president, and he still can’t get it right.He’s trying to stay above the fray and look like the populist candidate, but when you are barely polling double digits in your birth state against a New York carpetbagger and a freshman senator from the Midwest, it’s time for democrats to say, “Good night, John Boy.”
The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.


With another round of contests in Nevada and South Carolina this weekend, the Derby brain trust (oxymoron alert) has decided to release our first ever Quickie Rankings. Full rankings will come following this weekend’s crucial results.

Democrats

1. Obama: Yes Hillary “won” Michigan, but Obama was smart enough to keep his name off the ballot. Leads in SC by 10 points in the averages.

2. Hillary: Which advisor thought it was a good idea to set yourself up like that? 45% put their coats on, found their polling place, and essentially voted for someone else by choosing either Uncommitted (hmmm, wonder who they meant?) Gravel or Captain Crazy Pants.

3. Edwards: Wake us when you fail to embarrass yourself somewhere. Anywhere.

Republicans

1. Romney: After Michigan his advisors are baffled that he’s not referred to as the front runner. As he likes to say, “two golds, two silvers,” plus leads in delegate and raw vote count. Michigan saved his political career–at least for now.

2. McCain: Independents didn’t show for McCain in Michigan as they did in 2000, despite the fact that the GOP race was the only show in town and McCain ran very hard there. Looking strong in SC, leading in averages, will that change as new polls hit between now and Saturday?

3. Huckabee: There was a stunning and troubling result in Michigan for Camp Huck. Evangelicals supported Romney over Huckabee 34%-29%. And don’t buy the name ID argument, Huckabee won Iowa and millions in free advertising. Needs SC more than anyone but Fred.

4. Thompson: Currently fourth in the state (SC) he must win to continue. Or would a strong second buy him time?

5. Giuliani: Florida.

6. Paul: Still waiting for that online fervent firestorm of support to manifest itself in the real world.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: January 4, 2008
Power Ranking The Horse Mug Shot Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Up The Derby has discovered how Huckabee won the Iowa caucus, but after serious reflection, we’ve decided not to announce it. It’s never too late to do the right thing. Nevertheless an impressive victory, but does anyone else wonder why no leading conservatives support him?
2 Mitt Romney Romney Romney wishes he’d never raised the bar in Iowa with that summertime straw poll win. Because he just crawled right under it with his finish in the caucus. Now it’s either win New Hampshire or it’s back to that minimum wage job at Bain.
3 John McCain McCain Up Forget expensive scientific polling data. Google “McCain + Lazarus” and you’ll find 48,600 results. But try Googling “McCain + Amnesty” and you’ll find 321,000 results. McCain better hope New Hampshire voters prefer Yahoo.
4 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Down Rudy’s strategy from launch day was to ignore Iowa, survive New Hampshire, and cruise on Super Duper Tuesday. He’s right on track, if by “cruise” he meant Carnival and seven tasty meals and snacks a day.
5 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Up It could have been worse for Fred. He lives to play another day in New Hampshire and probably runs on to South Carolina. But he’s out of money, and Metamucil doesn’t come cheap.
6 Ron Paul Paul Down Ron Paul has exactly one more chance to prove the naysayers wrong. It’s all about New Hampshire. He pulled only slightly more support than the “biased” mainstream polls predicted. Maybe all that Internet buzz was just that — buzzed people using the Internet.

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: January 4, 2008
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Barack Obama Obama Down Pick your sports metaphor: Obama just pulled a Buster Douglas, a Miracle on Ice, a Joe Namath in Super Bowl III. Even better yet, a win in New Hampshire will put Obama farther ahead than any horse since Secretariat.
2 Hillary Clinton Clinton Down Hillary’s third place finish in Iowa was more than a flesh wound, it was the systematic breaking of three out of four legs. Hillary must win New Hampshire, period, or she’ll be on Divorce Court faster than you can say Judge Mablean.
3 John Edwards Edwards What do we call it when 70% of Iowa caucus-goers reject you despite spending six years of your life there begging for their support? A loss.
4 Bill Richardson Richardson Richardson is likely to run until February 5th, regardless the outcome in New Hampshire. But is there truth to the rumors that Richardson’s wife calls him “Mr. Number Two” behind closed doors? Let’s hope not.
The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.


Welcome to the Special Christmas Edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

What do the leading horses want from Santa?

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: December 16, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet: “What does each candidate want from Santa Clause this year?”
1 Barack Obama Obama Down
  • That someone actually begins to care that Oprah endorsed him
  • That Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don’t decide to pull an Oprah and start campaigning for him
  • Wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, because even Bill’s old state trooper buddies couldn’t stop that momentum
2 Hillary Clinton Clinton Down
  • A photo of Obama writing his kindergarten musings from a mosque
  • Power outages at the major pollsters call centers
  • For every woman who’s ever slept with Bill to endorse her, ensuring Hillary wins the nomination unanimously
3 John Edwards Edwards
  • A drug company scandal
  • An insurance company scandal
  • A mega-scandal involving Hillary, Ellen, Obama, and Larry Craig
4 Bill Richardson Richardson
  • A list of china patterns for Air Force Two
  • Ribbons, lots of ribbons
  • A giant pair of scissors
5 Joe Biden Biden
  • To have been a governor instead of a senator
  • For voters to actually vote based on foreign policy street cred
  • A Festivus miracle
Others receiving votes: Chris Dodd, Al Gore, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich
The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: December 16, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet: “What does each candidate want from Santa Clause this year?”
1 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Up
  • Short memories for pocket-book conservatives regarding his tax policies as Arkansas governor
  • $25 million and 3,000 volunteers to compete after Iowa
  • Someone to text message him whenever NIE reports on Iran are released
2 Mitt Romney Romney Down
  • That Donny and Marie Osmond don’t decide to pull an Oprah and start campaigning for him
  • A win in New Hampshire equal to his likely loss in Iowa
  • For Huckabee to give up politics and return to the pulpit
3 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani
  • Short memories for social conservatives regarding his policies as NYC mayor
  • A family therapist
  • A survival kit that lasts until Super Duper Tuesday
4 Ron Paul Paul Up
  • A top three finish in Iowa
  • A monster 4th quarter at the bank
  • For all states to suddenly decide to allow primary votes to be cast online
5 John McCain McCain
  • Two words: New Hampshire
  • For his rivals to continue gushing over him in public
  • For 12 million illegals to voluntarily go home so immigration is no longer an issue
6 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Down
  • To actually give a rat’s rear-end whether he wins or loses
  • A referral to the same doctor that gave John Kerry botox
  • The end of the Hollywood writers’ strike so he can start campaigning again
Others receiving votes: Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Lazlo

The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

And now off to the races!

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: November 5, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Down Hillary is still out in front of the pack. But she didn’t just stumble at the last debate, she fell on her face and swallowed three pounds of dirt. The rumble of Obama and Edwards galloping behind her seems to have put her on edge and democrats must be wondering if she can’t handle the pressure in a democratic debate, how will she fare under much more heat from the GOP during the general election? In a matter of 90 minutes Hillary went thick skin to easy bleeder. (previous ranking: #1)
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Down In the past, Hillary occupied two or three of the top positions because of her commanding lead. This round she needs two slots because she’s riding two horses. Debate watchers saw her standing astride two thoroughbreds with one foot on each saddle. One horse is racing for the far-left base of the party while the other one heads for the middle. It’s tough to balance like that and still ride fast enough to stay ahead of the competition. (previous ranking: #1)
3 Barack Obama Obama Down Barack has hit his stride and is discovering that anti-Hillary momentum might carry him past the verbal miscues. He’s said several bone-headed things lately, but thus far a smile and a wave makes everything peachy again. Though Hillary’s universally panned debate loss gave Obama an extra burst of energy, he’s still not a good bet to overtake her. But at least he’s making things interesting again. (previous ranking: #4)
4 John Edwards Edwards Down College for everyone! Health care for everyone! Cotton candy for everyone! Edwards is littering the track with promises and sound bites. Then when he’s not describing a new entitlement, he’s explaining why he’s the real alternative to Hillary. The fact that he can’t even see Hillary from where he is on the track doesn’t seem to matter. Still, every bad day for Hillary is a good day for Edwards. (previous ranking: #5)
5 Bill Richardson Richardson Down Richardson gets a bump because Hillary came back to the pack in recent weeks. But the governor needs to do more than lope around the track selling himself as the alternative to the alternative who is the alternative to Bush. Never in the history of US presidential politics has a candidate so obviously been running for the ribbon-cutting slot on the ticket. (previous ranking: unranked)
Others receiving votes: Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Al Gore, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: November 5, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Rudy’s remains in the top spot due to his healthy year-long national lead. But the Mayor will test history by trying to win the GOP nomination despite likely losing Iowa, New Hampshire and possibly South Carolina, where he now trails slightly in the state averages to Governor Romney. Rudy’s team loves to crow about their double digit national lead, but they’d trade 10 national points for a win in Iowa or New Hampshire in a New York minute. (previous ranking: #1)
2 Mitt Romney Romney Down Romney’s campaign is one of the more perplexing in recent cycles. His national numbers are almost exactly what they were 6 months and tens of millions of dollars ago. But his state numbers improve almost poll-to-poll. He sits very comfortably ahead in Iowa, somewhat comfortably ahead in New Hampshire, and for the first time leads in South Carolina, a state presumed unwinnable by a Mormon. Would you rather be the horse with the national lead or the one leading the states that vote first? (previous ranking: #3)
3 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Down Fred manages to stay in the running, even though he likes to wander off the track every once in a while to graze in the infield. He might be the first candidate to contend for the nomination without actually campaigning. And no, we’re not comparing him to the reluctant George Washington. It’s hard to imagine the GOP base, no matter how much they like him, rewarding his part-time campaign with the GOP nomination. (previous ranking: #2)
4 Mike Huckabee
(tie)
Huckabee Up As Fred fails to impress, Huckabee creeps toward the top-tier. Huck’s numbers have improved in Iowa and a second place showing would make him an instant contender. His greatest hurdles are cash — he has almost none — and the growing chorus of conservative voices accusing him of being a RINO while serving as Arkansas governor. (previous ranking: #5)
5 John McCain
(tie)
McCain Down The fact that these two are tied says a lot about both candidates. McCain continues to fail to meet expectations while Paul soars right over them. McCain looks more tired than battle tested and Paul looks energetic and spunky. So yes, we finally have a Year 2000 McCain in the race! But it’s Ron, not John, and that’s why Paul is capturing the grassroots energy that once belonged to McCain. (previous ranking: tied for #4)
5 Ron Paul
(tie)
Paul Up See McCain, Tired. (previous ranking: #5)
Others receiving votes: Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo

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The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

And now off to the races!

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: October 13, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Up Hillary out raised everyone in a quarter that saw her give back $850,000 back to a corrupt donor. Campaign scuttlebutt suggests she’ll soon offer that same amount to every American as her bidding war with herself continues. $5,000 per kid quickly became $1,000 per person per year, so she’s on the right trajectory. At this point her cackle and Bill’s super-sexed libido are the only real threats to winning the nomination. (previous ranking: #1)
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Up She slipped a little, but in a stunning move, was overtaken by herself. Refusing to commit to having all US troops out of Iraq by 2013 displeased the Democrat base. But that fizzled when the other top-tier Democratic candidates, with the exception of Richardson, said the exact same thing. Keep your friends close, and those positioning themselves to be your Vice Presidential nominee, closer. (previous ranking: #1)
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Up Do you see the trend? Hillary is back to assuming the top three spots. This is her race to lose unless the media starts flexing their muscles and asking tougher questions. How are you going to pay for all of your promises? Why are you aligning yourself with someone who likes to shove classified documents down his pants for kicks? Who’s better for the kids, Britney or K-Fed? (previous ranking: #1)
4 Barack Obama Obama Down Little things like lapel pins mean so much, especially when the conventional wisdom is you’re just too wet behind the ears. He just can’t seem to shake the Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time image. Perhaps his fortune will change once he starts spending his millions on TV ads, but for now his numbers are stuck. (previous ranking: #2)
5 John Edwards Edwards Down Edwards is having a hard time stepping out of his wife’s shadow, and for good reason, she may be the better story. Can he reclaim his once prized-Iowa lead? Will rumors that Edwards had a tryst with a former staffer stick? And if so, will he have paid more for her than the haircuts? (previous ranking: #3)
Others receiving votes: Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Al Gore, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: October 13, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Down Rudy regains the top spot because he out raised his fellow Republicans without dipping into his own pocket to pad his total. His position in New Hampshire is improving by the day and he’s picked up several recent endorsements. It also didn’t hurt that he’s not the one who suggested consulting lawyers before acting on matters of national defense. He owes a Mitt a slice of New York pizza for that tasty debate gaffe. (previous ranking: #2)
2 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Pick your school of thought on Fred Thompson’s first debate performance. One says he did poorly in the debate with his alternating short and rambling answers. The other thinks he cleared the bar just fine, thank you very much. None of that matters, the important thing is he finally showed up. Fred was second in fundraising – if you don’t count Romney’s generous loan – and he has plenty of money to get through the year. (previous ranking: #1)
3 Mitt Romney Romney Down Mitt, Mitt, Mitt. The Law & Order debate joke was more canned than his Grandma’s peaches and his line about consulting attorneys sent shivers down the spines of conservatives. Is there something in the Massachusetts water? We’ve gone from a “Global Test” to a “Bar Exam” on issues of national defense. He needs to sit down with his largest donor, himself, and find a way to be as polished as he’s been accused of being. (previous ranking: #3)
4 John McCain McCain Even Still clinging to life, still fighting and perhaps finding traction in the Granite State. He’s proof positive that if you’re going to fall flat on your face, make sure you do it early enough that you have time to pick yourself back up. McCain’s hurdle will be having enough cash to sustain momentum if he wins or finishes second in New Hampshire. Anything less and it’s back to the morgue, err, Senate. (previous ranking: tied for #4)
5 Mike Huckabee
(tie)
Huckabee Down Huckabee’s strength had been the debates, but not this last time. Only when he spoke were viewers aware he was even on the stage, then he was quickly forgotten. Of course according to former Bush advisor Dan Bartlett, Huckabee’s name is just too darn silly sounding to win the White House anyway. With that kind of groundbreaking insight, taxpayers should feel fortunate he’s not on the government payroll any longer. (previous ranking: #5)
5 Ron Paul
(tie)
Paul Up Paul and Huckabee may be tied, but they are headed in opposite directions. Raising $5 million in the last quarter is nothing to sniff at when “also-ran” jokes have often had your name as a punch-line. He still defines the term long-shot, but a 3rd place finish in an early state would be something for Team Paul to savor. (previous ranking: #5)
Others receiving votes: Sam Brownback, Newt Gingrich, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo

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Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

As a reminder, we’ve trimmed the number of ranked horses from 10 to 5. You’ll find the long-odds horses in the “Others receiving votes” category. A public outcry might encourage us to change our minds, but at this stage of the race it seems obvious the bottom tier horses are running for issue advocacy.

And now off to the races!

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: September 17, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Up Hillary is running strong and demonstrating her husband’s uncanny knack for brushing off controversy. One of her chief bundlers, Prisoner Hsu, decides to break the law, skip bail, run to Colorado, board a train and hug himself until he’s recognized and busted. But did voters care? Negative. No blood. No foul. Political junkies want a battle: Hillary vs. Obama, Kanye vs. 50 Cent, Gore vs. A Weight Loss Program. But right now they’re getting Hillary running virtually unchallenged. (previous ranking: #1)
2 Barack Obama Obama Even Oprahbamafest ’07 was a huge financial success and none of the dough–so far–has been returned because it came from fugitives. With Oprah on his side, Obama could have the widest stance in recorded history and still pull a huge percentage of the womens’ vote. And she couldn’t have shown up at a better time, Oprah is like a get-out-of-jail-free card for Obama’s incompetent foreign policy statements. (previous ranking: #2)
3 John Edwards Edwards Even Edwards has bounced a bit in recent polls, but he’s still so far behind the front-runners they don’t even bother looking over their shoulders anymore. With ideas like his panned International Anti-Terrorism Agency, he’s fast approaching Bill Richardson levels of relevancy. The best news for the media is that Edwards shows no signs of dropping out or giving in, and the longer he runs the crazier he could get. Write it down: John Edwards could be the Mike Gravel of 2012. (previous ranking: #4)
4 Chris Dodd Biden Up The Senator from Connecticut picked up the endorsement from the Fire Fighter’s Union. With that he quickly went from the out-of-focus, white-haired but clean-shaven Santa in the background of debate clips who no one knows, to the out-of-focus white-haired clean-shaven Santa in the background of debate clips who is endorsed by the Fire Fighter’s Union. Still, he displaces Biden in the Top 5, and that must bring the Jolly Senator and his elves great satisfaction. (previous ranking: #6)
5 Bill Richardson Richardson Down If Bill Richardson were any less relevant he’d be Katie Couric. His failure to catch fire, or even a flicker for that matter, is the one of the biggest surprises of Campaign ’08. Then again, when you suggest God wants Iowa to go first on the nomination calendar, maybe you deserve to be mired in the 3% mud. (previous ranking: #3)
Others receiving votes: Joe Biden, Al Gore, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Rankings last updated: September 17, 2007
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Up Welcome to the top, Freddy T. He assumes the top spot on the strength of stronger-than-expected poll numbers after his bungled campaign launch. He’s bounced to a 9-point lead over Rudy in daily tracking polls. Clearly his Leno gamble doesn’t seem to have bothered anyone but his green-eyed republican opponents. Still, Fred’s publicly scrutinized performance has been only slightly better than Britney’s fat-dance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Thank goodness Fred wears suits. (previous ranking: #3)
2 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Down Rudy is still the national leader in the overall poll averages, but his numbers have been mostly stagnant since leveling off in May. He now appears to be running as the presumptive nominee, adopting an ignore-everyone-but-Hillary strategy. Will that work now that Fred is official? And when will he endorse McCain? With all the praise he pours on the Arizona senator, it seems almost inevitable whether Rudy drops out or not. (previous ranking: #2)
3 Mitt Romney Romney Down Ouch. Romney fought his way into first place only to lose it to someone who wasn’t even officially running a month ago. With Mitt’s luck he’ll claw his way back to the top only to have Newt Gingrich enter the race 7 minutes later and knock him right back out again. The “Ames Bump” has disappeared and he’s once again running fourth, behind McCain. But take heart, Heart Throb, you’re still leading Iowa and NH comfortably. (previous ranking: #1)
4 John McCain McCain Up If there’s one thing McCain knows – besides how to chap the hides of conservatives – it’s how to fight. Who would’ve thought that calling a kid a jerk and teasing him about being drafted would be the spark needed to re-ignite his campaign? It’s too early to gauge whether he can recover fully from Immigrationgate, but the crusty old fighter pilot seemingly still knows how to pull up from a nose-dive. (previous ranking: tied for #5)
5 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Down How do you go from an also-ran to a contender? Follow the Huckabee model. How do you go from a contender back to an also-ran? Follow the Huckabee model’s second step: Call for a nation-wide smoking ban. Just because you’ve gotten healthy doesn’t mean the nation, especially Republican primary voters, want to elect Richard Simmons. The party of individual rights is not very likely to elect someone who wants to take the ideas of big city Democratic mayors nationwide. (previous ranking: #4)
Others receiving votes: Sam Brownback, Newt Gingrich, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo

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Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

As promised (or threatened) we have trimmed the number of ranked horses from 10 to 5 with Labor Day approaching and the Ames straw poll now behind us. You’ll find the long-odds horses in the “Others receiving votes” category.

Rankings last updated: August 16, 2007

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Up Hillary miraculously avoided the minefield of YearlyKos with only a few boos from the netroots. Playing the chess game of courting the Left-wing lunatic fringe while not alienating the middle better than anyone else, she’s widening her impressive lead in national polls. But her support amongst the Left seems more, “Yeah, sure, fine, whatever” than “I love Hill!” Will that be enough to walk away with the nomination? There’s just no passion in the relationship with her supporters. (Not that Hillary isn’t familiar with passionless relationships. She’s been in one for 32 years.) (previous ranking: #1)
2 Barack Obama Obama Even Obama took nuclear weapons off the table, no matter what, then put them back, sort of. Also said he would attack an ally, risking putting Pakistan’s nuclear weapons into the hands of those sworn to destroy us. Obama is the recipient of the most pointless and offensive question thus far in campaign 2008. “Are you black enough?” But lately the more appropriate question is, “Are you competent enough?” (previous ranking: #2)
3 Bill Richardson Richardson Even Richardson is on the rise only if measured against Edwards’ fall. He has managed to avoid most of the pitfalls that trip also-rans and in the process is looking like a savvy VP choice. But to remain on the short list he has to avoid his penchant for pandering. Eyes rolled statewide when Richardson told the media he would rank Iowa in the top 10 of terrorist targets. Even the terrorist cells holed up in Iowa don’t know where Iowa is. (previous ranking: #3)
4 John Edwards Edwards Even Rumors are swirling that Edwards has a lucrative new book deal: From Frontrunner to Also-ran in Three Simple Steps. One, build the largest house in North America. Two, get haircuts that cost more than most people spend on haircuts during their entire lives. Three, demonize Wal-Mart while purchasing a PlayStation 3 from … wait for it … Wal-Mart. Take these steps while talking about two Americas, one rich, one poor, and you’re guaranteed to be hit with charges of insincerity, as was the case with his home state’s largest newspaper. Sounds like a bestseller. (previous ranking: #4)
5 Joe Biden Biden Even Joe Biden, aka the first person ever to run for Secretary of State in a presidential primary. Not nearly crazy enough to win support of the DailyKos crowd, he was the only Democrat candidate to avoid kissing the ring of the netroots. Biden comes across in the debates as the most level-headed of the Democrats running, which is like being the most sober pop star; you’re still drunk. Is it difficult to relate to average Americans when you’ve been a Senator since the age of 29? (previous ranking: #5)
Others receiving votes: Christopher Dodd, Al Gore, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Mitt Romney Romney Up Mitt met expectations, not an easy thing to do in take-no-prisoners politics, and won the Ames Straw Poll big. But everyone knows he was the only major candidate taking it seriously. Polling very well in Iowa and New Hampshire, but still dragging nationally. If he can’t find a way to become known to the nation more for his policies than his religion, he has potential next January to bomb bigger than Daddy Day Camp. Yes, he’s raised a lot of money, but he can’t afford to keep spending more than $400 per vote, especially when those votes don’t matter. (previous ranking: #3)
2 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Down Rudy skipped Iowa, which is probably an indication of his future fate there. But he still leads in the polls almost everywhere else and his no-show in Ames may not damage him as much as a poor showing certainly would have. It’s time for America’s Mayor to become comfortable with what he did do on 9/11 so he’ll stop getting baited into claiming credit for things he didn’t do on 9/11. His biggest asset is starting to reveal albatross potential. (previous ranking: #1)
3 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Down Freddy T’s flirtation with running served him well for months, but his fans are growing tired of waiting for him to ask their hand in marriage. He’s waited so long that his real wife is getting more media attention than he is and he’s had more campaign leadership shuffles than anyone in history who hasn’t officially joined the campaign. It’s time to put up or shut up, or he runs risk of arriving at the altar alone. (previous ranking: #2)
4 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Up The only person not surprised by Huckabee’s showing in the straw poll is Huckabee himself. Finishing second, while only spending $58 per vote, is a terrific showing for someone the media has been considering an also-ran from Day One. Surely Giuliani’s decision not to participate helped, but so have his stellar showings in the debates. If there is an argument to be made for so many debates so early, Huckabee is it. But he would be the only argument for so many debates so early. (And there is no argument, period, for having Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann hosting debates no matter how early they are.) (previous ranking: #5)
5 John McCain McCain Down Yes, McCain is still running … this time away from his stance on immigration reform. His switch on a key GOP issue seems too little too late to regain traction or track position. Even the rock thrown in the pond by Mike Gravel didn’t sink to the bottom this fast. And when you lose the straw poll to Duncan Hunter you know that pain in your butt is a fork. (previous ranking: tied for #4)
Others receiving votes: Sam Brownback, Newt Gingrich, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo

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Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

Rankings last updated: July 25, 2007

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Even Hillary is a force that ostensibly cannot be stopped. She’s the Washington Redskins of the 80’s, the New York Yankees of the 90’s,  or any team that NBA ref Tim Donaghy bet on in the 2000’s. A month ago, when Obama came within the spread, Hillary brought out the big guns — Bill — and it paid off. But will the fact that her hubby is still the party’s #1 rock star remind people of all Hillary could never be? Is Bill more ladylike than Hill? Stay tuned. (previous ranking: #1)
2 Barack Obama Obama Down Obama had been riding high on his massive Q2 primary fundraising victory… right until the moment he caved to an uber-liberal special interest group and suggested sex-ed begin in kindergarten. Fortunately he succeeded in changing the subject. Now he’s alone in suggesting 18 months before potentially taking office that he’d meet with the presidents of Iran, North Korea, and Bedrock. The ensuing dogfight with Hillary has real potential to turn into something rarely seen off the Michael Vick compound. (previous ranking: #2)
3 Bill Richardson Richardson Up Richardson, the hispanic Governor of NM, is hardly lighting the track on fire, but he’s moved up to 3rd because John Edwards simply can’t get his act together. Being consistent has its benefits, even if few people are paying attention to him. He’s nicely positioned to be a solid choice for VP if either Clinton or Obama win the whole enchilada. (previous ranking: #4)
4 John Edwards Edwards Down Edwards’ mega summer poverty tour was more hyped than Evan Almighty, roughly as inspirational, and disappeared from public awareness almost as quickly. No strategy shift seems capable of keeping Edwards from stopping to eat weeds along the side of track. If Edwards were a horse, and horses were planes, he’d be nose-diving. (previous ranking: #3)
5 Joe Biden Biden Up In a field bent on appeasing the moveon.org crowd, Biden’s refreshing honesty about his votes on the war have won him admirers. While seemingly entrenched as the leader of the also-rans, he has firmly planted his flag in the ground of being at the top of the list of dems for Secretary of State. (previous ranking: #6)
6 Chris Dodd Dodd Up The good senator from Connecticut has proven to be, well, irrelevant in this race. Not quite ready to drop out, but his trainer is calling the vet. Bring the syringe, Sheryl. (previous ranking: #7)
7 Dennis Kucinich Kucinich Up Congressman Kucinich has picked up some hard-earned sympathetic press. Unfortunately for him it was due to the fact he, as a Vegan, got food poisoning. But while he might not the best poster child for vegetarianism, his wife sure is. Hubba hubba. (previous ranking: #8)
8 Mike Gravel Gravel Up Gravel’s hatred of rocks and desire to drown them in small ponds made for the oddest ad thus far in the campaign. It earned him more media attention in a day than he could afford over the life of his “campaign”, a word used very loosely in connection with the quirky senior citizen. (previous ranking: #9)
9 Al Gore Gore Down If you throw a concert for the earth and no one really cares, did you accomplish anything? Even with an Oscar and the elimination of life as we know it on his side, Live Earth couldn’t draw enough big names to create a trickle of excitement. His 4-out-of-5-dentists-surveyed approach to science appears to be wearing thin with the public. That and the fact that the Johannesburg, South Africa concert’s low attendance was blamed on the cold weather. Brrr. (previous ranking: #3)
10 Michael Moore Moore Up Even with all the hype and free press for Sicko, Moore’s attempt to insert himself into yet another election has fizzled thus far. His recent attacks on Wolf Blitzer, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN rang as hollow as the results of his stint in a $3800 per week fat farm and the multi-millionaire socialist’s attempts to connect with the “common man” have worked about as well as Lindsey Lohan’s 45-day rehab stay. (previous ranking: #10)
Others receiving votes: Wes Clark, Cindy Sheehan

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Even Rudy’s leads in the national polls are down to an average of just 5 points over Fred Thompson. A strong conservative speech on judges in Iowa and an attack from the nation’s largest firefighters union makes the last few weeks a momentum wash. Only time will tell which will have more sway with the public: Principled talk on how the judiciary should function, or the web-based propaganda of a union that is so liberal that they once endorsed Michael Dukakis. (previous ranking: #1)
2 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Up Freddy T, the hardest working man in the “I’m only sort of running for President” business continues to rise by flirting with the public and creating the type of buzz that tends to go away once you officially announce that you want to be President. The longer he waits to make it official, the longer he’ll escape the spotlight of media scrutiny the other candidates are sweating under. Will his wife’s recent heavy hand in the campaign trip him up? Paging First Lady Sherry Palmer. (previous ranking: #4)
3 Mitt Romney Romney Down Romney is warm, but he has yet to catch fire. Strong showings in polls in the first two primary states are encouraging signs, but those only carry him so far. Particularly when you’re spending money faster than Congress. For someone accused of being “too polished,” his campaign could use an industrial-sized bottle of Tarex. (previous ranking: tied for #2)
4 John McCain McCain Down What’s the single greatest difference between the late, great race horse, Barbaro, and the campaign of John McCain? Barbaro knows he’s dead. (previous ranking: tied for #2)
5 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Even Huckabee continues to win fans, but not supporters. He has positioned himself better than anyone else to be the Veep choice for any one of the announced non-southerners now leading the pact. It’s time for Huck to concede, at least in the mirror, that he can’t win the nomination spending less than Romney spends on makeup consultants. (previous ranking: #5)
6 Ron Paul Paul Up Having more cash on hand than McCain could be due to the Libertarian’s unwillingness to spend money on anything, or it could be that there is still a slice of the populous that actually believes in the Constitution. Don’t expect his support to grow, but do expect it to remain solid. The Paullowers are a very dedicated bunch. (previous ranking: #10)
7 Sam Brownback Brownback Even Brownback’s remarkably sudden return to the conservative fold for his immigration vote pleased the base. But his waffling, lack of money, and any serious, new legislative proposals continue to keep him right where he is likely to finish: near the bottom. (previous ranking: #7)
8 Newt Gingrich Gingrich Down Many conservatives long for the days when Newt led the Republicans to majorities in the House and Senate, but they also fear Newt is more interested in selling books than anything else. And establishing close ties with liberals in his quest to find solutions to America’s problems have caused many conservatives to question the credentials of their once great leader. (previous ranking: #5)
9 Duncan Hunter Hunter Down Duncan Hines has more name recognition and a better shot of pulling off the nomination than Duncan Hunter. And, let’s face it, the cake would taste a lot better at the election night party. (previous ranking: #8)
10 Tom Tancredo Tancredo Down Being a one trick pony on an issue that has played out doesn’t bode well for Tancredo. While immigration is still an issue many voters care about, the fact that there is no longer a bill for people to hate currently before Congress means the media, therefore the public, simply won’t be paying attention to the issue. Unfortunately for Tancredo, the same facts apply to his candidacy. (previous ranking: #9)
Others receiving votes: Patricia Heaton, Tommy “Is he still running?” Thompson

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The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

Rankings last updated: June 22, 2007

(Because there has been little, if any, movement in the second and third-tiers, the latest rankings comprise only the top four horses on each side. Complete rankings due after second quarter fund raising totals are released on or around July 1st.)

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet

Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Hillary Clinton Clinton Up Much like the Bride of Chucky, the Bride of Bill’s momentum just won’t die. While Hillary threatened to have Congress take Big Oil profits, apparently she was taking profits from companies like Exxon and BP, in whom she had invested. Turns out she was also invested in the company the left most loves to hate: Wal-Mart. So far none of this seems to matter as Rasmussen has her running at 37-percent, her high thus far in ’07. (previous ranking: #1)
2 Barack Obama Obama Down It seems everyone has a crush on Obama, but even his second “unauthorized” YouTube video isn’t enough to vault him past Hillary. He still gets more positive press coverage than the other democrats combined, but his coat looks a little less shiny than just four weeks ago. (previous ranking: #1)
3 John Edwards Edwards Down The former VP nominee has become nearly irrelevant. With the exception of Iowa, where he leads by a few points in the poll averages, Edwards is a non-story. He trails Hillary and her sky high unfavorables. He lags behind Obama and his ultra-thin resume. He’s even finds himself looking up at Al Gore, a horse so stale he’s been on the national stage since Britney was sober and in the mouseketeers. (previous ranking: #3)
4 Al Gore Gore Even There is endless talk about how the GOP is so disenchanted with their choices that Fred Thompson polls in the top tier. Gore is no different to the democrats, but that oddly doesn’t get the same ink in the mainstream media. Gore’s window of opportunity is closing quickly. Q2 fund raising numbers are due shortly and the flirtatious Gore could find himself 50 million behind the front runners. (previous ranking: #4)


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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet

Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Even Rudy still leads the Power Rankings, but he can finally feel his competitors’ breath on his hindquarters. He’s fallen from the top in the latest Rasmussen poll and for the first time finds himself trailing an unofficially exploring Freddy T. Sure, that stings, but sources say that campaign moral remains very high, especially at the home of his SC campaign chair. (previous ranking: #1)
2 Mitt Romney Romney Up Mittens, as some bloggers have dubbed him, has made an impressive move to the front in several key state-polls. But his national numbers remain mired in a 10-percent rut. McCainiacs predict Freddy T’s entrance will hurt Mitt the most. Is this wishful thinking or sound analysis? (previous ranking: tied for #2)
3 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Up The world is divided into two camps on former district attorney Arthur Branch. He’s either nothing more than the sexiest flash-in-the-pan since Shakira, or he’s Reagan II, coming to rescue the GOP from Rudy McRomney. His official announcement is due in mid-July. Will his numbers hold once he’s no longer just a hypothetical on a telephone poll? (previous ranking: #4)
4 John McCain McCain Down McCain’s campaign eerily resembles this summer’s movie sequels. He had a huge opening but is fading fast. He’s been sliding in the national polls for months and sources say his Q2 numbers could underwhelm. As Monty Python said, “He’s not dead yet,” but his controversial immigration bill has conservatives mapquesting the nearest glue factory. (previous ranking: tied for #2)

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The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

Rankings last updated: June 6, 2007

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1(tie) Barack Obama Obama Even Obama hangs on to a tie at the top, but his mediocre debate performances are unlikely to give him much of a boost. His key objective now is a huge fundraising month in June to show he’s no first-quarter fluke. In the meantime, his assignment before the next debate is to get better with 30-second answers. Obama shines in lengthy speeches, but his sound bites are so long they make Joe Biden look like a verbal economist. (previous ranking: #1)
1(tie) Hillary Clinton Clinton Even Hillary is right where she wants to be. She has a healthy lead in the national poll averages, but isn’t so far ahead that she’s the only target. After the recent debate it’s obvious she’s seen polling that suggests invoking her husband’s name scores points with likely primary voters. She’s practically become his campaign manager for UN Ambassador and already has packed his bags for that relationship-mending world tour she keeps promising. Let’s just hope she includes clean whitey tighties and some Valtrex. (previous ranking: #1)
3(tie) John Edwards Edwards Even Edwards has name ID to kill for, a well-oiled campaign machine that’s nearly five years old, the hair of a Just for Men model, and the poll numbers of a second-tier candidate. This, political junkies, is what therapists are for. He’s clinging to a tie for third based on a lead in Iowa and a very strong performance in the last debate, but he can’t be thrilled with trailing Al Gore in the national polls. (previous ranking: #3)
3(tie) Al Gore Gore Up Just when you think Gore will ride off on his Ethanol powered space ship, he reminds us that the door on a 2008 campaign isn’t quite closed. Buzz over his new book release has Al and Tipper once again sharing familiar political pillow talk. Every night he turns and lovingly asks, “So, do I have one more in me?” Gore is the only candidate that could afford to sit out this long, but he’s down to 4-6 weeks, tops, to make a move. (previous ranking: #7)
5 Bill Richardson Richardson Down Governor Richardson, who we’ve heard serves as governor of New Mexico, has been teasing analysts for weeks with his potential to join the top-tier horses. So far the governor has failed to deliver much besides constant reminders that he’s the governor of New Mexico. The lousy showing at the last debate by Governor Richardson, governor of New Mexico, ranks as one of the biggest surprises thus far in the 2008 derby. (previous ranking: #4)
6 Joe Biden Biden Up No one could ever accuse Joe Biden of being just a show horse. Every time he gets on a debate stage he reminds people that if there were an award given for Winner Among Those Without a Snowball’s Chance of Ever Becoming President, Senator Biden would be the guy. No one doubts Biden is passionate and truly cares, but he’s still destined to be a Senate lifer. (previous ranking: #6)
7 Chris Dodd Dodd Down Senators Dodd and Biden have been nearly indistinguishable — until now. Dodd now seems out of place next to everyone above him. He may raise enough money in Q2 to keep trotting around the track, but he’s running in Biden’s second-tier shadow. (previous ranking: #5)
8 Dennis Kucinich Kucinich Even Kucinich has proven a surprisingly strong debater, but sometimes he looks like a trick carnival pony when standing on stage next to the other horses. The unhandled, unspun Kucinich believes every word he utters. And that’s precisely why he’ll never sniff the White House. (previous ranking: #8)
9 Mike Gravel Gravel Even It’s hard not to like Mike Gravel. He is fed up with the system and wouldn’t know a political consultant if one danced nude during shuffleboard time. The former Senator reminds each of us of the crazy Uncle who’s only permitted to attend family reunions on the condition he take his meds. Which, as we learned in the last debate, he gets without incident from the VA. (previous ranking: unranked)
10 Rosie O’Donnell Rosie Up With Wes Clark finally out of the rankings, symmetry required a new horse to enter the field. Who better than the now unemployed Rosie O’Donnell? She may not have a good head on her shoulders, but if ever there was a horse’s behind… (previous ranking: unranked)
Others receiving votes: Wes Clark

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1(tie) Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Even Rudy is no longer alone at the top. His national numbers are still enviable – he averages a double digit lead – but according to the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, the percentage of Republicans who definitely will not vote for Giuliani has jumped from less than a quarter to 33-percent. Now comes the news that Rudy will skip the Iowa straw poll, a major barometer of support and an important stepping stone to winning the caucus. Will Iowans feel left at the alter? Yes, so expect the mayor’s numbers to slip. (previous ranking: #1)
1(tie) Mitt Romney Romney Up Romney isn’t lighting up the national surveys, but his state numbers are on the rise. He now leads in Iowa and New Hampshire and he’s expected to post another huge number when Q2 fundraising totals are released the first of July. He still has sizable hurdles, including new numbers suggesting that 30-percent of republicans are remain less likely to support a Mormon, but most insiders including veteran political operative Ben Affleck no longer consider him a dark horse. (previous ranking: tied for #2)
3(tie) John McCain McCain Even McCain’s aura of inevitability as the establishment candidate has been officially tossed to the ash heap of history. But his latest debate performance finally gave voters, particularly in New Hampshire, a reminder of what they loved about McCain version 2.000. Either you admire him for standing firm on the immigration issue in spite of overwhelming opposition from within his own party, or you call his legislation further evidence that he’s not a conservative. Either way at least we know he’ll call us “friends” 42 times per debate. (previous ranking: tied for #2)
3(tie) Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Up Fred is in an enviable position. As an unannounced exploratory candidate this actor doesn’t have to show his Racing Stripes or stand In the Line of Fire. But he obviously wasn’t Born Yesterday and knows that the day he officially enters the race he faces Barbarians at the Gate. Will we soon hear from many DC-area women that asked Fred to Stay the Night during his years in the Senate? (previous ranking: #4)
5 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Up Huckabee ought to be lobbying for more debates. Perhaps no one has been more consistently impressive on stage. He’s smooth and sincere and looks the part of a serious GOP presidential contender. His hurdle is that he couldn’t get arrested in IA, NH or SC. His polls numbers are lower than Paris Hilton’s blood alcohol level. (previous ranking: #6)
6 Newt Gingrich Gingrich Down It seems Newt has developed a habit of appearing on television minutes after Fred Thompson to remind us that he, too, could jump into the race. The difference is that Fred doesn’t chastise America for being interested in the race this early. Newt thinks anyone either running or following the campaigns this far out is an idiot. He’s still polling well, but his act is growing old. (previous ranking: #5)
7 Sam Brownback Brownback Even Brownback has become the poster child for second-tier candidates. He’s taken more seriously than the bottom-tier horses below him, but no number of eloquent responses on evolution or abortion will move him to the big time. He likely sticks it out until the Iowa straw poll in August, but then it’s back to the Senate. (previous ranking: #7)
8 Duncan Hunter Hunter Even Hunter has quickly become the one candidate you’d most like to have a rootbeer with after a long day at the office. He knows the issues and doesn’t look or sound controlled by high-priced political consultants. He won’t win, but he might have the best shot of the dark horses to last past Labor Day. (previous ranking: #8)
9 Tom Tancredo Tancredo Up Tancredo couldn’t have asked for better timing. The issue that has long kept him up at night, immigration, is dominating the debate both on stage and on the trail. Admit it, there have been points during the debates when you expected Tancredo to point at the moderator and yell, “You want me on that wall! You need me on that wall!” (previous ranking: unranked)
10 Ron Paul Paul Up We’re willing to go out on a limb here, Dr. Paul is never going to be elected president of the United States. But in his quest for the GOP nomination, he’s winning a surprising number of fans for giving voice to hardcore conservatives who feel left out of the process. If debate watchers think Ron Paul is the only republican who would abolish the IRS or wishes we’d never gone to war in Iraq, they are sorely mistaken.
Others receiving votes: Jim Gilmore, the other Thompson

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Yes we know, the Power Rankings are unforgivably late. They were ready for release a week ago when the dog ate our web server. What can you do?

So welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor and contributors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

Rankings last updated: April 20, 2007

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1(tie) Barack Obama Obama Up Welcome to the lead, Obama. For the first time ever, Hillary has company at the top of the rankings. Obama’s Q1 fundraising totals and ever-improving poll numbers indicate he’s got better legs than Haley Scarnato. He’s closed to just 5 points in one poll and across the board is averaging just an 8-point deficit to Senator Clinton. Not bad for a guy who three years ago was wearing political Pull-Ups. (previous ranking: #2)
1(tie) Hillary Clinton Clinton Down There’s only one question on the mind of ’08 watchers. Does the Senate health plan cover political grief counseling? Hillary has officially lost the title of presumptive nominee. The race she thought would be more coronation than perspiration has developed into a political junkies dream. She can boast all she wants about finishing the first quarter with the most cash-on-hand, but her support wasn’t nearly as deep as her co-leader. (previous ranking: #1)
3 John Edwards Edwards Even Edwards has rebounded in national polls, but the Tip Sheet hears he has an Obama voodoo doll hanging somewhere in his humble NC home. The race to be the “Anybody But Hillary” candidate was Edwards’ to win or lose. That particular race is over for now, and the man with the $400 haircut and populist message is struggling to stay relevant as the lone white male in the top 4. (previous ranking: #3)
4 Bill Richardson Richardson Even As he’s apt to remind you, Richardson is the only actively serving governor on either side. The NM chief executive received positive reviews for his recently concluded state legislative session and got virtually everything he wanted with some crafty maneuvering. Toss in a surprisingly strong $6 million raised in the first quarter and you’ve got the greatest threat to the big three. He doesn’t poll particularly well, but at this early stage in 1991, neither did another chubby governor. (previous ranking: #4)
5 Chris Dodd Dodd Up Despite Dodd’s day job as chairman of the powerful Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, he didn’t raise nearly as much money in the first quarter as some predicted. Nevertheless, a healthy transfer of $5 million from his Senate account gives him enough dough to forge on. And even if his numbers weren’t stellar, he did boast some star power of his own cashing checks from the likes of Chevy Chase. Dodd just hopes his campaign lasts longer than Chevy’s talk show. (previous ranking: #6)
6 Joe Biden Biden Up Biden’s $2.8 million in the bank keeps him solidly in the second tier. But outside the picnic shelter at the Biden family reunion, is there anyone who believes he can actually be elected president of this country? Now Iraq is another matter. With Biden’s ability to frame the debate and articulately discuss every nuance of the troubled country, perhaps Biden is setting himself up for a change of citizenship? (previous ranking: #7)
7 Al Gore Gore Down Gore had a window of opportunity leading up to and immediately after the Oscars, but that window is now closing faster than a Quentin Tarantino film. It doesn’t help that no one can hear his global warming message, what with all those hats and ear muffs we’re having to wear this spring. (previous ranking: #5)
8 Dennis Kucinich Kucinich Even Kucinich is the only candidate on the left with almost as many MySpace friends as dollars in the bank. He’s pledged to raise $50 million for his campaign and his Q1 totals put him comfortably on pace to challenge for the nomination in 2096. (previous ranking: #8)
9 Wes Clark Clark Even Say goodnight, Gracie. The draft Clark effort is running on dial-up fumes. (previous ranking: #9)
10 Mike Gravel Even The bad news is that Gravel’s campaign reports just $498 dollars cash-on-hand. The good news is that leaves plenty for a nice haircut before the first candidate forum. (previous ranking: #10)

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
1 Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Even In any other year Giuliani’s first quarter numbers would have been like an overdose of Viagra to the political world. But he finished fourth overall and has watched his lead shrink in the most recent polls. Plenty of pundits and bloggers are wondering how long Mr. Teflon II can deflect controversy and bridge his deep ideological gap with the GOP base. Will he be known as a Sanjaya or a Melinda? Only time will tell. (previous ranking: #1)
2 Mitt Romney Romney Up Romney led the GOP field with a whopping $23 million raised in the first quarter. Then he went right out and spent nearly half of it on Caffeine Free Diet Coke and name ID. He’s doing well on the ground in places like South Carolina, winning a surprising number of county straw polls, but he needs to start seeing a return on that Q1 investment quickly in the national polls that make the 6:00 news. (previous ranking: tied for #2)
3 John McCain McCain Sources say Senator McCain is in the market for a Men in Black magic pen-light that when triggered causes everyone to forget the last several months. How else does he get past a rough first quarter that was supposed to send him off on an easy trot to the nomination? He’s still the establishment favorite with a shiny bus, but his momentum is AWOL. (previous ranking: tied for #2)
10 Fred Thompson Fred Thompson Up Yes, Fred’s ranking is lofty for someone not actually running for president, but how can you ignore a guy whose numbers are so sky high? His dog and pony show on the Hill got raves and there are rumored to be dozens of lawmakers ready to endorse his candidacy. And honestly, why would Lymphoma mess with a guy like Fred Thompson? Doesn’t it know Fred’s going to beat the snot out of it and send it to jail? (previous ranking: unranked)
5 Newt Gingrich Gingrich Even Newt’s got ideas that resonate, a loyal following, and poll numbers that over half the field must envy. What he doesn’t have are little things like money, a political team, or a calendar. (previous ranking: #5)
4 Mike Huckabee Huckabee Down Huckabee has been running full-time since January but has little to show for it. Now a new Gallop poll has him trailing George Pataki. Pataki? Seriously? George Pataki? Huck needs to make a move quickly, or his best shot at airtime in ’08 will be as the new Jared. (previous ranking: #4)
6 Sam Brownback Brownback Down Brownback raised less than $2 million since December, has less than $1 million in the bank, and can’t crack 1% in the polls. Those might be three good reasons to consider throwing in the salt lick. (previous ranking: #6)
7 Duncan Hunter Hunter Down Calling Hunter’s early fundraising numbers anemic would be a disservice to anemia sufferers everywhere. He raised enough to keep the electricity on, but his campaign better hope for a mild summer. (previous ranking: #7)
8 Tommy Thompson Thompson Down With a resume like Thompson’s, one expected a bit more than the $500K raised thus far. Perhaps if he were Jewish he’d do better, because according to Thompson they’re good with money. (previous ranking: #8)
9 Jim Gilmore Gilmore Down MISSING: Evidence of the candidacy of former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. If you have any information on its whereabouts, please email wheresjim@politicalderby.com. (previous ranking: #9)

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Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service in the current race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips.

Last updated on March 12, 2007

The DEM Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
Hillary Clinton Clinton Hillary’s had better months. Her once commanding lead has been sliced in half since her January in-it-to-win-it announcement and her campaign went nuclear in the David Geffen drama when a simple sniper would have done nicely. Fortunately her lead is still double digits, she continues to benefit from an old-school political machine that’s to die for, and she’s still married to the first black President. But look closely, race fans, this horse is sweating like Eddie Murphy in a fatsuit. (previous ranking: #1)
Barack Obama Obama Senator Obama couldn’t have prayed for a better story than David Geffengate. The drama opened some democrats’ eyes and prompted Clintonites from coast-to-coast to wonder what the definition of “inevitable” is. While Hillary ‘s margin among white voters has been consistent, take note of Obama’s growing support among blacks. A January poll showed that blacks favored Hillary by a whopping 60-20 margin. But a recent ABC-Washington Post poll has Obama now leading 44-33. Go ahead. read that again, that’s a 51-point swing. (previous ranking: #2)
John Edwards Edwards So that’s what momentum looks like. Edwards has been stumbling since the second Obama and Hillary announced their campaigns. Who would have guessed Edwards would find his mojo hiding at FoxNews? The skirmish over the now-cancelled Nevada debate, fueled by Edwards’ decision to skip it, has breathed life into his stalled campaign and re-energized his loyalists. Still, the very latest surveys of the party faithful have him doubled up by Obama 24%-12%. Ouch. (previous ranking: #3)
Bill Richardson Richardson Richardson just wrapped up his first trip to Iowa and reports from the track suggest that despite his tardiness to their fair state, he was very well received. He barely registers in the polls, but the Derby’s ridiculously early start time gives him the one resource the leaders can’t horde: time. If Richardson can raise enough money to keep staff in place and fuel in the plane, he poses the biggest threat to join the three-headed monster: Clintbamards. (previous ranking: #4)
Al Gore Gore No one has ever relished the role of potential candidate more than Al Gore. He’s still smiling from his Academy Award win and there are unconfirmed reports that he snuggles with his Oscar statuette at night. Gore is the one horse who can afford to wait before taking the plunge, but the clock is ticking. Enjoy it, Mr. Veep, you haven’t been this popular or relevant since inventing the Internet. (previous ranking: #10)
Chris Dodd Dodd Senator Dodd will no-doubt raise a few eyebrows when first quarter fundraising reports come in at the end of March. He’s rumored to be raising money at a surprising clip for a second-tier horse. He might have been voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school, but was he voted Most Likely to Break the Senate Curse by Winning the White House? Doubtful. (previous ranking: #7)
Joe Biden Biden Clearly Biden is still recovering from his “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” brain malfunction. The Tip Sheet hears his stump speech is very impressive, but almost no one is listening. He’s reportedly drawing very meager crowds. Is that because he unintentionally offended some African Americans, or just because he’s Joe Biden? (previous ranking: #5)
Dennis Kucinich Kucinich Congressman Kucinich’s anti-war message makes him more popular with the grassroots than his ranking would indicate. He’s the only democrat running who doesn’t have to apologize for voting neither for the war nor its funding. He can’t win, but that shouldn’t keep America from dreaming of a First Lady Elizabeth Kucinich. Vavavoom! (previous ranking: #8)
Wes Clark Clark Clark’s most recent comment on 2008 was, “I haven’t said I’m not running.” The General has impressively raised his profile of late by becoming a vocal and leading opponent of the Bush administration’s approach to Iran. But no one likes an indecisive General. Unless he makes a decision very soon, there will be no one left to raise his money and fetch his bottled water. (previous ranking: #9)
Mike Gravel Gravel is so old he makes Jimmy Carter look like a college cheerleader. That’s all we got, sorry Gravel fans. At least he’s ranked and has a green arrow. Baby steps, people, baby steps. (previous ranking: unranked)

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The GOP Horse Tip Sheet
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Rudy is giving “surge” a whole new meaning, and it’s proving to be considerably more popular than Bush’s version. In the past month the former mayor has picked up ten points while McCain has dropped six. Rudy now leads 44-21. So begins the waiting game. Which horse will be the first to beat Rudy’s over the head with his sizable skeletons? (previous ranking: #1)
tie Mitt Romney Romney Romney had a surprisingly strong showing in the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll, taking first over Rudy, Brownback and Gingrich. He’s also just come out as the top choice in an LA Times survey of RNC insiders. However, all this mojo is muted by his inability to crack double digits in the major polls. Time is on his side, but he can’t be stuck 40 points behind Rudy forever. At some point those fat checks from donors will disappear faster than a Taylor Hicks album. (previous ranking: #3)
tie John McCain McCain Senators McCain and Clinton have more in common than meets the eye. Both are suffering from a nasty case of frontrunneritis. It’s tough to run an entire race from the lead, and he’s slowed enough in recent weeks to let Rudy fly right by. If McCain wants to regain momentum, he might start by firing the staffer who suggested that skipping CPAC was a good idea. Nevertheless, he’s still the establishment favorite with impressive endorsements, talented staff, and the benefit of knowing that he’s been tested on this stage. Rudy and Romney have not. (previous ranking: #2)
Mike Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee impressed at CPAC with a generally well-received speech. While he doesn’t have to apologize or spin his positions on issues like abortion, gay rights, gun rights and free speech, he does have a sizable hurdle of his own. According to conservatives in-the-know, his record as a tax-hiker in Arkansas could doom him. They were burned with Bush 41 and could be reluctant to make the same mistake. (previous ranking: #5)
Newt Gingrich Gingrich Following Newt’s movements at CPAC was easy, just look for the throng of fans trailing him through the hotel lobby. Students love him, conservative old-schoolers still carry mini-versions of his Contract with America in their breast pockets, and even the other horses admire his intellect and sense of vision. Can he win? Not in 2008. But as one conservative icon told the Tip Sheet, we can put Newt at the top of the 2012 rankings right now. (previous ranking: #6)
Sam Brownback Brownback Brownback could have invaded Maryland with all the supporters his campaign brought to CPAC. For all the talk about Romney’s efforts, Brownback’s team was a close second in both numbers and buzz. He is remarkably popular with the college crowd, and his third place showing in the straw poll is encouraging. The Tip Sheet has suggested that one of these Senator horses put all their manure on the table and leave the Senate to run full-time from outside the beltway. Could Brownback be the one? (previous ranking: #4)
Duncan Hunter Hunter Hunter must be smiling at his surprising showing in the much-publicized South Carolina straw poll. He came in third, but just 6 votes behind winner John McCain. Could this give him momentum? Can he raise enough money to compete? Can he raise his national name ID above zero? (previous ranking: #7)
Tommy Thompson Thompson Thompson has had difficulty finding any traction during the early stages of the race. The Tip Sheet predicts Thompson could be the first GOPer to leave the race and hop on another horse. (previous ranking: #8)
Jim Gilmore Gilmore While the other candidates spent much of their time in the greenroom and in various receptions, former Virginia Governor Gilmore worked the lobby, the hallways, and the hotel’s restaurant. Gilmore was everywhere introducing himself and his candidacy. Given this effort, his lackluster performance in the straw poll was one of the weekend’s bigger surprises. (previous ranking: #9)
Ron Paul There are good bets, long shots, and Ron Paul. Welcome to the rankings, Congressman. Today he’s just a bli in the national polls–he aspires to be a full blip–but he does boast a very active online fan base. (previous ranking: unranked)
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The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service of the race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips. The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Last updated on February 9, 2007

The DEM Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
Hillary Clinton Clinton Just when we thought Hillary was losing ground (and her voice) after so-so performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, the very latest polls have her crushing Edwards and Obama. In those respective states Hillary has healthy double-digit leads. Nationally she’s on solid ground as well, holding a 16-point lead over Obama and a whopping 24-point lead over Edwards. FREE TIP TO ALL CANDIDATES: The skinny metal pole attached to the podium with a cute fuzzy thing on the top is a microphone. They are often used in modern-day campaigns to project your voice to the crowd staring at you. Assume it’s on. (previous ranking: #1)
Barack Obama Obama Obama continues to assemble an impressive team including a surprising number of former Clinton allies who are putting their chips on the one-term IL senator. Despite trailing Hillary in the polls, he is still generating more buzz than Lindsey Lohan on a rehab field-trip. The first big test will come shortly when he shares the stage at candidate forums with horses like Clinton and Richardson and has to address the experience factor. Namely, that he has none. (previous ranking: #2)
John Edwards Edwards The good news for Edwards is that he’s firmly in the lead pack. His problem is that he’s already a well-known commodity with a well-established platform. Edwards has nothing left to define. His choir-boy strategy may have to turn negative in order to sway Obama and Hillary supporters. Perhaps he could offer a voter sleepover in his new 28,000 square foot home/Sam’s Club/indoor football stadium? (previous ranking: #3)
Bill Richardson Richardson If this were a draft, say a baseball draft for example, Governor Richardson would be a player with oodles of upside. He has nothing to lose by running and, like it or not, his skin color will keep him within shouting distance for a long time. If you’ve got money burning a hole in your trousers, put some on Richardson. (previous ranking: #4)
Joe Biden Biden Biden’s big yapper is both his greatest weakness and his greatest strength. His recent and very bizarre interview, you know the one, revealed a politician willing to be surprisingly honest and ridiculously foolish. Voters might connect with his brutal, unvarnished assessments of the other candidates, Iraq and other issues. They might also not ever hear anything he says because he’s got his giant loafers shoved halfway down his throat. (previous ranking: #5)
Tom Vilsack Vilsack Vilsack is running fourth in Iowa – his home state. He’s 23 points behind a candidate, Hillary, who’s made exactly one visit there. If Vilsack can’t climb into the top two by Labor Day, at the very latest, he’ll have donors and allies advising him to quit the race and back another horse. (previous ranking: #6)
Chris Dodd Dodd Why is Dodd running? What does he think he can offer than the other 9 horses can’t? Why is he wearing eye glasses that were popular in 1989? (previous ranking: #7)
Dennis Kucinich Kucinich If you’re not jazzed for the debates, if you’re not giddy at the prospect of Kucinich accusing his fellow horses of not being socialist enough, then you’re not the political junkie we thought you were. Feel the shame. (previous ranking: #8)
Wes Clark Clark Every now and then Clark makes some strange statement on ’08 that requires a Lucky Charms secret-decoder ring to decipher. So until he rules it out, we think he’s trying to convince himself he can actually win this time. Please, allow us. You can’t. (previous ranking: #9)
Al Gore Gore Gore is the man of the hour: Oscar nomination, nobel peace prize nomination, allegedly found a $20 bill in the back pocket of his favorite Wranglers. Much like Clark, we worry that not ruling it out means he’s finding a way to rule it in. Al, if you’re really not interested, find a camera, look into it, and tell us you will absolutely not be a candidate for president. We dare you. We double dog dare you. (previous ranking: unranked)


The GOP Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Congratulations Rudy, you finally look like you want to be president! After many months of acting as if he might once again pull out and leave supporters standing at the alter, Rudy finally looks committed to the race. He is surging in the polls and some republicans are buying Rudy’s theory that his conservative judicial philosophy and commitment to appointing judges like Roberts, Alito and Scalia trumps his personal positions on the hot-button social issues. Can he keep the belly-fire lit for another 18 months? (previous ranking: #2)
John McCain McCain Four years ago McCain ran like Tom Cruise’s super-cool Maverick. He was the risk-taking, anti-establishment, fly-below-the-hard-deck candidate. Now he looks more like Val Kilmer’s Ice Man. If he were any more establishment he’d be riding an elephant to his senate office. Time to consider giving up his senate seat and push all his horse chips to the middle? (previous ranking: #1)
Mitt Romney Romney Romney’s numbers are looking up. His favorability number is on the rise and he’s now reliably fourth behind Rudy, McCain and a guy not actually running (Newt). That puts him comfortably in the top-three. And considering his name ID is still low nationally, he must feel confident about finally polling in the double digits. Romney’s first big test will be his upcoming summit of invited Christian leaders. Romney is expected to make his case for how being a Mormon shouldn’t disqualify him as a viable conservative candidate. (previous ranking: #3)
Sam Brownback Brownback Raise your hand if you’ve given money to Senator Brownback’s exploratory committee. Anyone? Bueller, Bueller? We know the conservative darling is running because he has a snazzy web site, but he’s not generating much buzz, particularly in the endorsement game. His campaign’s first FEC finance reports should be interesting. Can he raise even half what the big three are raking in? (previous ranking: #4)
Mike Huckabee Huckabee Huck is in, but if he’d been any later to the party they would have made him the designated driver. He has a compelling story, southern charm, and he doesn’t have that dreaded day job of McCain and Brownback. His steeplechase hurdle could be his record on taxes in Arkansas. If he spins that effectively and can keep pace in the fundraising chase, he’s a horse to watch. (previous ranking: #7)
Newt Gingrich Gingrich What does it say about the field that a man who’s not even running is polling third in Iowa and New Hampshire? He won’t win the nomination because his negatives outweigh his rave-winning proposals. He also won’t win the nomination because, well, because he ain’t runnin’ for the nomination. Come on, Newt, throw your hooves in the mix. We need you. (previous ranking: #5)
Duncan Hunter Hunter Hunter is threatening to move into the second tier of horses. He’s sharp on the trail and he’s right on the issues the republican base holds near and dear. Still, Hunter has three simple problems: Money, Name ID, and Money. He needs to raise a lot of cash to raise his name ID. Raising his name ID will help raise more dough. Simple enough. (previous ranking: #8)
Tommy Thompson Thompson Thompson recently promised to spend one day out of every seven in Iowa until the first votes are cast in 2008. That will certainly help, provided he’s also spending time at the bank making fat deposits. Despite his time as Governor and Secretary of HHS, Thompson is an unknown to many donors and voters. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. The upcoming candidate forums are crucial to his viability. (previous ranking: #6)
Jim Gilmore Gilmore Gilmore could walk down the street in a Speedo and purple cowboy hat and no one would notice. Since announcing his exploratory committee, the former VA governor and RNC chief has been so far under radar his own advisors have issued an APB. Time to hit the track, Sir, or you’ll be run over by the horses as they lap you. (previous ranking: #9)
John Cox Cox You may not know him, but this Illinois businessman has been running for the GOP nomination since March of 2006. Like every other horse besides Rudy, Cox claims to be the “only true Conservative running for president.” We dig your energy, John, but you’ve got about the same odds of winning the White House as Rex Grossman. For your first elected office, why not shoot a little lower than leader of the free world? Doesn’t your neighborhood have a homeowners’ association? (previous ranking: unranked)

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service of the race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips. The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Last updated on January 19, 2007

The DEM Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
horse Hillary Clinton Clinton Have you seen the new bumper sticker on Hillary’s hybrid? It says: CAUTION: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. The distance between Hillary and Obama is thinner than Bill’s late-night alibis. Two new Zogby polls actually have Hillary trailing Obama in Iowa and New Hampshire. For now she retains her #1 position, but if she continues running her campaign from 30,000 feet and refuses to spend time in the early key states, this could be her last hurrah as the lead horse. (previous ranking: #1)
horse Barack Obama Obama On January 22, 2006, Obama told Tim Russert on Meet the Press that he would serve out his first senate term and would not run for president in 2008. Since then he’s become intoxicated by media buzz and has catapulted through the field of horses from a million-to-1 long shot to a contender. Can he convince democrats he can win nationally? Can he make a case that less one full senate term is sufficient experience to be leader of the free world? Can he campaign for 21 months without anyone knowing his middle name is Hussein? (previous ranking: #3)
horse John Edwards Edwards Edwards, America’s favorite filthy rich trial lawyer and poverty spokesman, hasn’t been sleeping well recently. Once the clear front-runner to become the ABH (Anybody But Hillary) candidate, the senator must now contend with the shooting-star Obama, the only candidate with less experience than Edwards. But while he tosses and turns about how to keep from losing the rest of his mojo, he can take solace in his lead in Iowa, where he now qualifies for in-state tuition. (previous ranking: #2)
horse Bill Richardson Richardson Richardson has pledged to make a decision by the end of the month. If he’s in, the governor becomes an immediate top-tier horse. Because as every astute race fan knows, racing toward 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is a heckuva lot easier from the state house than the Senate, where they allegedly serve embalming fluid in the soda fountain. (previous ranking: #4)
horse Tom Vilsack Vilsack Vilsack is inexplicably running third in his home state of Iowa. Why isn’t he higher given his impressive resume? Is he too Al Gore (stiff)? Is he too John Kerry (flaky)? Is he too Howard Dean (borderline insane)? He needs to establish some momentum in a hurry or he’s going to be lapped after the first debates this spring. (previous ranking: #5)
horse Joe Biden Biden Biden is struttin’ his stuff as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The good news for his campaign team is that he’s more visible than ever. The bad news for the rest of us is that he’s more visible than ever. Let this be a warning to Capitol Hill cameramen and photographers, Biden is coming after you at full-speed and he’s wearing makeup. Protect yourselves. (previous ranking: #6)
horse Chris Dodd Dodd Dodd also has a plum new assignment. He’s the new Chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee. That means plenty of face time as he convenes as many media-friendly hearings as possible. Frankly, Dodd will need a good dose of luck to rise much further in the rankings. How about a good old-fashioned sex scandal involving every horse ahead of him? Or maybe not. (previous ranking: #9)
horse Wes Clark Clark Clark has about 14 more seconds to decide whether he’s running or not. He waited in 2004 until the last minute and it cost him. With so many horses already declared, he’s got to start galloping–now. (previous ranking: #7)
horse John Kerry http://politicalderby.com/images/headshot_kerry.jpg Kerry is tied with Dennis Kucinich. What more can we say? (previous ranking: #10)
horse Dennis Kucinich Kucinich Kucinich is tied with John Kerry. At least he’s not in 10th all by himself! (previous ranking: #8)

Other DEM horses receiving votes: Howard Dean (warming up his vocal cords?), Al Gore (why won’t he rule it out?), Mark Warner (cold feet about his cold feet?)
The GOP Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
John McCain McCain McCain is rumored to be courting Mormons in Arizona to blunt the Romney Effect. Think he’s nervous? To his credit, he’s taken a huge gamble by supporting the so-called “troop surge” so energetically. Will it pay off? Can he continue mending fences with the religious right? Can he keep pace with Romney’s fundraising machine? Will someone please send him a case of Coppertone Sunless Tanning Lotion? (previous ranking: #1)
Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Rudy’s missing playbook story fizzled faster than a Mentos – Diet Coke rocket. Plus he scored a major coup by signing former Congressman Jim Nussle to his campaign team. Nussle was a Romney target and his alliance with Rudy, while uninteresting to 99.9% of Americans, is intriguing to race fans. Rudy has some momentum, now he just needs to make a decision and begin explaining away his liberal ideology to grassroots conservatives. (previous ranking: #3)
Mitt Romney Romney Romney has probably taken YouTube off his “favorites” list. His “abortion should be safe and legal” clip from a 1994 debate with Ted Kennedy is being viewed about as frequently as that delightful video of Twiggy the Water-skiing Squirrel. Bet Romney never wished he could make the religion issue front page news again. On that note, sources say to watch for a major speech on his faith in the next month. (previous ranking: #2)
Sam Brownback Brownback Brownback was recently asked by Steve Gill, a popular radio host in Tennessee, if he saw a president when he looked in the mirror. His answer was “no.” He went on with an uninspiring answer that left listeners thinking one thing: If you don’t see a president, why the heck should we? (previous ranking: #4)
Newt Gingrich Gingrich Gingrich still lots of great ideas, oodles of grassroots admirers, and he’s more popular on the speaking circuit than Tony Robbins. But as long as he sticks to his commitment to decide in September whether or not to run, he’s hit a ceiling in the Power Rankings. (previous ranking: #5)
Tommy Thompson Thompson Thompson’s logging serious miles in his Iowa and New Hampshire rental cars. He’s interviewing staff, wooing state party leaders and displaying more interest and energy than anyone expected. He’s still stuck in the middle of the pack, but a key endorsement or two could vault him as high as #4. (previous ranking: #7)
Mike Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee needs to do that potty word or get off the you-know-what. If he thinks he can wait until this summer to make a decision, then there’s a reason his last political job will be his last political job. It’s time for Huck to run or retire to the stud farm. Yuck. (previous ranking: #6)
Duncan Hunter Hunter Hunter must be paying the bill for his supporters’ Internet access. The Tip Sheet gets more Hunter email than for any other horse. True, it remains a mystery that the Congressman actually thinks he can win, but he gets kudos for being so bold. It’s a shame he’ll never win, he just might make a good president. (previous ranking: #8)
Jim Gilmore Gilmore Gilmore also generates more online buzz than one might expect. Whether that’s legit or manufactured is yet to be seen. Keep your eyes on his first fundraising report. That should reveal whether his candidacy is finding traction or slipping in the mud. The Tip Sheet predicts the latter. (previous ranking: #9)
Mike Pence Pence Pence has hovered at the bottom for some time now and the chatter from the Hill about a possible campaign has diminished considerably in recent weeks. So as Cuba Gooding once told a pre-crazy Tom Cruise in the classic film Jerry Maguire, “You are hanging on by a very thin thread and I dig that about you!” Say adios to the rankings, Mike, you had a nice run while it lasted. (previous ranking: #10)
Other GOP horses receiving votes: George Allen (please reconsider, we beg of you), Chuck Hagel (we got nothing), George Pataki (yikes), Mark Sanford, (yes, we still think the SC governor is draftable), Tom Tancredo (should take Pence’s place in next edition of the rankings)

Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2008 Power Rankings, the original tracking service of the race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editor using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips. The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

Last updated on January 10, 2007 (* denotes change in ranking)

The DEM Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
horse Hillary Clinton Clinton Hillary is still the lead horse, but the distance between her and her rivals has narrowed to half-a-length. The polls have tightened and her once impressive, overflowing financial war chest took an inexplicable hit during her easy breezy senate reelection campaign. She still wows the crowds and has plenty of A-List talent on her team, but being the front-runner for so long has taken a toll. Watch your back, Hillary, your nomination is no longer a foregone conclusion. (previous ranking: 1)
horse *John Edwards Edwards Edwards benefits from Obama’s drug rash of stories and takes the #2 spot, but the gap between the two is still tighter than John Kerry’s forehead circa 2004. Former Senator Shampoo has been working harder than any horse on the left and it’s finally paying dividends. The Derby wonders what Edwards says in private about Obama’s meteoric two-year rise from IL State Senator to convention speaker to his chief competition to become the ABH (Anybody But Hillary) candidate. We can hear Edwards now: “That dude totally has like NO experience!” (previous ranking: 3)
horse *Barack Obama Obama Obama took a hit last week when the Washington Post revisited the many “hits” he took as an adolescent. This isn’t exactly news, the book is over a decade old, but it never helps when the wanna-be-leader of men, women and children is painted with the drug brush. However, the Derby speculates his greater long-term problem is his penchant for cigarettes. A smoker arguing for universal health care? In a close horse race likely to be decided by hundredths of a second, these things matter. Plus, can he really represent the party that is actively working to ban smoking every place but the moon with a butt hanging out of his mouth? (previous ranking: 2)
horse Bill Richardson Richardson Richardson earns his ranking with a very impressive resume, even if you remove that little error about being drafted by the Kansas City A’s in 1966. He seems to have everything going for him and is certainly more moderate than either Hillary or Obama. The problem is ground support. He doesn’t have the infrastructure in early states and many of the Clinton-era allies he might have leaned on have already jumped on Hillary’s back. He’s still a force because he’s a popular hispanic and he thankfully doesn’t have the dreaded “S word” in front of his name. If he fades, watch for him to make the VP very-very-short list. (previous ranking: 4)
horse Tom Vilsack Vilsack Vilsack should at worst be in the #3 spot. He has an amazing story: orphaned at birth and later adopted, former mayor, state senator, retiring governor coming off two successful terms in the crucial state of Iowa, highly likeable, blah blah blah. So why is he in the crowded middle pack of ’08 horses? Because the Derby cannot find a single poll that gives him more than 2% and most have him at 1% or less. Even in his own state he recently polled 4th among contenders. He’s a threat, but he better get money in the bank on supporters in his pockets or this horse will be glue by Memorial Day. (previous ranking: unranked)
horse Joe Biden Biden Biden reappears in our rankings after a brief absence. The Derby doubts he’ll make a serious run, but for now he’s a very entertaining Sunday morning interview and he speaks with more candor than most of the horses ahead of him. Expect him to be off the racetrack and back in the stable before summer hits. (previous ranking: unranked)
horse Wes Clark Clark Clark was recently asked point blank on FoxNews whether he’d run in 2008. He answered, “I haven’t said I won’t.” Clark fans think that means he’s in. The Derby disagrees. Clark doesn’t appear to have the appetite for a grueling national campaign. He hoped to cut off much of the work in 2004 by entering the race just four months before the first votes were cast. It proved to be much too late. This time he might too late already. (previous ranking: 7)
horse Dennis Kucinich Kucinich Kucinich makes the rankings for the first time because, frankly, the Derby loves him. He’s an underrated public speaker and a surprisingly effective campaigner. Of course that’s outweighed by the fact that he’s too short and too liberal to be president. Kucinich is so far to the left of the other horses he’s running on the grassy infield. Heavens to murgatroid, he makes Hillary look like Brownback. You get the picture. (previous ranking: unranked)
horse Chris Dodd Dodd Dodd is a senator, he’s from the northeast, he’s virtually unknown outside his own kitchen and senate office and he has a very long voting record that’s bound to bite him in the hindquarters. Yet he wants to be president, has the reputation as a dogged hard worker, and he’s likely to make an announcement any day now. For that he enters the rankings. But how far he moves up will have more to do with how many stumble in front of him. (previous ranking: unranked)
horse John Kerry http://politicalderby.com/images/headshot_kerry.jpg Kerry, if we’re keepin’ it real, is the one candidate on the racetrack who thinks and looks most like a horse. Plus he’s the kind of candidate who would run just because the horses in front of him are running, and they must know what they are doing, right? Not to mention the fact that he’s got Theresa on his back wearing leather chaps and carrying a whip. The Derby isn’t convinced he’ll run, but we’re sure rooting for it. (previous ranking: 10)

Other DEM horses receiving votes: Howard Dean (please run), Al Gore (please don’t run), Mark Warner (rumors abound that he’s reconsidering)
The GOP Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet
John McCain McCain McCain has finally made it official–sort of. He’s “exploring” a run for the White House, which is apparently different than what he’s been doing since 1962. So why does McCain remain the lead horse despite polling just behind Rudy Giuliani in every available poll? For starters, it appears he actually agrees with most conservatives on limited government, second amendment rights, abortion, etc. He certainly has his critics among the grassroots over his illicit affairs with campaign finance reform and global warming, but the Derby still suggests that if McCain were 10 years younger and 5 shades less pasty, he’d be running away from the field. (previous ranking: 1)
*Mitt Romney Romney Romney had quite the week. He picked up a few key endorsements from Sens. Demint and Owens, and unless you’ve been glued to the TV Guide Channel following Trump v. O’Donnell, you know that he shattered expectations by raising nearly seven million dollars during his “National Call Day”. McCain and Rudy won’t be shaking in their horseshoes, but the horses like Newt, Hunter, Brownback, and Thompson might be reconsidering whether to bother hitting the track at all. Those candidates likely couldn’t raise that much in 90 days – combined. Romney is inching up to McCain and could pass him with some favorable post-announcement poll numbers. Stay tuned… (previous ranking: 2)
Rudy Giuliani Giuliani Rudy is also just “exploring” a national campaign, but in doing so has also assembled an impressive posse of campaign and media gurus. From high in the grandstands Giuliani looks like the strongest horse. And once he gets a chance to talk to voters, he comes across as smart, confident, and dedicated. Will that be enough to overcome the fact that he is a smart, confident, dedicated social liberal? Take note: Rudy could be the first horse in the lead pack to pull up and out of the race. (previous ranking: 3)
Sam Brownback Brownback Brownback certainly has his share of fans in the far-right of the republican party. No other horse generates as much supportive e-mail to the Derby. Yes, he sings all the right songs on the issues, but he pulls no higher than 3% in any of the preference polls. When you look at Brownback, do you see the one senator that can finally break the streak of senators losing presidential elections? Brownback gets some love for running strong and standing for something, but he’s a long shot to break into the lead pack, let alone win. (previous ranking: unranked)
Newt Gingrich Gingrich Gingrich continues telling people he won’t make a decision until September. What he’s really saying is, “please continue listening to me until then.” When it comes to actual proposals for the future, no republican wins more praise than Newt. And while having ideas is nice, Newt also has more baggage than Jet Blue. Unless another horse trips and falls, expect Newt to stay in the middle of the pack. (previous ranking: 4)
Mike Huckabee Huckabee Huckabee has everything going for him. He desperately wants to be president, he has a compelling story, he’s coming off 8 years as governor, and he’s from the south. Why then has he done so little on the ground in the early states? He has less of a campaign presence in Iowa and New Hampshire than Jeb Bush, and he’s not even running. There’s still some time, but unless he makes up some major track position in the next 90 days, Huckabee’s best hope for appearing on a national ballot in ’08 will be on the #2 line. (previous ranking: 5)
Tommy Thompson Thompson Thompson’s resume gives him some valuable street cred and he appears to be with conservatives on the key issues. But he’s so far behind the contenders when it comes to staff and money that he’d need the Hubble just to see their fat behinds. If the Derby didn’t know better, we’d think Tommy is positioning himself to run the VP vetting team. Can you say, Dick Cheney? (previous ranking: unranked)
Duncan Hunter Hunter Hunter, much like Brownback, has a surprisingly fervent army of online supporters. It’s difficult to imagine him passing enough horses to threaten the top three, but the Internet can make stars of candidates in a hurry. Of course it can also send them screaming back to reality. (See Dean, Howard) Hunter gets credit for being so bold so early, but he’s not likely to make a legitimate charge up the track. (previous ranking: 9)
Jim Gilmore Gilmore Gilmore? It’s OK that you don’t know him, neither do 293 million other Americans, and that’s assuming seven million Virginians remember that he was once their Governor. Gilmore just formed one of those trendy “exploratory” committees that allows him to fly first-class and not pay for it out of his own pocket. To his credit, he enters the rankings as Virginia’s former golden boy drops out. Who would have predicted that in 2007 we’d be talking more about this former governor instead of George Allen? If all this doesn’t make Allen ball up in the fetal position and sing old George Strait songs, something’s wrong in the cosmos. (previous ranking: unranked)
Mike Pence Pence Pence is a popular Congressman who’s revered among grassroots conservatives. He has little name ID outside only the closest political watchers and to date has not indicated he’ll run. Nevertheless, The Tip Sheet hears that there is a quiet whisper campaign on the Hill in his honor. Honestly? Pence is ranked because the Derby needed a 10th and the field is pretty weak at the back of the track. There, we said it. (previous ranking: 6)
Other GOP horses receiving votes: George Allen (we kid because we care), Chuck Hagel (cool name), George Pataki (nice guy, horrible candidate), Mark Sanford, (we still think the SC governor is draftable), Tom Tancredo (we just don’t see it)