Welcome to the latest edition of PoliticalDerby.com's 2012 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 Editors 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.

The GOP Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet

Newt
Gingrich

Despite being more chameleon than Newt, Gingrich is leading in Iowa, gaining ground in New Hampshire and running with confidence. Apparently all past indiscretions have suddenly been forgotten as the master debater is the latest to surge to the top. Is Newt really what the country wants or is timing merely on his side?

Mitt
Romney

If Newt is a chameleon, Romney is a changeling. When the button-up candidate from four years ago is now rarely seen in public with his ideally knotted tie or trademark perfect hair, what can you believe in? Now, for the first time since 2009, Mitt is staring at another horse’s backside. He still has more money and a better ground organization, but if Newt wins Iowa and pulls a stunner in New Hampshire, it is game over.

Empty
Horse

This is quickly becoming the two-man race long predicted. How many jockeys can fall off? Will Fred Thompson suddenly announce he is running again? Can Ann Coulter’s deepest desire be fulfilled by Chris Christie suddenly changing his mind?

Ron
Paul
Paul has polled in the neighborhood of 8-10 percent since he ran against George Washington. Can Paul win Iowa and see his standing in New Hampshire improve as a result? Anything is possible. Can he win the nomination? Well, almost anything is possible.
Rick
Perry
The Texas governor looks more comfortable now that he’s trailing and carrying zero expectations. If he’d run this way early on and dropped the arrogant swagger, he might not be stuck in the mud. Then again, if he could have come prepared and caffeinated to even one debate he would have had a chance.
Michele
Bachmann
The Congresswoman from Minnesota clutches onto visions of an Iowa win where she’s running fourth. A miracle win at the kick-off caucus keeps her in the race, otherwise the field will likely narrow further.
Rick
Santorum
Santorum has been in Iowa so long, he qualifies for in-state tuition. His reward? 6 percent! He and Bachmann were endorsed by a key Iowa evangelical leader, as a team. Didn’t know you could team up to win the nomination, did you?
Jon
Huntsman
It might be time to return to the barn when the only attractive things about your campaign are your daughters web videos. But as long as pops keeps pumping dough into the campaign, why not carry on?

 

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