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

Mitt
Romney

Forget what you’ve read, Mittens is the real winner in the Scott Brown Cinderella Story. Romney and Romney’s operatives played a major role in Brown’s campaign, and what could look better for Romney than the hottest young Republican in the party standing up a year from now and saying “I support Mitt Romney for President”. Right now, only the endorsements of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater’s creepy Avatars would be a bigger coup for Willard.

2 Sarah
Palin

The good news for Palin is that she now has a major platform on Fox News and hours and hours of face time with voters between now and 2012. The bad news is that she now has a major platform on FoxNews and hours and hours of face time with voters between now and 2012 — and every single minute of every single hour will be on video. What are the chances she doesn’t say something bizarro that will sink her campaign before it starts?

3 Tim
Pawlenty

What can you say about Paw? He’s still a guy people seem to like, but he really isn’t doing much to shake the perception that he’s just too – uh – vanilla. Not that there’s anything wrong with vanilla. But half-a-bottle of chocolate sauce and some crushed nuts really livens up a scoop of the stuff. Pawlenty needs to find his chocolate sauce and nuts before a candidate like Butter Pecan or Rocky Road make him an afterthought in the back of the freezer.

4 Mike
Huckabee
Huck’s no longer got the market cornered as candidate-turned-Fox-News-Host-turned-potential-candidate, not with Palin’s new contract and incredible visibility with Fox. True, Huck is leading the way in a lot of the early polls, but there appears to be an enthusiasm gap. Need proof? Google ‘Huckabee 2012? and you’ll find 809K results. But Google ‘Pants on the Ground’ and you’ll find over 40 million. That’s the kind of analysis you just don’t get from Rove or Sabato.
5t

Scott
Brown
and
Rick
Santorum

The once and future senators seem to be opposite ends of the spectrum. Santorum was a leader in the GOP during much of Dubbya’s administration, but was cast aside in the backlash of 2006. Brown is the current darling of the Republican party, winning a seat that just two months ago seemed un-winnable for any Republican. Ricky has baggage, but at least has actually admitted to considering a run. Scotty has no experience on the national stage and no apparent interest, but more buzz than a Kennedy Boys Night Out and the look of a GOP centerfold. Nevertheless, if forced to split horse hairs, Ricky gets a slight edge because one would surmise that Brown won’t bite the hand that helped feed him a seat in the Senate. At least not in 2012.

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