Calling the 2012 Republican presidential primary the most volatile for the GOP in generations isn't political hyperbole - it's empirical fact.
Since the start 2011, seven different candidates or potential contenders could claim to be the Republican race's front-runner, according to polling from Gallup. The list includes Mike Huckabee
, Donald Trump
, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry
, Herman Cain
, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. In at least one Gallup poll, each claimed at least a share of the lead in the GOP race. (Huckabee and Trump are the only two who never officially declared themselves a candidate.)