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Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

Insiders on the potential GOP presidential candidates.

Which potential GOP presidential candidate’s stock has risen the most in the past few months?

Democrats (97 votes)

Mitch Daniels: 22%
Mitt Romney:
Tim Pawlenty:
Newt Gingrich
: 10%
Mike Huckabee:


Also receiving votes: Chris Christie, 6%; Haley Barbour, 5%; Rick Santorum, 2%; Jon Huntsman and Donald Trump, 1% each.


“He comes across as a more reasonable, practical leader than many of the others in their field.”


“Attrition in the field and a lack of a consensus social-conservative candidate have given Daniels an opening.”

“Deficit truth-tellers are in vogue at the moment. But truth-tellers usually don’t become president.”

“The press is taking him seriously, and that means he is in the mix to stay.”



“He hasn’t done much of late, but he is the front-runner, and no one has done anything real to try to unseat him.”

“Most advanced organization, most leaning forward.”

“Compared to his Republican competitors, Romney comes off as Abraham Lincoln.”


“The only other organized candidate appears to be Romney. The rest of the potential candidates are disorganized or indecisive, or both.”

“The exit of [Sen. John] Thune opens the door for a smart young Midwesterner with rational conservative credentials.”

“Successfully positioning himself as a safe alternative for all parts of the party.”


“He has managed in his inimitable way to grab a substantial share of media attention.”


“A lot of people agree with what he said [about Natalie Portman], and more respect him for saying something.”


Which potential GOP presidential candidate’s stock has risen the most in the past few months?

Republicans (103 votes)

Mitch Daniels: 25%
Tim Pawlenty:
Haley Barbour:
Mitt Romney
: 11%
Chris Christie:

Also receiving votes: Mike Huckabee,5%; none, 4%; Jon Huntsman, 3%; Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Donald Trump, 2% each; Rick Santorum, 1%.


“Positive stories from all corners; he has been able to joke about height.”

“His new ‘Red Menace’ [Conservative Political Action Conference speech] regarding the national debt struck a chord.”

“The more it becomes about deficit reduction, the better he does.”

“With Thune’s departure from the field, he now becomes the GOP establishment’s dark-horse candidate.”


“More people understand that the race is a long grind, and candidates who wear well will be in the hunt all the way through.”

“Not because of anything he’s done but because of how the others misstep.”

“He has the most room for growth, is taking the race seriously, and stands to gain the most when others drop out or implode.”


“He has steadily laid the foundation and is making a compelling case that his run is doable.”

“With Thune and Daniels—soon to be—out, Barbour looks like the most experienced and credible conservative.”


“He continues to slowly plod along, putting together his finance and political infrastructure under the radar.”

“He is still the front-runner despite weeks of others attempting to poke holes in his candidacy. The New Hampshire mini-launch last weekend was executed very professionally.”


“[American Enterprise Institute] speech was a smash, formed policy group with Barbour, and avoided expectations by not setting up a PAC.”

“Removing himself from contention has only made him more attractive.”


Which potential GOP presidential candidate’s stock has fallen the most in the past few months?

Democrats (97 votes)

Sarah Palin: 53%
Mike Huckabee:
Newt Gingrich:
Mitt Romney:
Haley Barbour:

Also receiving votes: Mitch Daniels, 2%; none, 1%.


“Sullied herself in the aftermath of the tragic assassination attempt against Congresswoman Giffords.”

“Every day, fewer Republicans take her seriously and are unafraid to mock her.”

This article appears in the March 12, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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