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Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll

Rank the top five candidates, 1 through 5, in terms of who you think is most likely to capture the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Republicans (105 votes)

Candidate and Rank: Mitt Romney / 1
Index Score: 98


Candidate and Rank: Rick Perry / 2
Index Score: 72

Candidate and Rank: Herman Cain / 3
Index Score: 47

Candidate and Rank: Newt Gingrich / 4
Index Score: 31


Candidate and Rank: Rick Santorum / 5
Index Score: 13

Candidate and Rank: Jon Huntsman / 6
Index Score: 11

Candidate and Rank: Michele Bachmann / 7
Index Score: 7

Candidate and Rank: Ron Paul / 8
Index Score: 5


Mitt Romney

“Through none of his own doing, [Romney] has become the heir apparent.”

“Romney’s not conservative enough for me, but not sure anyone else is capable or can beat him.”

“Mitt Romney looks more and more like the last man standing by failing to self-immolate.”

“The inability of Republicans to find any Romney alternative around whom they can coalesce for more than two weeks will leave the field fighting for fractions, with Romney at 25 to 30 percent and still the clear plurality winner.”

“Romney is first by a significant margin and getting stronger. The debates, his organization, and his resources have put him there. And you cannot discount the fact that he has done this before.”

“Republicans are beginning to realize that this is a choice between Romney and the unelectable.”

“R’s need to remember they are not choosing a lifelong mate; rather, they are choosing someone to beat Obama in November 2012. Romney can beat Obama.”

“Mitt Romney makes 2012 about the economy, and he beats Obama. The debates have severely diminished Rick Perry, and Herman Cain would rather sell books than build a national organization.”

“The more Perry plays to a right-wing base and the more Cain looks flaky and out of his depth, the more likely Romney is to be the nominee.”

“Latest flavor-of-the-week, Cain, loses luster under the klieg lights. Romney just quietly gets it done.”

“GOP voters are starting to recognize that fighting among the candidates is good only for Obama—they don’t want that. It serves to solidify the field, especially with Perry’s self-immolation to the point where only his advisers and those already invested in him are buying what he’s selling.”

“Romney is looking stronger and stronger, while Perry fades into self-inflicted irrelevance.”

“Bottom line is, Tim Pawlenty got out too soon. There is an opening for an anti-Romney, and neither Cain nor Perry is going to fit the bill at the end of the day. Strong odds are that Mitt Romney will be the nominee.”

“There are one Romney and two anti-Romneys left.”

“This has been a two-man race between Romney and Perry for a month and will continue that way till the end.”

“Romney and Perry are the only two viable candidates, due to superior resources, organization, and staying power.”

“It’s Romney’s [to lose], but expect an unsuccessful surge from a reorganized Perry.”

Rick Perry

“You can’t count him out because of the cash.”

“As long as Perry can fund his super PAC, he is viable no matter what the polling says today.”

“[Steve] Forbes’s endorsement, better debate performance, and $17 million will get Perry back in the mix.”

“Perry is the only movement conservative in the race, and voters are conservative.”

“Perry is finally pulling out of his nosedive; his flat-tax advocacy goes where Mitt cannot.”

“If you can’t sell the man, sell the plan. Perry is going to destroy everything in his path.”

“The race is settling in but could see movement or shake-up whenthe Perry and Romney super PACs start firing.”

“It is Romney’s to lose for all the reasons discussed for months. However, he is weak, enthusiasm is lacking, and Perry still has ample opportunity to knock Romney out.”

“Perry would be a distant second. He has a path to the nomination, but it is becoming increasingly uphill. When he looks back at his campaign, the toughest thing to handle will be that he did it to himself.”

Herman Cain

“Cain is a live possibility, unless scandal tars him.”

This article appears in the October 29, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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