As the Republican primary picture gradually comes into focus, some candidates—and others who choose not to run—get left by the wayside. While the GOP searches for its champion to run against President Obama in 2012, we're monitoring every leg of the race. Whether Republicans are hinting at their ambitions, forming exploratory committees, or formally launching campaigns, we'll post it all here as it happens.
OUT: Sarah Palin
Palin announced Wednesday that she's not running for president in 2012.(STEPHAN SAVOIA/AP)
OUT: Chris Christie
The New Jersey governor is expected to announce at a press conference on Tuesday that he will not run for president. Despite repeatedly claiming that he did not want to run, Christie gained a lot of attention after speaking at the Reagan Library in September.(JAE C. HONG/AP PHOTO)
IN: Rick PerryThe longtime Texas governor formally announced he was running for president on Aug. 13. He was immediately viewed as a front-runner of the GOP field, but has since cooled off among Republican voters.(CHET SUSSLIN)
IN: Buddy RoemerFormer Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer officially launched his presidential bid on July 21 in New Hampshire. During a speech at Dartmouth College, Roemer described his campaign as a war against the special interests that control Washington, The Daily Advertiser reported. "I run to reveal and challenge the control of the special interests over our nation's capital and demonstrate the freedom to lead that can only come from refusing their money."(GERALD HERBERT/AP)
OUT: Tim PawlentyAfter a disappointing third-place showing in the Iowa Straw Poll in August, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the primary race. "For me, what I thought I brought forward was a rational, established, credible, strong record of results based on experience of a two-term governor in a blue state," Pawlenty said. "But the audience, so to speak, was looking for something different.”(Chet Susslin)
IN: Jon Huntsman"I'm a candidate for the office of president of the United States of America," Huntsman told supporters on June 21 at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Initial political moves indicate Huntsman, a former Utah governor who served as President Obama's ambassador to China, is aiming to build a centrist coalition.
VIDEO: For Huntsman in 2012, His Weakness Is Also His Strength(AP IMAGES)
IN: Michelle BachmannAt the CNN-broadcast Republican debate on June 13, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., stole the spotlight by making her presidential candidacy official onstage as the rest of the field looked on. Two weeks later, she formally kicked off her campaign in Waterloo, Iowa—her birthplace and the heart of the caucus state where she is expected to bet most of her campaign chips. Bachmann told the crowd that "We can win in 2012, and we will."
VIDEO: Bachmann Announces Presidential Bid(CHARLES DHARAPAK/AP)
OUT: Thaddeus McCotterRep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., filed paperwork for a presidential run on July 1 and announced his bid at a Fourth of July in Michigan a day later. The campaign was short-lived, though—he dropped out on Sept. 22 and endorsed Mitt Romney. "If they keep you out of the debates, you are out of the conversation, and you can't run. It was sort of death by media," he said.(AP/WILLIAM B. PLOWMAN for L.A. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE)
IN: Rick SantorumFormer Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania officially announced his plans to run for president on ABC's Good Morning America on June 6. "We're in it to win and very excited about what the future holds," Santorum said. "We've got a great team, and in the early-primary states we've got a lot of momentum."VIDEO: Santorum's Path(JIM COLE/AP PHOTO)
IN: Mitt Romney
The former governor of Massachusetts made his bid official on June 2 at Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, N.H. He criticized President Obama for failing to bring about an economic recovery during three years in office and pledged to make jobs a priority. Romney announced on April 11 that he was forming an exploratory committee.
VIDEO: Romney's on Top ... For Now(ANDREA SAUL/ ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT)
IN: Ron Paul
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, announced on May 13 on Good Morning America that he's in. This is the folksy libertarian's third run at the White House, the first being in 1988. Now 75, Paul espouses a platform of fiscal conservatism and limited government that may carry a heavier weight with voters.
VIDEO: Ron Paul on GMA: I'm Running(CHRIS O'MEARA/AP)
IN: Newt Gingrich
On May 11, Gingrich tweeted: "I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States." The former House speaker became the first contender with GOP leadership credentials to make an official move toward the presidency when he announced on March 1 that he was forming an exploratory committee.
VIDEO: N2K: Where's Gingrich's Base?(CHET SUSSLIN)
IN: Gary Johnson
"First time to say it. 'I am running for President,' " Republican former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said via Twitter on April 21. He also launched a campaign website. Although Johnson’s a long-shot candidate—and wasn't invited to a debate until late September—he might give Paul a run for the libertarian vote: He supports the legalization of marijuana and civil unions.(ALEX WONG/NEWSMAKERS)