(Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)
Never in the history of modern presidential politics has a spot on the primary roster been sought after so early – and by so many.
While top prospects such as Governors Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee decided against seeking the White House, there appears to be no shortage of applicants willing to take their place.
Last Monday, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty joined previously announced candidates former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain in officially announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
However, the first week of June could produce more action with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum having already scheduled announcements in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, respectively.
But wait, the field is still forming.
Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin begins her bus tour in Washington, D.C., today with scheduled tops in New England, an area where her poll numbers have been disappointing.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, who represents a district in Minnesota but was born in Iowa, is expected to announce her candidacy in her hometown of Waterloo. During a taping on an Iowa Public Television program yesterday, Bachmann said she felt a “calling” to seek the presidency.
Three-term Texas Governor Rick Perry surprised reporters in Austin yesterday by saying he “was going to think about” running, contradicting an earlier statement to the Wall Street Journal in March saying “I’m not interested in going to Washington, D.C.”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is reportedly set to appear in New Hampshire in the coming days, as his allies such as Rep. Peter King of New York are encouraging him to do.
Another New Yorker, former Governor George Pataki is considering a run. David Catalfamo, spokesman for the former governor, told the Wall Street Journal, “President Obama is bankrupting American and Gov. Pataki believes it has to stop.”
And finally, Former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China under President Obama, Jon Huntsman is mulling over a decision. Huntsman has already declined to participate in a June 13 debate in New Hampshire. Paul Collins, Huntsman’s chief consultant in New Hampshire said, “Governor Huntsman will be spending the next few weeks continuing the due diligence process in line with the very short decision-making timetable he has laid out.” Like Romney, Huntsman is also a Mormon.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll released on Friday showed Giuliani narrowly leading the field with 16 percent, closely followed by Romney with 15 percent and 13 percent for Palin.