May 23, 2011

AS THE BACK-UP QB IS ALWAYS THE MOST POPULAR PLAYER IN TOWN:

Election Picture Sharpens for GOP (PATRICK O'CONNOR And JONATHAN WEISMAN, 5/22/WSJ)

The Daniels decision to skip a White House bid has turned the attention of uncommitted Republican donors and activists to those candidates who actually are in the race, and some prominent Republicans said Sunday that donors who had been waiting for Mr. Daniels' decision will likely move into the Pawlenty camp.

But Mr. Daniels' announcement also immediately increased the clamoring in some GOP quarters for other candidates to enter the race. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin are all being urged by various GOP factions to run, though the prospects of any of them choosing to do so didn't appear strong. [...]

But Republican strategists and pollsters say that, despite his recent bounce in the polls, Mr. Obama is beatable because confidence in the economy is still low and the percentage of Americans who say the country is on the wrong track is at high levels that few incumbents historically have survived.

Eric Woolson, a strategist for Mr. Pawlenty, said the Daniels withdrawal won't end speculation about other candidates, because some activists who were pressing Mr. Daniels to join the race would move on to other targets.

But, he added, "it is getting very late in the process" for new prospects to jump in. Many of those activists will take a second look—"or even a first look"—at the existing candidates and realize the field is stronger than believed, he said. That field is heavy with former governors, a proven formula for a strong nominee, he said.


One of the quaint features of presidential politics is that being a declared candidate diminishes you. But eventually the voting satarts and one of the declared becomes the nominee, Tim Pawlenty is as strong a general election candidate as anyone other than Jeb would be.

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Posted by at May 23, 2011 6:31 AM
  

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