2008 Republican Power Rankings

(I’m consulting for Duncan Hunter through TCV Media and because of that, I try not to discuss the 2008 Republican Presidential contenders on the blog. However, it’s a slow news day and it felt like a good time to do some power rankings.)

Top Tier

1) Rudy Giuliani: If the top tier stays Rudy, Romney, and McCain, Rudy may be the strongest of the contenders. I say “may be” because Rudy has a lot of glaring weaknesses and probably won’t wear well over the long term with conservative primary voters.

2) John McCain: At one point, he was tied with Rudy near the top. That’s no longer the case because his numbers have slipped quite a bit. Also, his first quarter fund raising numbers were disappointing and given the size and quality of his staff, he must have an enormous cash burn rate. Still, at the moment, McCain is soldily in the two slot and that’s not a bad place to be given the field.

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3) Fred Thompson: Thompson will make a big splash if he gets in and if he doesn’t have any major flaws that haven’t been revealed as of yet, he would probably be the odds on favorite to win. The massive enthusiasm for Thompson online and the fact that he does surprisingly well in the polls for a guy who hasn’t been a real player in conservatism is surprising, but undeniable. Also, whatever else you may say about Thompson, he is definitely more conservative than Rudy, McCain, and Romney. That’s a major mark in his favor.

4) Newt Gingrich: I still don’t think Newt is going to get into a race in the 4th quarter of 2007 when all the top talent will be gone and Romney, Rudy, and McCain will all likely have raised 50 million plus. But, if Thompson doesn’t get in, and no one comes up from the 2nd tier, Newt could perhaps bill himself as the only conservative in the race who could win against 3 moderates, Rudy, McCain, and Romney, and he would have an outside chance to pull it out that way.

5) Mitt Romney: He has already peaked and is on the downside of the mountain despite the fantastic job of fund raising that he did. There are just too many flip flops for him to fill the role of the “conservative candidate” in the race and if he’s just another moderate, well, Rudy and McCain do that better than him.

Second Tier

6) Duncan Hunter: In my opinion, he is the only 2nd tier candidate who has the potential to reach the first tier. That’s the opinion I had of him before I started working for him and it’s still the opinion I have of him. But, he hasn’t caught fire yet and he has until about August at the latest to get up to the 5-8% mark in places like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. If he doesn’t make it by then (and this goes for all the 2nd tier guys), it’s not going to happen.

7) Sam Brownback: His stances on the war and illegal immigration will make it impossible for him to be, “The Conservative Candidate.”

8) Tom Tancredo: I love Tanc. He’s one of my favorite members of Congress. But, I don’t think the illegal immigration issue alone can carry someone to the nomination. Even if it could, Tanc’s just too polarizing to win the nomination.

9) Mike Huckabee: He’s a social conservative who comes across as squishy everywhere else and he isn’t getting any traction at all. I doubt if that’s going to change.

10) Chuck Hagel: Not only would it be impossible for him to win, he’ll be lucky if he doesn’t have a primary challenge in his 2008 Senate race.

11) Ron Paul: He’s our Dennis Kucinich except that he gets stong online support from disaffected Libertarians and Paleocons instead of disaffected liberals. Like Kucinich, Paul has no real world support and no possibility of gaining any.

12) Jim Gilmore: Is he campaigning?

13) Tommy Thompson: He’s in, but why, I’m not sure.

14) John Cox: He seems like a fine fellow, but he’s not qualified to be President.

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