Congressional Republicans are grumbling that they don’t see a frontrunner for their party’s 2012 nomination, nor do they particularly like any of the current candidates.
“Everybody’s looking for a Ronald Reagan, and they don’t see one,” Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) told Politico.
Few Republicans have voiced their intention to run, and several, like business mogul Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels have toyed publicly with running but haven’t officially declared candidacy. Even more candidates will pop up in the coming months, but there’s no consensus on who should run, or any individuals appearing on the majority of lawmakers’ wish lists. Gen. David Petraeus and TV personality (and former congressman) Joe Scarborough have garnered scattered mentions, but neither were popular choices.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has already said he won’t be running in 2012, to the chagrin of his fellow conservatives.
“He’s the anti-Obama; a strong leader, prosecutor kind of personality, and I think that’s a great contrast to the president,” Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Virginia) told Politico.
Former Alaska governor and John McCain’s 2008 running mate Sarah Palin hasn’t announced whether she will run, but public — and congressional — opinion do not favor her chances as a candidate.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty formally announced his exploratory committee last month, but has yet to distinguish himself from the pack.
Results of recent surveys underline the fact that finding the successful candidate may be as difficult as finding a needle in a (straw poll) haystack. Presidential straw polls conducted this year have been won by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Ron Paul, businessman Herman Cain, and strategist-turned-gay-activist Fred Karger. Reps. Michele Bachmann also brings some buzz to the already-roaring conversation about who will capture the GOP nomination.
“I think there’s no clear front-runner, and there’s some frustration out there, not that we haven’t nailed it down but that it’s sort of all over the board,” Capito told Politico.
Creative Commons image via Flickr user DonkeyHotey.