Jonah Goldberg lists 24 Republicans about whom there is “non-trivial presidential buzz.” He winnows that list down to five front-runners: Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitch Daniels.
In this field, I think Palin is the most likely nominee. In a field that also includes Mike Huckabee, Palin’s chances of being nominated obviously are reduced, but remain pretty good. In a field that includes Huckabee but not Palin, I think Huckabee becomes the favorite.
I’ve always thought that a Huckabee run is more likely than not. Apparently, the thinking now is that he probably won’t run because he has just signed a great new deal with Fox News. Such a deal presumably changes the odds, though I’m still not sure I’d bet against a Huckabee run.
If Palin or Huckabee decides not to run, I think a hard-line conservative not on Goldberg’s list would likely move into the top five. Jim DeMint strikes me as the most likely to do so, if he runs. Mike Pence is another possibility.
Obviously, we must keep in mind that Huckabee was not widely considered a serious candidate at this point in the 2008 cycle.
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