News / USA

2012 Presidential Campaign About To Get Started

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 17, 2011.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 17, 2011.

It is hard to believe but the first test for Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination is less than one year away. The Iowa presidential caucuses will be held next February and while it has been relatively quiet on the presidential campaign front of late, that is about to change.

Expect a very crowded and wide open field of Republican presidential candidates in 2012, says Fordham University political scientist Costas Panagopoulos. "There is no established frontrunner or heir apparent to the party, and part of that I think is because the Republican Party has been engaged for some time now in what I would characterize as soul-searching in terms of the direction of the party moving forward," he said.

Several potential Republican candidates have already visited early primary states that are crucial in the presidential nominating process including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

At the moment there is no shortage of potential Republican candidates. But even the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, acknowledged on NBC’s Meet the Press that at this early stage of the race, there is no Republican who seems to have a clear advantage. "I have never seen a more wide open race for the Republican nomination. But we all know that nature abhors a vacuum," he said.

Among those ready to rush into that vacuum is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, one of several potential candidates who recently spoke to a meeting of conservative activists in Washington and criticized President Barack Obama's foreign policy approach. "I will not and I will never apologize for America!," he said.

Romney finished behind Senator John McCain in the 2008 Republican primaries and seems eager to mount a second bid for the White House next year.

But Romney may have plenty of company. Among those expected to announce their intentions within the next few months are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, South Dakota Senator John Thune and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

A big question concerns former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008. Palin is very popular among conservative Republicans, but much less so among Democrats and independent voters and that worries some strategists who want a candidate with the broadest appeal.

Others who may make a run include current state Governors Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former governors Jon Huntsman of Utah and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.

Political expert Rhodes Cook says it will take time for the Republican presidential field to emerge and take shape. "You had these people who were positioned as frontrunners at the beginning of the Republican race and who kind of defined the Republican race. This time you don’t have that. It is much more, as I say, of a muddle and it might be a little more chaotic in sorting itself out," he said.

One who could be in the mix is New York real estate mogul Donald Trump. "If I run and if I win, this country will be respected again!," he said.

Trump was a surprise hit at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington and says he will decide whether to run by June.

Another Republican popular with conservatives and Tea Party activists is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. But Christie has disappointed supporters by taking himself out of the running for next year. "I’m not stupid. I see the opportunity. I see it. That is not the reason to run. And I think all too often that it why people do run. You have to believe in your heart and in your soul and in your mind that you are ready, and I don’t believe that about myself right now," he said.

President Obama seemed vulnerable in polls through much of last year, and that contributed to Republican gains in Congress in last November’s election.

But since then the president’s approval rating has gone up and experts like Costas Panagopoulos of Fordham see Mr. Obama as a more formidable candidate for re-election next year. "What is also interesting to me is that there have been some recent surveys pitting Obama against a number of Republican candidates, and Obama does quite well more or less across the board in polls. Most polls suggest Obama has an advantage over any of the main Republican contenders at this point," he said.

For most Americans, it is far too early to be paying close attention to next year’s presidential election. But that won’t stop any number of Republicans from formally taking steps toward a White House bid within the next several weeks.

You May Like

Multimedia Ferguson Grand Jury Reaches Decision

Many Americans tensely await ruling on whether white police officer will be indicted in shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid