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Fayetteville state university student press
For Students, By Students
September 21, 2011 • Vol. 3, Issue no. 3
Republican hopefuls gear up for race
by Matt Campbell
The 2012 presidential campaign field is filling
up, and with several debates having been tele
vised, voters nationwide are becoming familiar
with the competitors.
There are currently 11 registered candidates,
with eight of those being considered serious con
tenders. Other popular conservatives, such as me
dia personality Sarah Palin and New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie have been urged to run, but have
yet to declare their candidacies.
Tim Pawlenty, who recently endorsed Texas
Gov. Rick Perry, dropped out of the race last
The batch of candidates includes former gover
nors, state legislators, and businessmen. Michelle
Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, John
Huntsman, Gary E. Johnson, Thaddeus McCotter,
Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Rom-
ney, and Rick Santorum have been campaigning
heavily in historical right-wing states.
The crop of eight hopefuls represents a broad
On one end stands U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Tex
as, who, has been, many arugue, largly ignored
by the mainstream media. Last month on The
Daily Show, Jon Stewart did a segment recog
nizing Mr. Paul’s absence from the press. Others
have referred to his possible appeal to independents and even
some liberals as the partisan media’s disinterest in him. “Un
like Obama, Ron Paul will tell the truth about foreign policy.
He’ll talk right to conservatives who have basically allowed
their movement to degenerate into just, jingoistic USA, USA,
anti-intellectual nonsense,” said bestselling author and senior
fellow of Ludwig von Mises Institute Tom Woods, staunch
On the other end of the spectrum stands businessman and
former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. Although
he’s considered one of the front-runners, his campaign has
been overshadowed by a law he passed while serving as gov
ernor. He implemented a health-care law requiring every citi
zen in his state to buy health insurance, which he’s come un
der fire for, because it bears resemblance to President Barack
Obama’s health-care law, but is downsized to a state level. His
stance of social issues including abortion, have also put him at
odds with evangelical conservatives.
Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Per
ry of Texas, Tea Party favorites, have had strong leads this
summer since the Iowa Straw Poll, in which Ms. Bachmann
won. Her tough straight-talk and religious ideologies have
earned her fans from the far-right. But, according to some
right-wing media pundits, her stock has diminished since Mr.
Perry entered the race in August.
Though Mr. Perry has attracted many Bachmann support
ers, he has also drawn criticism for a book he wrote last year,
in which he calls the current social security system a “Ponzi
Hanging on by threads. Newt Gingrich’s campaign and fi
nance issues have caused his brand to take a hit. The former
house speaker’s affair and two divorces haven’t appealed to
evangelicals, but he has strong base of Tea Party support,
mostly due to his support of far-right fiscal policy.
Herman Cain, the only candidate without legislative ex
perience, wasn’t well known among far-right conservatives
and the Tea Party before entering the race. The
former chief executive officer of Godfather’s
Pizza, “whose conservative fiscal credentials
have made him a favorite among some Tea Party
backers, has been aggressively crisscrossing the
country trying to build name recognition,” ac
cording to a New York Times profile, has ex
cited some Afiican-American conservatives. His
extremely conservative views on Muslims have
somewhat overshadowed his stance on econom
ic policy, though successful businessmen have
typically been able to easily gamer Republican
Former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Gov.
John Huntsman have also assembled strong con
servative bases and media nods.
Mr. Santorum, a younger candidate, is popular
among young conservatives, but has yet to estab
lish a promising national base, while Mr. Hunts
man, a Mormon, may risk being out-shined by
his fellow candidates. He is the least popular of
the strongest eight, but may have the biggest ad
vantage when it comes to raising funds for his
Although there seems to be a healthy variation
of ideas and beliefs between the candidates, it’s
still unclear whether or not they can appeal to
swing voters and independents, which is key to
Republican’s securing a victory next year.
According to a recent national poll of Repub
licans by CNN, Perry is in the lead with 32 percent of conser
vative support. Romney is in second with 21 percent, and Paul
is in third with 13 percent.
The Republican primary elections are scheduled firom Janu
ary 31 to June 26 2012, with North Carolina’s being held on
May 8. So far, there have been seven debates.
Upcoming Republican Debate
When: September 22
Time and Network: 9 p.m. on Fox News
Location; Orlando, FL
Sponsor Fox News, Google, and Florida Republican Party