Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to hold the pole position for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll. But the surprise runner-up to Romney was the two-term Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who moved up from fifth place when the last ranking of the potential GOP White House contenders was conducted a year ago.Rounding out the top five in order were former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and former 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
There are seven toss-ups at the moment, six of them Democratic: Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Ben Nelson (D-NE), John Ensign (R-NV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Jim Webb (D-VA). All seven are either in the “very vulnerable” or “vulnerable” categories. There are eight seats currently leaning to one or the other party. Six are Democratic and two are Republican. Of the eight, the seat of Scott Brown (R-MA) may be the most endangered, initially—although we believe some are underestimating his ability to win a full term despite the state’s heavily Democratic tilt. The remaining 18 seats are “likely” or “solid” for the eleven Democrats and seven Republicans who occupy them.
There are eight seats currently leaning to one or the other party. Six are Democratic and two are Republican. Of the eight, the seat of Scott Brown (R-MA) may be the most endangered, initially—although we believe some are underestimating his ability to win a full term despite the state’s heavily Democratic tilt.
The remaining 18 seats are “likely” or “solid” for the eleven Democrats and seven Republicans who occupy them.
Outgoing DSCC Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) needs to turn his attention to his '12 re-election bid ASAP. A Quinnipiac Poll released 11/9 found that only 38% of voters approve of his job performance while 41% of voters disapprove. More troubling for Menendez: nearly half -- 48% -- of independents disapprove of his job performance.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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