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Friday, July 6, 2007
posted by jason | 3:41 PM | permalink
National Journal Rankings

1. No One
Last Ranking: --
no one No one yet.

2. Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts governor Last Ranking: 2
Mitt Romney He has a solid claim to No. 2 because of his strength in Iowa and New Hampshire and his solid bank account. But he's not the front-runner because he hasn't demonstrated he can be competitive in a general election yet, either based on message or polls. On the surface, he's had a rough month -- Garrity-Gate, stem cells, dog on top of the car -- but the net effect of this isn't that terrible. Basically, the press thinks Romney is the weirdest candidate. The dog-on-the-roof story only adds to the Clark Griswold weirdness.

2. Rudy Giuliani
Former New York City mayor Last Ranking: 1
Rudy Giuliani Mr. Electable has map-changing capabilities that no other Republican would dare claim. And he's still popular among Republicans, as evidenced by those national polls. But while everyone's been obsessing over how low John McCain will go, it's Giuliani who has seen his national numbers cut in half since April, and his leads in Iowa and New Hampshire erased by Romney. Does Rudy Inc. realize that the window is closing on his own ability to define his biography? Get some paid media up soon, Mr. Mayor.

2. Fred Thompson
Former Tennessee senator Last Ranking: 4
Fred Thompson He's No. 2 because of the combined strength of his state and national poll numbers. He is not No. 1 because even his campaign knows that this balloon will pop eventually and he'll have to get down to the business of retail stumping. It's very interesting, although not surprising, that so many Republicans are eager to proclaim Thompson as their savior without so much as a brief glance at his record, character or reason for running. One consequence of his reliance on new media: when he makes a mistake -- like when he talks about Cuban illegal immigrants (South Florida, anyone? Isn't Florida his state?), everyone will know, instantly. Can Thompson win the nomination? Ask us after his first multicandidate debate.

3. John McCain
Arizona senator Last Ranking: 3
John McCain Every assumption the McCain campaign brought to this race has been overturned: that McCain would build a massive bundler base, that Giuliani wouldn't run, that Bush's popularity would carry McCain through tough times with the base, that Fred Thompson wouldn't run, that immigration wouldn't be so bad, that McCain's strength on the war would carry him through. We do not subscribe to the McCain death watch theory; there are so many unknowns about the next few months. But we're waiting to see one metric -- just one metric -- that would provide us with more than a gut feeling that he may again rise to the top. And the reification effect of folks thinking he's dead just makes that possibility more probable.

4. Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas governor Last Ranking: 5
Mike Huckabee It's funny how so many Arkansas Republicans are convinced that Huckabee won't be the vice presidential nominee because his alleged temper will cause him to implode at some point. That's why Sen. Mark Pryor is nervous about a challenge from Huckabee in '08.

5. Tommy Thompson
Former Wisconsin governor Last Ranking: 10
Tommy Thompson He deserves credit for running to win in Iowa, even after the straw poll lost its cachet. He's there all the time, and he's winning some smaller straw polls.

6. Sam Brownback
Kansas senator Last Ranking: 7
Sam Brownback His support for cloture on the immigration bill will hurt him, and we bet he's incredulous that so many of his conservative Christian friends are taking a look at Fred Thompson.

7. Tom Tancredo
Colorado congressman Last Ranking: 8
Tom Tancredo He's arguably the most influential member of Congress in terms of policy over the past two years. Look where it's gotten him. If his rhetoric had been a tad less nativist...

8. Ron Paul
Texas congressman Last Ranking: 11
Ron Paul We can't wait to see if Internet organization can translate at all to, say, a libertarian place like New Hampshire.

9. Duncan Hunter
California congressman Last Ranking: 9
Duncan Hunter The lack of debates isn't good for Hunter and with immigration on the back burner now, he may not have a good one-two talking-point punch.

10. Jim Gilmore
Former Virginia governor Last Ranking: 12
Jim Gilmore Hasn't he made himself irrelevant in Virginia politics now? If this bid doesn't take off soon, then he could hurt his statewide future.
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