Donald Trump has had one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of Presidential politics. Last month we found him leading the Republican field with 26%. In the space of just four weeks he’s dropped all the way down to 8%, putting him in a tie for fifth place with Ron Paul.
As for PPP’s other figures, they show some consistency – Huckabee and Romney consistently outpolling everyone else – but offer little more than an outline of the potential R field. After comparing results for various different fields (no Palin, no Huck, etc.), PPP offers the following bottom line:
To put that in a simpler form if Huckabee runs it’s between him and Romney right now, and if Huckabee doesn’t run it’s between Romney and Gingrich right now. And there’s plenty of time for other folks to work their way into that mix.
I note that Intrade has BHO at ca. 60% for re-election, and my personal guesstimaview remains that his odds are better than that, but, even if I’m right, whom the Rs select and how it all shakes out will still potentially greatly influence the political and cultural terrain. As for Gingrich, Walter Shapiro agrees with the conventional wisdom that he’s a “long shot,” but argues that he’s perhaps a shorter long shot than you might think. Shapiro points out that, in addition to possessing a huge mailing list and network of donors, and a history of national-level leadership (good or bad, he was there), Gingrich is much better suited than backward-looking and cautious candidates to ride whatever waves emerge in the dynamic environment of the presidential primaries.