WASHINGTON (CNN) – The first primary contest of the 2012 election cycle is more than two years away, but some Republicans are already voting ... sort of.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee - which assists GOP Senate candidates - e-mailed a "Proxy Ballot" to some supporters on Monday asking them which Republican leader is their top choice for the Republican presidential nomination. The survey also asks Republicans to rank the importance of issues like health care, abortion rights and taxes.
While the survey has zero impact on who will be the next GOP nominee, the hypothetical ballot gives the NRSC a chance to tap into early Republican interest in the 2012 election to collect information - and money - from party activists.
So who did the NRSC pick as the Republican favorites? Twelve names appear on the ballot, which is heavy with governors and former governors: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah. Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. John McCain, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Mitt Romney.
Admittedly, it's a generous list. Romney, Pawlenty and Huckabee are traveling the country and mulling White House bids, but several Republicans on the list - while popular figures within the party - aren't likely to run.
Daniels has said he won't seek the presidency, although that early declaration could be subject to change. Huntsman accepted President Obama's request that he serve as ambassador to China, a move that didn't exactly endear him to Republican primary voters and will keep him busy for the next two years. And McCain, of course, has twice come up short in bids for the White House.
Anybody But OBUMMER
Ron Paul is the only uncoorupted politician left.
Ron Paul 2012
Romney understands the economy far better than current occupant
Dumb and Dumber
These folks are part of a group that has been there, done that and wore that tee shirt. If the Republican party ever intends to regain power they had better come up with some new blood. I don't see them back in power for at least four decades. The American people know who put us into the mess we are in today and won't soon forget it. It won't matter how much money these people manage to collect they won't have the votes to go with it. The Republicans are definitely out in the cold and they will stay there for many years to come.
Gotta love the "Sieg Heil!" salute by Jeb.
Its very telling coming from the bush regime.
No more Bush presidents, not in my lifetime and I still have a couple of decades to go (the good lord willin' and the creek don't rise). Jeb was certainly the most competent of the Bush brothers but brother George has left such a bad taste that Jeb has no chance in 2012, maybe 2016 because Americans have fairly short memories of just how disastrous the Bushes have been.
As for Palin, bring 'er on. People who would normally vote for a sane competent Republican would hold their noses and vote for Obama (or stay home) rather than vote for her. She has no support outside The Base, and obviously she's still cheerfully catering to their delusions and paranoia.
And Romney? Puh-Leeze. (a) The Base will never allow him to be nominated and since they control the primaries, they control who remains in the running for the nomination. (b) He changes positions like some people change their underwear. He's the ultimate plastic fantastic politician.
I voted for Obama but I'm going to tell you something, he better start stepping up to the plate or we are going to be fooled again. So far, I'm not impressed.
We had enough Bush – elite corrupt evil demons.
We haven't seen the next republican President. The candidates that they have are trash. They need to find a moderate with a brain. It might take a few years to do this with their current party structure.
The only one who truly scares me is the governor of my state, Minnesota. Why? Because he does not come across as the typical right wing conservative Christian nut job but let me assure you, he is. He has destroyed our state with his veto's and refusal to raise taxes for basic necessities. He even ignored our state legislature to "balance the budget". The losers by his balanced budget are enormous. Just ask the survivors of the 13 people who died when our bridge fell into the Mississippi River. No funds for anything, including unsafe bridges.
He comes across as thoughtful and intelligent but all he cares about is increasing his national exposure. He isn't even working in Minnesota anymore, just giving speeches around the country.
Please don't be fooled by his "normal " and unassuming appearance.
Oh and one more thing. Jeb Bush? If we are crazy to elect another Bush, we need to have our heads examined.
Hypothetical? The GOP has nothing to be proud of.
"The NRSC included Jeb Bush on its list of possible 2012 presidential candidates."
Hmm, no. I've had enough of the heirs of Bushington, myself. Romney, Balour, even Palin, but enough with this dynastic stuff.
No GOP Candidate will be voted into the Presidency for many years to come. You Republicans can blame the one/two punch of Bush/Cheney. The majority of Americans see right thru the GOP's evil ways of leadership. Obama our BLACK President 2012, Clinton 2016,2020
Jeb Bush!?!?! Havent the Bush's done enough damage to this country already?
I think CNN is so funny, how can you write articles such as this one and expect the American people not to respond? I see so many non-American leaders in the GOP party trying to run in 2012............you guys have to do better than the list above.......First of all, GOP's have shown me in the last year, that they cannot be trusted. I was so disappointed during the election, I couldn't see straight...........all of the lies that Sarah Palin and Mccain put out..........it was making me sick.....You see, god doesn't like ugly. The GOP party showed allot of dishonesty, just like they are doing now..........and due to them being such sore loosers, they are making this country split down the middle. Other countries are laughing at us, they feel that we are divided not United...........and we call this the United States of America.......... It just shows how telling lies will never prevail and each of you should be ashamed to call yourselves Americans..............CNN shouldn't even embarrass this GOP party like this............it's insulting to the American people, that we have to see a false predictions for 2012,,,,,,Obama doesn't need to campaign, because if anyone of the above listed are running for office.......it's a slam dunk for Obama...........President Obama 2012 victory is yours............