October 26th, 2010
04:33 PM ET
4 years ago

Which election is this?

(CNN) - Talk about a crowded campaign trail Tuesday.

Mississippi Gov. and Republican Governors Association Chairman Haley Barbour kicked off a five day 13 state swing in support of GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Tuesday also found former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa, where the 2008 GOP presidential candidate made three stops across the state in behalf of Republican candidates on the ballot next week. Romney's finishing up a tour of 25 states before Election Day.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is in Texas, the first stop of a seven day eight state tour to help fellow Republicans.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich teamed up at a rally in Ohio with the state's Republican Senate and gubernatorial nominees. The stop was part of a 12-state two week tour.

What do all these men have in common?

They all are considering bids for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Ask any of these men, and the other possible contenders for next race for the White House, and they'll tell you that the main focus of their efforts on the campaign trail is to help Republicans win in next week's midterm elections. And while that's all very true, there's obviously something else at stake here.

"Potential 2012 candidates can point to their 2010 travel and fundraising efforts when they're asked 'where were you when we needed you?' by elected Republicans and activists whose support they're courting in caucuses and primaries just over a year from now," says Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist who was national press secretary for Romney's 2008 presidential campaign.

So does the end of the midterm election cycle bring a start to next race for the White House?

Yes and no.

Many of the bigger names who may launch a bid for the presidency have said they won't decide on a White House run until early next year. But some of the lesser known candidates may launch exploratory committees soon after the midterms, as some did in the last cycle. And get ready for a pick up in the frequency of 2012 presidential polling.

"We all probably agree it will be too soon to start speculating about 2012 starting on November 3, but that won't stop folks from doing it anyway," adds Madden.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @Psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • Haley Barbour • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. FREEDOM

    VICTORY FOR REPUBLICANS!!! All three of these men are honorable and respectable and if they run for president, may the best one be chosen to BEAT OBAMA-BIDEN!!! VICTORY 2010!!! REPUBLICANS GO VOTE!!! EVERY VOTE COUNTS!!!

    October 26, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Diane P

    I find it hard to believe that the Governor of the poorest state in the country, that takes more money than any other is running around the country talking about out of control federal spending it's outrageous. Are the GOP really listening to themselves, this is such an embarrssment anywhere outside of teaparty land!!!!

    October 26, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Daniel

    Yeah. Barbour wants to model the USA after Mississippi. As a Mississippi native I want to say I'm glad Mississippi is part of the USA or it would be equal to El Salvador or Honduras. Almost 195 years of "conservative leadership" is the reason.

    October 26, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Great the GOP is going to be in continual campaign mode. We need something like the Brits and other nations have no campaigning until 60 days before an election. Limits on this trash on the airwaves.

    October 26, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. peter s

    A pig on credit makes a good winter and a bad spring!!! "Chamber of commerce, fox corp, Big oil, Insurance" have extended credit to the Republicans!!

    October 26, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Donnatella

    I guess I can assume the people hear that support Boss Hoggs for president have never been to Mississippi, it is like stepping back 50 years, there are still people living there without indoor plumbing. The schools are horrible a lot of the people are illiterate, it is a sad day in America when a governor this pathetic actually thinks he should be president. Almost as bad as our governor Christie another loser.

    October 26, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. sma232il992

    Governments and the interests of some governments is the main reason all happening in the region

    October 26, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    CNN is already in 2012 MODE – starting CRAP!!! Why don't you put Bloomberg's picture there too – you're also predicting he will beat Obama in 2012!!!!

    Please CNN – give us a BREAK – let us get through 2010 First ... DANG!!!

    Please – DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE coming from CNN (who cannot get enough of INCITING POLITICAL RIOTS) and don't BELIEVE that the RIGHT is more ENTHUSED than the LEFT – it's all a part of KEEPING us HOME and not voting!!!!

    GET OUT AND VOTE AND VOTE DEMOCRAT!!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!!!

    October 26, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. diridi

    just vote for Dems....these are three thugs...in the nation....o.k, Middle guy looks like Barny Madoff, should be in jail...idiots, and thugs of three...to the detriment to the nation...

    October 26, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. they call me "tater salad"

    How do these do-nothing jerks get to keep their jobs when they're never doing their jobs? They've done NOTHING but prance around the country campaigning and showboating for the past 2 years! Yet all I ever did was show up for work one day, just like I did faithfully everyday for the past 25+ years and poof, by 2pm myself and ALL of my co-workers were unemployed. That was 2 years ago this month, WHEN GEORGE W. BUSH WAS STILL OUR PRESIDENT!!!!!!!! So EAT IT AND SMILE GOP!!!!!

    October 26, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  11. George of the jungle

    doesn't the republican party have anything but these stale old men and that wing nut Palin to offer. They are more interested in ousting the president than working on jobs or the economy. Why do we have to listen to them campaign for another two years.?? No ideas no solutions just lies and mud slinging. Vote all repos out in NOvember they are so sure they will win lets show them we can vote them out.

    October 26, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |