Support for President Barack Obama seems weakened by the current economic crisis and national unemployment numbers, which are still above 9 percent. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, three-quarters of people believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction, but Obama still tops his GOP counterparts, leading former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by six points and former businessman Herman Cain by 15 points in the poll.
Obama has already raised $75 million in campaign funding and continues to reach out to younger voters. The Obama campaign recently launched a program called Greater Together, aimed specifically at mobilizing voters aged 18 to 29.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently passed Rick Perry to take the third-place position among GOP hopefuls. Gingrich has gained five points since October, when he was in fifth place, and now polls with 13 percent support.
Gingrich holds more than $1 million in debt, but his campaign doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Gingrich’s campaign has the highest social media presence of all the GOP candidates, according to the Associated Press.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, representing Minnesota’s sixth district, is the only woman running for the Republican nomination in 2012. She has strong support from Christian conservatives and Tea Party members.
Bachmann has raised about $4.1 million and spent about $6 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Though Bachmann led in the Ames Straw Poll in August, her numbers quickly fell when Rick Perry joined the race. Currently, she holds about 3 percent of the GOP’s support.
Current governor of Texas Rick Perry announced he was vying for the republican nomination in August. Early in the race, Perry led the polls with support from 30 percent of GOP members, but his numbers have dropped significantly to about 10 percent, with a six-point drop within the last month, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Many analysts say Perry lacks a strong pitch for his candidacy, but he recently received support from former President Bill Clinton for his stance on immigration.
Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, the 10th largest pizza chain in the nation based on sales, and head of the National Restaurant Association, has rocketed to the top of most major polls. He currently holds support from 27 percent of likely Republican voters, thanks in part to his “9-9-9” tax plan, a plan that essentially gets rid of the current tax code and implements a 9 percent tax on business income, a 9 percent tax on personal income and a new 9 percent federal sales tax.
Cain has made headlines recently for allegations of sexual harassment. Cain’s campaign has denied the allegations, calling them “bogus attacks.”
Many analysts believe that if Texas Congressman Ron Paul doesn’t win the Republican ticket for 2012, he might consider a third-party run as an Independent, though Paul has said he has “no intention” of doing that. If he does, the loyalty of his followers could affect the outcome of the general election.
Paul has been reluctant to support any other Republican candidate and has only been able to raise $8.2 million in campaign funding.
Former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney has stayed mostly out of the headlines, but he’s slowly but surely pulling ahead of his competition. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 33 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents chose him as the candidate most likely to beat Obama one year from now.
Romney, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in the 2008 Republican primaries, has been campaigning in Iowa. While there, he said he would reduce spending if elected by repealing Obama’s healthcare law and eliminating programs that are not vital, such as the National Endowment for the Arts.