Candidates – Prospective

It remains too early to definitively determine which prominent individuals will run for president. The following list of individuals are being or have been discussed by reputable sources as prospective candidates.

Angle, Sharron Elaine: Former member of the Nevada Assembly who who lost her 2010 Senate bid to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

  • Undeclared, but is planning a trip to Iowa in February 2011; while this doesn’t mean she’s running for the White House; as they say, no politician visits Iowa on a whim. She told the Des Moines Register that she has “lots of options for the future” and would like to return to Iowa, home to the country’s first presidential caucuses.

Arpaio, Joseph M. “Joe”: Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona; Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In September 2010, Chad Willems, Arpaio’s political adviser, told CNN: “People just don’t go to New Hampshire if they are not interested in these things.” However, Arpaio’s spokesman declined to say if the sheriff is planning a run for president.

Bachmann, Michele Marie: U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 6th congressional district, serving since 2007. Member of the Republican Party, supporter of the Tea Party movement and founder of the House Tea Party Caucus

  • Status of candidacy: In a written statement issued in January 2011, Bachmann’s spokesman told Minnesota Public Radio News that her focus was on “serving the people of Minnesota’s 6th district,” but that Bachmann “is not taking anything off the table concerning the future.” ABC News has reported that Bachmann will be canvassing in Iowa to gauge response to her idea of a future bid. However, her latest comment contradicted what she said just days prior. “I’m not looking at the U.S. Senate, I’m certainly not looking at the U.S. presidency,” Bachmann said in an interview Sunday on a local TV affiliate. “But I am weighing in on the bigger national picture of where our nation is going.”

Barbour, Haley Reeves: Governor of Mississippi; Republican

  • Status of candidacy: Since he visited Iowa in 2009, there has been speculation that Barbour may run for president in 2012. So far, Barbour won’t say if he’s going to run. On Jan.15, 2011, while addressing Republicans in Baltimore for the annual Grand Old Party conference, Barbour said, “As far as running for president, I’ve said I’m not going to make any decision about that until the spring. I’ve got a budget to do and a legislative session (to attend). I’m going to get through my day job before I think about looking for the next job.”

Bloomberg, Michael Rubens “Mike”: Mayor of New York City, Independent

  • Status of candidacy: In July 2010 speaking before an audience at Dartmouth College, Mayor Bloomberg emphasized, “No, I’m not running. Make that clear. I’m gainfully employed. I’ve made a commitment [to serving as mayor] for the next 1,263 days…”

Bolton, John Robert: former ambassador to the United Nations, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: On Sept. 1, 2010, on Fox News, Bolton said, “I’m not saying no, that’s right” when asked by the host if he was running for president in 2012. On Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010, Bolton told radio show host Aaron Klein on WABC in New York: “Yes, I am considering it [a run for the White House in 2012]. If I did run, and I haven’t made a decision, I have never run for office one way or the other, so it would be a pretty big decision to do it.”

Brown, Scott Philip: U.S. Senator, R-Massachusetts

  • Status of candidacy: In January 2010, Scott Brown says talk of him running for president “silly” but “humbling.”

Brownback, Samuel Dale “Sam”: U.S. Senator, R-Kansas

  • Status of candidacy:

Bush, John Ellis “Jeb”: former Governor of Florida, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In July 2010, before a speech in Louisville to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Bush told a local TV crew, “I am not running for President.”

Cain, Herman: CEO and president of The New Voice Inc.; speaker; Fox New Business commentator; columnist; right-leaning talk show host; founder of the “Intelligent Thinkers Movement”; resident of Atlanta, Georgia

  • Status of candidacy: A volunteer, grassroots organization who appreciates and supports the work of Herman Cain has been encouraging him to run for President of the United States.  In December 2010, Cain said he is “one step closer” toward announcing a bid for president after the GOP’s big sweep in the November midterm elections. For now, Cain said he is putting out feelers and “prayerfully considering” a run, and he will make a decision sometime early in 2011. “Right now I’m in the process of contacting people who are very enthusiastic about a campaign. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be seeing if we can tap into the energy we saw [in November],” for a presidential bid. On Jan.12, 2011, Cain announced that he was forming an exploratory committee to run for president as a Republican.

Cantor, Eric Ivan: U.S. Congressman, R-Virginia, House Minority Whip

  • Status of candidacy:

Christie, Christopher James “Chris”: Governor of New Jersey Governor, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In June 2010, Christie said on running for President: “Not going to happen. I want to be Governor of New Jersey. I ran for Governor of New Jersey. I’m not Woodrow Wilson. You have to be in your gut and in your heart ready to be President if you decide to run for that. I simply do not have the desire to do it, nor do I think I’m ready.”

Clinton, Hillary Diane Rodham: United States Secretary of State, D-New York

  • Status of candidacy: On Nov. 21, 2010, Clinton told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace: “I am very happy doing what I’m doing, and I am not in any way interested in or pursuing anything in elective office.”

Corker, Robert Phillips “Bob” Jr.: U.S. Senator, R-Tenn.

  • Status of candidacy: In September 2009, U.S. Senator Bob Corker said he was not ruling out a 2012 presidential bid. But on Jan. 6, 2011, Corker told a Nashville-based talk radio host, Steve Gill, that he will not run for president in 2012. During a telephone interview on “The Steve Gill Show,” Corker was asked if a run for president was in his “thought process for 2012 or beyond.” Corker said: “It absolutely isn’t. Look, I really feel like, you know, I’m making a difference in the Senate. I spend so much time trying to understand the issues. I feel like I’ve become a thought leader in many ways. I’m going to work hard in our state over the next couple of years to try to be re-elected.”

Cornyn, John III: U.S. Senator, R-Texas

  • Status of candidacy:

Crist, Charles Joseph “Charlie” Jr: former Governor of Florida, Independent

  • Status of candidacy:

Daniels, Mitchell Elias “Mitch” Jr.: Governor of Indiana, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In November 2010, associates of Daniels said that he will not be deciding immediately on his presidential plans, but will likely early next year. In late December 2010, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels told news radio station WANE he will decide whether to run for president by the end of his state’s legislative session, which is scheduled for late April. Daniels said:“I think the decision has to come at the end of this General Assembly session, if not before. No later than that.” On Dec. 26, 2010, Governor Daniels told WSJV of South Bend that he’ll be looking to see whether presidential candidates are adequately addressing what he refers to as the “debt iceberg” or the nation’s ballooning debt, and that could influence his decision whether to run.   

Dean, III, Howard Brush: Served six terms as governor of Vermont; chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005-2009; an unsuccessful candidate for president in 2004; former physician

  • Status of candidacy: Has ruled out challenging President Barack Obama in a Democratic primary in 2012.

DeMint, James Warren “Jim”: U.S. Senator, R-South Dakota

  • Status of candidacy: In November 2010, DeMint was asked by CBS news anchor Maggie Rodriguez whether he might be Palin’s running mate in 2010. DeMint responded: “I would only consider if no one else was willing to do it at this point.” In January 2011, DeMint was said to be reconsidering his decision not to run in light of Rep. Mike Pence’s official withdrawal from the race. Additionally, news that DeMint will travel to Iowa on March 26 to address a conservative forum organized by Rep. Steve King is adding fuel to the fire over the possibility of a DeMint presidential run.

Dobbs, Louis Carl “Lou”: former CNN television personality

  • Status of candidacy: In November 2009, Dobbs said he was considering running for public office, and suggested he would consider a run for the highest office in the country. “What’s so crazy about that,” Dobbbs responded when an anchor with Washington’s WTOP radio station laughed about the possibility of Dobbs running for president. 

Feingold, Russell Dana “Russ: Senator for the State of Wisconsin, in 2010 he lost his bid for re-election, Democrat 

  • Status of candidacy: In December 2010, Mary Irvine, Feingold’s chief of staff told The Hill, “Senator Feingold is not running for president in 20102. Any suggestion he is thinking of running, planning to run, or interested in running is untrue. Senator Feingold is a strong supporter of President Barack Obama and wants to see him reelected in 2012.”

Fortuno Burset, Luis Guillermo: Governor of Puerto Rico, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: Fortuno is a U.S. Citizen and can run for U.S. Presidential election, although he can not vote in the election. So far, he has only been rumored as a potential, long-shot nominee for U.S. President.

Gates, Kenneth: R-Florida

  • Status of candidacy: Declaration of Intent of Candidacy filed Aug. 4, 2010

Gingrich, Newton Leroy “Newt”: former Speaker of the House from Georgia; Newt Gingrich is well-known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House for the first time in 40 years;

  • Status of candidacy: In July 2010, in an interview with The Associated Press, Gingrich said he’ll focus on the midterm elections than decide whether to seek the Republican nomination by next February or March. During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” Dec. 5, 2010, former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said that he is “much more inclined to run” for president in 2012 than not run. On Feb. 10, 2011, on Hannity, Gingrich said, “Callista and I will start discussing it [a run for president] the last part of February. We’ll talk with our family. We’ll think this through. And by very early March, you will know something pretty definite.”

Giuliani, Rudolph William Louis “Rudy”: Former New York Mayor, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: Rudy Giuliani has been talking to his political advisers about a 2012 presidential bid, sources close to him said. In January 2011, the New York Post quoted sources as saying that ex-Mayor “thinks the Republican race will be populated with far-right candidates like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, and there’s opportunity for a moderate candidate with a background in national security.” Giuliani has also reportedly scheduled a trip to New Hampshire for February 2011 to meet with constituents in the state, where he placed placed fourth in the 2008 Republican presidential primary.

Graham, Lindsey Olin: U.S. Senator, R-South Carolina

  • Status of candidacy:

Greene, Alvin Michael: Was the Democratic Party’s nominee in the 2010 United States Senate election in South Carolina, D-South Carolina

  • Status of candidacy: In November 2010, Greene told POLITICO, “Maybe. I’ll have to see,” when asked whether he was considering filing to run for president. He then confirmed that he asked the state party how much it would cost to run for president.

Haley, Nimrata “Nikki” Randhawa: Governor-elect of South Carolina- Republican

  • Status of candidacy:

Huckabee, Michael “Mike” Dale: Former governor of Arkansas, speaker and commentator, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: Has made several visits to Iowa this year. In a November 2010 interview with WHO radio host Steve Deace, Huckabee would not discount the possibility of another presidential run, but added he would need evidence of a clear path to victory before entering the GOP race. He said: “I’m not ruling it out. And that’s not a yes, but it’s definitely not a no.”

Hunter, Duncan Lee: Former U.S. Congressman, R-California; sought the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States for 2008, but his campaign failed to attract enough delegates in the early primary states and he dropped out after the Nevada Republican caucuses

  • Status of candidacy:

Huntsman, Jon Meade Jr.: U.S. Ambassador to China and former governor of Utah, Republican

  • Status of candidacy:  On Jan. 1, 2011, Huntsman was quoted telling Newsweek magazine, “You know, I’m really focused on what we’re doing in our current position,” he says. “But we won’t do this forever, and I think we may have one final run left in our bones.”

Jindal, Piyush Amrit “Bobby”: Governor of Louisiana, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In a Nov. 17, 2010, article published on, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal said, “I’m not being coy at all. I’m noting running for president in 2012. Period. No ifs, ands or buts, no caveats.”

Johnson, Gary Earl.: former governor of New Mexico, Libertarian-leaning Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In a November 2010 interview with The Daily Caller, Johnson refused to discuss a possible run for president, but said that should he run, he would announce his candidacy in February 2011.

Kasich, John Richard: Republican governor-elect of Ohio, taking office January 2011; former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Ohio Senate

  • Status of candidacy:

Kyl, Jon Llewellyn: U.S. Senator, R-Arizona

  • Status of candidacy:

McDonnell, Robert Francis “Bob”: Governor of Virginia, Republican

  • Status of candidacy:

Obama, Barack Hussein: President of the United States, D-Illinois

  • Status of candidacy: On Oct. 19, 2010, in an interview with the National Journal President Obama said, “Obviously, I haven’t made any formal decision [on reelection], but I feel like I’ve got a lot of work left to do.”

Palin, Sarah Louise: Vice-presidential Republican candidate McCain-Palin Campaign in 2008, former Governor of Alaska

  • Status of candidacy: In a November 2010 interview with Barbara Walters, Palin said, “I’m looking at the lay of the land now, and … trying to figure that out, if it’s a good think for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it’s a good thing.”

Pataki, George Elmer: former governor of New York, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In November 2010, Former Governor George Pataki was quoted in the Democrat and Chronicle as saying: “I’m certainly not going to rule it out. And I’m going to look at who else is out there, what their background is, what their philosophy and ideas are, and made a decision myself based on not just personal ambition but a vision for the country.”

Paul, Ronald Ernest “Ron”: U.S. Congressman, R-Texas

  • Status of candidacy: In two radio interviews on Aug. 18, 2010, Ron Paul denied that he had made a decision or announcement. Whether he runs or not will depend on the level of support and encouragement he receives between now and the end of the year. Then in December 2010, Paul told the New York Times in a profile of the 75-year-old congressman his decision will reportedly hinge in part on how the economy fares. He commented further by saying: “I’d say it’s at least 50-50 that I’ll run again.” 

Pawlenty, Timothy James “Tim”: Governor of Minnesota, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: Pawlenty has made several trips to Iowa in attempt to become better known in a crowd of potential GOP candidates. In November 2010, Pawlenty said, “If you’re a serious candidate for president you become well known, so over time resolves itself.” Pawlenty was the keynote speaker at the 2010 Republican Governors Association’s conference seeking to gain valuable exposure and raise his profile among fellow Republicans.

Pence, Michael Richard “Mike”: U.S. Congressman, R-Indiana

  • Status of candidacy: In September 2010, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence won a presidential straw poll at the Values Voters Summit in Washington. He took 24 percent of the vote. In January 2011, Pencetold supporters in a letter that he would not pursue the presidency.

Perry, James Richard “Rick”: Governor of Texas, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In November 2010, Governor Perry was selected chairman of the Republican Governors Association. In repeated interviews, Perry has disavowed any interest in running for president in 2012. He said: “I don’t want to be the president of the United States. The states are where the power should be.”

Petraeus, David Howell: United States Army General from New York, Republican

  • Status of candidacy: In April 2010, during an appearance in New Hampshire, Petraeus said: “I though I’d said ‘no’ about as many ways as I could. I really do mean no,” when asked if he was destined for politics. “I’ve tried quoting a country song ‘What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?’ but I really do mean that…I will not ever run for political office, I can assure you.” 

Roemer, III, Charles Elson “Buddy”: Was the 52nd Governor of Louisiana, having served from 1988 to 1992. He was elected as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican party in March 1991. Prior to becoming the Governor, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1988. Roemer is currently President and CEO of Business First Bank in Baton Rouge.

  • Status of candidacy: Politico reported in January 2011 that Roemer was looking to get back into politics and making a run for President of the United States. Roemer is quoted as saying: “It certainly interests me. There is a lot of work to be done. I’m not running today. It will take months to work out if it happens.”

Romney, Willard Mitt: Former Governor of Massachusetts, R-New Hampshire

  • Status of candidacy: Romney is continuing to weigh a run for president in 2012.

Root, Wayne Allyn: entrepreneur, author and political commentator; Root was the 2008 Libertarian Party Vice-Presidential candidate

  • Status of candidacy:

Rubio, Marco Antonio: Senator-elect, R-Florida

  • Status of candidacy: In January 2011, Rubio tola a local radio station: “I’m flattered that people would ask that question…. But, by the same token…I wanted to be a U.S. senator, not a vice presidential candidate, not a presidential candidate.” 

Ryan, Paul Davis Jr.: Congressman, R-Wisconsin

  • Status of candidacy: In July 2010 in an article published by The Weekly Standard, Ryan said: “I want to be a normal person. Other people can run for that thing. Other people can’t do this” on the notion that he might run for president.

Santorum, Richard John “Rick”: former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania

  • Status of candidacy: Speaking at an event hosted by American University’s College Republicans in November 2010, Santorum said: “It’s something that as a dad I think about a lot. And that’s an important job for me.” Santorum said he’ll reach a decision ”sometime next year.” On Dec, 11, 2010, Santorum said: “I’m exploring it. I’m looking at it. I am kicking the tires,” while making the rounds at receptions hosted by businesses, law firms, unions, political leaders and lobbyists at the annual Pennsylvania Society gathering in Manhattan.

 Sessions, Jefferson Bequregard “Jeff”: U.S. Senator, R-Alabama

  • Status of candidacy:

Tancredo, Thomas Gerald “Tom’: U.S. Congressman, R-Colo

  • Status of candidacy:

Thompson, Fred Dalton: former U.S. Senator, R-Tennessee, attorney, actor and commentator

  • Status of candidacy:

Thompson, Tommy George: former Governor of Wisconsin, Republican

  • Status of candidacy:

Thune, John Randolph: U.S. Senator, R-South Dakota

  • Status of candidacy: In a Jan. 2, 2011, article published in the Rapid City Journal, John Thune, South Dakota’s Republican senator, said he is meeting with family and “trying to decide whether an entrance into the national political scene makes sense.” He added, “It’s a process I’ve been in now for a while …trying to do due diligence and have as many conversations with people in different places around the country about where the country should be headed.” Thune also told the paper he expects to make a decision by spring. On Feb. 22, 2011, Senator John Thune (D-SD) announced that he will not be running for president in 2012. He said in a statement, “I feel that I am best positioned to fight for America’s future here in the trenches of the United States Senate.”

Toomey, Patrick Joseph “Pat”: Senator-elect for Pennsylvania, Republican

  • Status of candidacy:

Trump, Donald John: New York businessman and host of America’s version of ‘The Apprentice’; R-New York

  • Status of candidacy: On Oct. 5, 2010, Donald Trump told the Fox News Channel, “For the first time in my life, I’m actually thinking about it [running for president]. I see what’s going on with this country and it’s never been worse. What’s happening is a disgrace.” Over the 2011 New Year’s holiday, Trump confided that he would make an announcement that he intends to run for the Republican nominee after The Apprentice finishes its current season in spring, according to Ronald Kessler, the well-respected chief reporter of the conservative political website Newsmax,

Whitman, Margaret Cushing “Meg”: former Republican California gubernatorial candidate; Whitman is the former chief executive of eBay

  • Status of candidacy: In July 2010, Whitman was asked on ABC’s Good Morning America whether she had any interest in running for the White House, Whitman replied, “No.”

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