We rank the top 15 GOP contenders using four criteria:RANKINGS: (ranking the last time)
- Money: How much do they have? How much can they raise?
- Campaign infrastructure: Do they have the ability to assemble a competitive and competent staff, both at the national and state levels?
- Strengths: What issue(s) can the candidate truly hang their hat on? Is there a specific area of expertise they can sell to voters? Do they have a strong track record on one particular issue?
- Weaknesses: Every candidate has one -- heck, most candidates have plenty -- and the reality is that eventually they will have to address them. This will be easier for some contenders than others: Explaining away one vote for bad legislation is far easier than justifying a major moral lapse or some fatally flawed executive decision. At the end of the day, some candidates will have weaknesses, and others will have albatrosses. It’s the latter group who should be worried.
1. Mitt Romney (1)
2. Tim Pawlenty (2)
3. Haley Barbour (6)
4. Newt Gingrich (7)
5. Mitch Daniels (5)
6. Mike Huckabee (3)
7. Sarah Palin (8)
8. Michelle Bachmann (12)
9. Jon Huntsmann (9)
10. Rick Santorum (10)
11. Rudy Giuliani (15)
12. Ron Paul (13)
13. Herman Cain (14)
14. Donald Trump (New)
15. Jim DeMint (11)
Who is trending since the 1st edition and 2nd edition of PPR:
RISING: Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rudy Giuliani, Ron Paul, Herman Cain
FALLING: Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint
ARRIVALS: Donald Trump
DEPARTURES: John Thune
To read the Journal's explanation for each candidate's ranking, go HERE.