Saturday, May 14, 2011

Updated: Ranking Republican Presidential Candidates: Would They Win Their Home State?

Below is a table ranking possible Republican Presidential Candidates ability to win in 2012 by using one measuring stick: Would they definitely carry today their home state against President Obama?

The table has been updated to remove Governor Huckabee who announced last night he would not run (predicted correctly here yesterday).

Surprisingly, I concluded that only two of 11 possible Republican Presidential candidates would clearly today beat President Obama in their home states.

Those are Governor/Ambassador Huntsman and Governor Daniels.

The rest are sure losers in their home states or no better than a toss up back home.

Here is the ranking, going from least likely to win their home state to most likely.

1. Trump (assuming New York)
2. Romney (Massachusetts)
3. Bachmann
4. Pawlenty (Minnesota)
5. Santorum (Pennsylvania)
6. Cain (Georgia)
7. Paul (Texas)--Toss Up
8. Gingrich (Georgia)--Toss Up
9. Palin (Alaska)--Toss Up
10. Daniels (Indiana)
11. Huntsman (Utah)

How predictive is home state strength for national Presidential success?  Pretty good.

Vice President Gore proves that one can get the most popular votes, lose your home state, and lose the Presidency.  George McGovern and Walter Mondale show that losing your home state or struggling to win it means you may well lose 49 states.  McGovern lost South Dakota, his home state, and won just Massachusetts.  Vice President Mondale barely carried Minnesota, his home state, against President Reagan and lost 49 other states.

The Home State Barometer says President Obama should want any opponent other than Huntsman or Daniels.


  1. You consider President Obama a "toss-up" to win Texas, Alaska, and Georgia against each of those candidates? Or against any candidate? I hope you're right but I suspect that your polling tilts blue.

  2. Rep. Paul would likely lose 48 to 50 states. He might wind 2 of these 3: Idaho, Utah, Oklahoma. He would lose Texas.

    President Obama ran strongly in Georgia in 2008. Speaker Gingrich has never run state wide in Georgia. He is polling as no better than a Toss-up to the President.

    Mr. Cain would lose 50 states.

    Governor Palin's popularity has fallen sharply in Alaska and many other places. She is a toss-up in Alaska. I suspect she would win it as Mondale just held Minnesota against Reagan, while lossing at least 46 states.

    The home state barometer is a good predictor of national strength. If a candidate would lose their home state or will struggle to win it, it is highly unlikely that that candidate can win the Presidency.