Three GOP presidential contenders have dropped out of the race in the span of a week: Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, and now Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana.
Mitch Daniels’ decision not to run for president in 2012 sets scrambling the remaining declared and likely candidates, not to mention professional campaigners, funding sources, and political pundits.
Daniels has built a very strong conservative record as governor of Indiana, but his misstep in declaring a unilateral “truce” on social issues, and his family’s unusual marital history, left him a weaker candidate than he would have been otherwise.
The GOP field is now about as scrambled as it can be, with former MA Gov. Mitt Romney leading among a field that now includes former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Rep. Ron Paul and former Govs. Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson and former Sen. Rick Santorum. Former Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann have yet to declare their candidacy. There is no obviously strong candidate currently in the field to take on President Obama next year, at least not yet.