Contenders vs. Pretenders — and a new face?


The Crystal Ball has updated its listing of the presidential candidates in the wake of the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames and Rick Perry’s entry into the race.

Mitt Romney continues to lead the list, followed by Perry and Michele Bachmann. These are the “contenders” for the nomination, meaning that they are the only candidates in the race that we believe have a credible shot at the nomination. The rest of the candidates, we believe, are “pretenders” for the title.

We’ve also decided to add a non-candidate to our chart: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. There are a lot of rumblings that he might enter the race. If he did, we would initially rank him third on our list of “contenders,” behind Perry and ahead of Bachmann.

The list of the candidates, and descriptions of their advantages and disadvantages, is available on our 2012 presidential race page.