We’re just over 18 months away form the 2012 presidential election and yet we have some pundits wringing their hands over Republican dissatisfaction about their current field and others speculating about how the race will play out. Meanwhile, we keep hearing that the incumbent president whose two greatest domestic achievements have either failed to live up to promise (the “so-called stimulus”) or failed to win favor with the American people (health care overhaul) is practically a shoo-in for reelection despite middling poll numbers (even after the dispatch of Osama bin Laden).
With some pundits hyperventilating about the race as if the political conventions had already taken place and people were focusing on the contest, Michael Barone (once again) offers a dose of common sense:
In two Washington Post articles this morning Mitt Romney is referred to as the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination. Why? On what basis?
The first article, headlined “Romney has eye on one prize right now: money,” Dan Eggen and T. W. Farnam refer to Romney as “the presumed front-runner.” In a second article on page A4, headlined “Romney to confront his critics in a speech on health care,” Karen Tumulty more cautiously writes that Romney “is seen as a possible front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination?”
Presumed by whom? Seen by whom?
Read the whole thing. Look, we’re not going to know until October (at the earliest) what the make-up of the GOP field will be. If the economy doesn’t pick up and the clamor for change increases, some Republicans currently on the sidelines may jump into the game.
It’s way too early to deem any candidate the frontrunner when we don’t even know who all will be his rivals for the Republican nomination.