Nerding Up The 2012 Republican Presidential Hopefuls

While I loathe math, I find Nate Silver's particular way of presenting statistical information quite, well, informative.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a venn diagram that maps the 2012 Republican presidential field:

Note the labels for each of the circles: "Electable" (against President Obama), "interested in running" and "reliably conservative". Silver:
The search [for a plausible GOP nominee] has not quite gone as planned. Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana seemed to meet the first two criteria, but would not throw his hat into the ring. Mike Huckabee had reasonably strong favorability ratings with general-election voters. But he received little encouragement to run, perhaps because his positions were perceived as being too heterodox on economic policy.

Representative Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin meet the conservative criterion, but not the electability one. Newt Gingrich was already on tenuous grounds on electability, and when he dared to critique Mr. Ryan’s Medicare plan, he was shunned by the party.

Mitt Romney is still very much in the running — and has adopted essentially down-the-line orthodox Republican positions. But the party looks at his record in Massachusetts and does not seem persuaded that he is a movement conservative at heart.

The candidate who had seemed like the best hope for meeting all three qualifications was Tim Pawlenty. But he was vetoed by the Republican voters.

Enter Mr. Perry. He is running now and with plenty of popular support, already having pulled into the lead in one poll of primary voters.
Nate Silver goes on to outline the electablility, both pro-and-con, of Governor Rick Perry. The whole article is worth your time.

Postscript: I love that Donald Trump does not fall into any of the circles on the diagram. Heh.