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The 2012 Iowa Caucuses – Where Do the Candidates Stand?

2:08 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

When are the big political names going to start traveling to Iowa?

When will the caucus campaigns begin in earnest?

Questions like these have been debated to death at local coffee shops and in newspaper columns for months now.  It’s understandable for Iowans and the media to ask these types of questions, but what these people are really pondering has nothing to do with when the caucus campaigning starts.  What they are really waiting for is when the frontrunner is going to be ordained so that the 2012 caucus picture comes a bit more into focus.

I believe that those who are awaiting the arrival of the frontrunner, the one candidate that all others can be measured against, might be waiting for something that will never arrive.  While an ordained frontrunner would make things easier from the reporting side of things, I’m convinced that this race does not, and probably will never have a frontrunner until the final moments of the caucus campaign.

At some point Iowans and media cannot wait around any longer. As a kid, my parents would threaten to leave without my brothers and I if we were doodling around right before the family was to hit the road.   In regards to the caucuses, some candidates like Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum have been patiently waiting in the car for moths now to make sure it doesn’t leave without them.

Other candidates like Mitt Romney and Ron Paul might not have run to the car like the other three did, but they have been through this routine before.  They will either know how long they can wait it out until the car actually pulls out of the drive, or in the case of Romney, might have alternate transportation already in place.

Like my parents, I’ve decided that its time to get on the road.

To be honest, there is no better time to declare the start of the 2012 caucus campaign than today since exactly one year from now, barring any minor date changes, Iowans will go to their caucuses to show their support of their preferred candidate.

Not only are we exactly one year out from the caucuses, but also later this week is the Conservative Political Action Conference, which is referred to as CPAC.  Even though some social conservatives have criticized the event in recent years, it is my belief that the entire 2012 presidential field will be there to address the conference.  That also means that the field of candidates doesn’t include Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin.

Throughout the day, I will count down the top ten caucus contenders from number ten to number one.  It is important to realize that the ranking of the candidates is based on both their potential and what they have already began to put in place for their potential campaigns.  After all ten articles are posted, will put them all in one compilation article with links to the individual articles.

As always, feel free to discuss, speculate, or disagree in the comment section.

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