But can Utah’s impressive ex-governor catch up with the front-runner for the Republican nomination, his fellow-Mormon Mitt Romney?
May 26th 2011 | DURHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE | from the print edition
“I’M A margin-of-error guy,” Jon Huntsman cheerfully admits to an audience of a few dozen at a grand lakeside home in New Hampshire. Support for his putative presidential bid, he explains, registers in the low single digits in most polls—a level so low as to be meaningless. He and his family are “grateful that anyone would want to show up and shake our hands”.
Yet most pundits count Mr Huntsman as one of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination, alongside his fellow former governors Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty. In part, that is because the field is steadily narrowing: Mitch Daniels, another governor with a strong following among fiscal conservatives, bowed out of the race this week. Apart from Mr Huntsman himself, who says he will decide definitively whether to run next month, there are now only two possible entrants of any stature still on the sidelines: Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. There is talk that Mrs Bachmann, in particular, is about to join the fray, but both she and Mrs Palin are right-wing firebrands with a limited, albeit devoted, following.