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Campaign 2012: Taking nominations for a new GOP crush

October 5, 2011 |  5:40 pm

Sarah Palin and Chris Christie
Three of the Republican Party's great young hopes -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida -- dropped out of the 2012 race in quick succession this week. Christie and Palin were presidential hopefuls; Rubio's name was tossed around as a running mate. This comes on top of the plummeting poll numbers  for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was a seemingly unbeatable candidate until he actually joined the race.

That leaves the current field intact, with nine candidates drawing enough support to appear in the televised debates but only three -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Perry and Herman Cain -- polling in double digits. And as the party faithful's futile longing for Christie, Palin and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin shows, none of the folks in the race today is setting a critical mass of Republican pulses racing.

If President Obama weren't so unpopular and the economy so terrible, you might think Republicans were in trouble. They're not -- they have several candidates already who seem perfectly capable of beating the president.

Nevertheless, if you could persuade someone to get off the sidelines and run for the GOP presidential nomination, who would it be? And for those of you likely to vote in the GOP primary, which of the nine at the top of the polls today -- a group that also includes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, Reps. Ron Paul of Texas and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Govs. Jon Huntsman of Utah and Gary Johnson of New Mexico -- would you like to see drop out? Don't say Donald Trump -- he's already gone.

Leave your comments below.

--Jon Healey

Credit: Charles Krupa (Palin) / Associated Press;  Jae C. Hong (Christie) / Associated Press

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