Politics

2012 Presidential Election Candidates

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Unlike the 2008 presidential election when candidates announced early and often, this time around candidates are taking their time throwing their hats into the race. Let's take a look at where things stand with potential candidates:

Democrats

There's just one this time around -- President Obama. He formally announced in April that he is running for reelection. Obama hopes to raise a stunning $1 billion for his campaign.

Republicans

Herman Cain
In January, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza announced an exploratory committee for a potential run. That is the final step before a formal announcement. Cain, who is also a talk show host, is considered a long shot for the nomination.

Tim Pawlenty
Pawlenty announced his exploratory committee in March. Pawlenty is the former governor of Minnesota and is seen as a rising star in the Republican party.

Buddy Roemer
Roemer also started his committee in March. Roemer was governor of Louisiana from 1988-1992, elected as a Democrat before switching parties. Before that he was a congressman, serving four terms.

Mitt Romney
Romney formed his committee in April. Romney was an also-ran for the 2008 nomination, when he was famously unpopular with his fellow GOP candidates, and not too popular with voters, as it turned out.

Rick Santorum
Santorum also announced his committee in April. The former senator from Pennsylvania is one of the most conservative of the potential candidates.

Newt Gingrich
The former Speaker of the House said he is considering a run. In March he announced a fundraising committee for his possible run.

Ron Paul
The extremely popular congressman from Texas is making noise about running in 2012. This would be his third run -- in 1988 he was the nominee of the Libertarian Party, and in 2008 he ran as a Republican.

Mike Huckabee
The former Arkansas governor could run again after coming out of nowhere to become one of the top contenders for the 2008 nomination, ultimately falling to John McCain.

Michele Bachmann
The Tea Party darling admits she is considering a run. Bachmann is in her third term as a  congresswoman from Minnesota.

Donald Trump
The billionaire real estate developer and reality television star is making the rounds of the media, claiming to be serious about a possible run. Many see it as a publicity stunt to increase ratings for his TV show.

Sarah Palin
Palin's star seems to have dimmed, but never count out the 2008 GOP Vice Presidential candidate and former half-term governor of Alaska. She remains a force, and would shake up the race if she decides to enter.

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