WASHINGTON — A familiar face reclaims the No. 1 spot.
Other political news of note
IRS official Lerner placed on leave
Lois Lerner, the IRS official who oversees the agency’s division in charge of tax-exempt organizations, has been placed on administrative leave, a source told NBC News on Thursday.
- Heckler repeatedly interrupts Obama speech
- Immigration advocates steel for Senate slog
- Obama reframes counterterrorism policy with new rules on drones
- Reid signals delay in potential fight over Senate rules change
- IRS official Lerner placed on leave
Note: Click here for the latest Democratic rankings.
These rankings are ordered by likelihood of winning the Republican Party primary and are based on a number of factors, including organization, money, buzz and polling.
1. John McCain
Arizona Senator Last Ranking: 2d
His two best states -- Michigan and South Carolina -- are on deck. He can afford a loss in South Carolina, but he needs to manage expectations carefully. He also needs to raise a lot of money very quickly and staff up in the Feb. 5 states.
2. Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas governor Last Ranking: 2a
Narrowcasting won't do, but the pivot to economic anxiety could be his hook after South Carolina, which, by the way, he needs to win.
3. Rudy Giuliani
Former New York City mayor Last Ranking: 2c
If only by dint of the DuHaime delegate strategy, he is alive. And his absentee ballot program in Florida is said to be excellent.
4. Mitt Romney
Former Massachusetts governor Last Ranking: 2b
He vaults back into contention if he wins Michigan.
5. Fred Thompson
Former Tennessee senator Last Ranking: 2e
He got 500 votes too many in Iowa to have an excuse to drop out.
Copyright 2012 by National Journal Group Inc.