As one surveys the Republican Presidential race and potential opponents, there are several interesting conflicts that exist among the members of the field.
One is the battle between Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, both trying to appeal to the Tea Party favorites, and also being the potential only woman in the race, with Bachmann now seen as much more likely to run than Palin.
A second one is the battle for Southern support, among Newt Gingrich of Georgia, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and Haley Barbour of Mississippi, with all three having major problems, but Gingrich and Huckabee flirting directly with “Birthers” and pushing the idea that, somehow, Barack Obama is not a true American, an idea which marginalizes both of them, and giving Barbour the edge.
A third is the battle for the Midwest, with Michele Bachmann a potential problem for Tim Pawlenty for social conservative support and Tea Party backing, but with Pawlenty seeming more responsible and more acceptable to many, and with many observers seeing him as having the fewest shortcomings of all the potential GOP candidates.
A fourth conflict is between the two Mormons in the race, both of whom neutral observers see as having the best chance to beat Barack Obama–Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both former Governors, in Massachusetts and Utah, respectively. Both are very ambitious, but also very qualified, and have been rivals in the past, but Romney has the Massachusetts Health Care Plan as his Achilles Heel, while Huntsman has the issue of having been the US Ambassador to China for the past two years under President Obama. Their competition could be the most substantial and interesting of all of these rivalries, and the issue of whether being Mormons will be the fatal blow to their chances for the nomination.
So it will be a fascinating struggle to find who will be the GOP nominee against Obama, with eleven months to the first vote in the Iowa caucuses