5 Ways the GOP Race Is Just Weird

Late starts and low fundraising set a different tone in 2012
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2011 4:50 PM CDT
5 Reasons the Republican Presidential Primary Race Is Unusual
Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry, center, shakes hands with Rep. Ron Paul, right, at the conclusion of a Republican presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

This year's race for the Republican presidential nomination is rather odd, and not because of sexual harassment allegations or possibly drunken speeches. The Washington Post lists five ways this year is a weird one:

  • Starting late and developing slowly. Republicans lollygagged out of the gate, with Mitt Romney filing in the spring, Herman Cain in May, and Rick Perry signing on as late as August. Compare that to the 2008 elections, when John McCain filed days after the 2006 midterms, and Mitt Romney declared just after New Year's Day 2007.

  • Bowing out. Several would-be contenders—Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin included—talked about running but never did. Seems strange, considering that President Obama is portrayed as being on the defensive.
  • No real front-runner. Analysts say Romney has the pole position, but he's puttering along with just 25%. And a surprising seven candidates have held the lead at one time or other. Is this a shifting race or an uncertain GOP electorate?
  • Feeble fundraising. Republican contenders have amassed a mere $85 million, compared to $230 million by the same point in 2007. They have also spent far less time, and set up far fewer offices, in early states like New Hampshire and Iowa.
For the Post's fifth GOP aberration, click here. (More Republican presidential primaries stories.)

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