The race for the White House on the Republican side is getting much more defined, as Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana has decided against a run, while today former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty officially jumps in.
Let's review who is in - and who might be soon enough. These are in no particular order.
Mitt Romney - the favorite isn't officially in, but is running
Tim Pawlenty - without Daniels, is he the anti-Romney?
Newt Gingrich - crazy start, but don't look for him to quit
Gary Johnson - needs to make a name for himself
Michele Bachmann - she can raise big money if she runs
Ron Paul - he can raise big money too
Herman Cain - trying to be the Tea Party outsider
Sarah Palin - if she runs, would shake things up
Jon Huntsman - little known Governor in Utah, but ready to run
With a lot of Republican still looking for a candidate who has more 'zing' for 2012, the name of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will get a lot of play - but so far - he has refused to get swept up in that talk.
There's even been discussion that Gov. Rick Perry of Texas might be interested as well.
If we surveyed the Gang of 500 today here in Washington, D.C., the top three would probably be Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman, with Gingrich viewed as a big name, but maybe not a candidate for the final cut.
That doesn't mean the others should be written off. A candidacy by Bachmann for example could scramble the field in Iowa just as a Palin candidacy could cause some internal GOP rumblings.
Ron Paul and Herman Cain have vocal supporters and could still impact this race as well.
As for Pawlenty, most people don't know much about him - just like Huntsman - and that could work to their advantage when compared to Romney and Gingrich.