Although the 2012 election hasn't started yet, the Presidential election season begins the day after November 2nd. Even though its too early to know, its fun to see who the potential 2012 candidates might be.
George W. Bush has stated that his brother, Jeb, will not be running for President in 2012 even though he would like his brother to bid for the White House. Although Chris Christie is popular with many conservatives, he has stated that there is a "zero chance" he will run for President in 2012. But he might throw his hat in the ring in 2016. Jim DeMint has declared he's not running for President in the upcoming election either.
While we've listed those who aren't running, there are some people who are considering a run. Donald Trump says he's thinking about it although I'm not sure how serious this idea is. The idea of having a businessman run for President hasn't never been successful. Just look at Steve Forbes and Ross Perot. Interestingly enough, the Boston Herald thinks Scott Brown should run. Former New York governor George Pataki is thinking about running in the next election. All other potential candidates such as Mitt Romney, Mike Pence, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and others have not stated one way or the other if they are running.
Hillary Clinton has stated that she will not run in 2012 or 2016. I take that to mean that the Clintons will never seek the Presidency unless Chelsea Clinton decides to run far, far into the future. However, some are looking to Howard Dean as a potential challenger to Obama but his office shut that rumor down very quickly. Others have floated the idea of having Russ Feingold challenge Obama in the next election but he gave a Sherman-like statement that he's not running either.
The interesting thing is that some Democrats are looking for someone else other than Obama to run despite the fact that Obama has stated he wants to run. The Democrats should seriously entertain the idea of Obama being a one term President and have a Democrat run against him since his poll numbers against potential Republican challengers don't look so great.
I've created a simple list of the potential 2012 contenders As you can see, the Republican side is quite crowded with potential contenders. Do you see anyone that I should add to the list?
UPDATE (11/8/10): I received an e-mail from someone asking me if Evan Beyh was considering running in 2012. The answer is no, he's not running.