Like I've said previously, I've never seen so many presidential candidates so early for the upcoming election. Still, I find that there are three main Democratic candidates, the main Republican candidates, and four others (two from each party) who I'd like to make a significant contribution.
The top two democrats are clearly Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. While I support their running I haven't decided whether I'll vote for or against them. I kind of hope that they'll destroy each other enough so that the other candates have a chance.
The top of the Democratic "second tier" list is John Edwards (or, rather, the bottom of the first tier). I strongly support Edwards. And if and when Clinton and Obama stumble he'd most like benefit the most. He impresses me as being both compassionate and practical enough to lead.
I'm also supporting Bill Richardson. Again, he practical enough to be a realist.
Lastly is Al Gore - a non-candidate (yet). If Edwards and Richardson drop out and Gore drops in, I'll be supporting him. As of right now, I probably support Richardson as much as I do Gore.
On the Republican side you have the tri-archy of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John McCain. I really like McCain previously and even considered changing my political affiliation if in Delaware it would have been a close race between McCain and someone else. Unfortunately he's taken an arch-Conservative political stance and I consider that this would be unreasonable and impractical considering he might be President in two to six or two to ten years.
On Romney versus Giuliani, its really more a question of "exactly how do you like you moderate". Personnally I favor Romney, for his religious conviction. On the other hand, he did not announce that he was running for President in Massachusetts.
Congressman Hunter just impresses me as being too conservative. I don't really have an opinion of Senator Brownback. As an add on, Governor Huckabee is an interesting choice.
And on the "not a candidate yet" category is Newt Gingrich. I don't think he has much chance; I don't think he'd be popular enough. Lastly, is Senator Hagel. He definitely presents an interesting option - of an anti-Iraq War Republican. Let's see how he does.
I think that the general result of all the candidates from the Republican point of view, the acknowledge and admit that W is a lame duck, washed up, and a has been. And from the Democrats point of view, W and the Republicans just tried to remove them from politics too much. Now if W was willing to listen to the Democrats more it might be different. But if he had listened to the Democrats more things might be done differently. So, largely, W picked his own poison.