The New York Times‘ poll watcher Nate Silver, whom I consider the best political handicapper out there (our own Jim Antle excluded), has a big magazine piece on how the GOP field matches up against Obama. I recommend the whole article, but this graphic (which unfortunately excludes some key candidates) captures the gist of Silver’s thinking:
It’s amazing that Huntsman can, on paper, match up so well against Obama and yet be a nobody in the GOP field.
One problem with Silver’s formula, however, is that Huntsman fares well against Obama in part because, by Silver’s metrics, he’s closer to mainstream political views than other Republicans. It’s simply not the case that Romney is more conservative than Huntsman. In fact, just this morning Huntsman provided a contrast with Romney by going much further than Romney’s tentative embrace of a possible Medicare reform measure.