|Candidate||Friends on 1/16/2011||Friends on 3/16/2011||Friends on 5/16/2011|
|Total Obama-Biden Friends||18,094,123||18,907,001||20,695,678|
|Total Republican Friends||5,310,731||5,979,951||6,944,368|
I show the Republican field as a whole adding friends at a faster rate than Obama, 18% to 15%, but they are lagging in numbers with Obama-Biden adding 2,591,093 new friends and Republicans only 1,633,637.
Donald Trump moved up a notch, and now he's on top of Michele Bachmann. But the big news is Herman Cain, whose support has more than doubled as he has moved up 4 spots. He's the dark horse in the Republican field and is coming on fast.
Still I think you have to be above the Biden line to be counted a serious contender. As Joe Biden can't be taken seriously, and has never finished too high in the past Presidential primaries he has run in, anyone who doesn't have as many friends as Biden doesn't qualify as serious yet.
There has been a lot of talk in the press about Jon Huntsman. Time magazine is giving 20:1 odds on Huntsman. I think that's likely being 21st in line for the British throne, nice to be on the list but never going to happen. Jon Greenspon has actually lost a friend, probably journalist Mark Halperin who thought he was signing up for Jon Huntsman.
Mike Huckabee has officially dropped out of contention. That leaves Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul in a three-way. Don't look back, Herman Cain is gaining on you.
Update 5/16/2011 afternoon: Donald Trump woke up this morning, checked the must-read political blogs he follows regularly, saw that he hadn't crossed the Biden line, and announced he is not running in 2012. Another strikeout.
Update 5/19/2011: People keep talking about Jon Huntsman like he is a serious candidate. However, not only hasn't he crossed the Biden line, he hasn't even crossed the the Jimmy McMillan line. That makes him a crackpot candidate, in the same category as people pining for John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, or Jeb Bush.
Update 5/25/2011: Add Scott Brown, Allen West, Peter King, Thaddeus McCotter, Andy Martin, Jonathon Sharkey, and Roy Moore. Brown's not running but people keep asking me about him and he has a lot of friends.