GREG ASKS: When likely will the 2012 gop candidates start announcing 2012 runs, like between fall thanksgiving 2010 and new years?
There are no real ‘hard and fast’ rules when announcing a Presidential Campaign. According to Wikipedia, the 2008 Presidential Election saw Democrats Mike Gravel announced on April 17, 2006, followed by Tom Vilsack on November 30, 2006, Dennis Kucinich December 12, 2006, John Edwards December 28, 2006, Joe Biden January 7, 2007, Chris Dodd January 11, 2007, Hillary Clinton January 20, 2007, Bill Richardson January 21, 2007 and Barrack Obama February 10, 2007. Beating the pack was Evan Bayh who announced in the aftermath of Kerry’s defeat in the 2004 election.
On the Republican side: Sam Brownback January 20, 2007, Duncan Hunter January 23, 2007, Mike Huckabee January 28 2007, Rudy Giuliani February 5, 2007, John McCain February 28, 2007, Ron Paul March 12, 2007, Tommy Thompson April 1, 2007, Tom Tancredo April 2, 2007, Jim Gilmore April 26, 2007, Fred Thompson September 5, 2007, Alan Keyes September 14, 2007 and Mitt Romney February 7, 2008.
Going by this data (one has to consider this election involved a retiring President), the opposition party tend to announce after the Mid-Terms up to February the following year. The incumbent party candidates usually announced the following year. Another factor to consider is that the Democrats gained both houses during the 2006 Midterms. This had a tendency to push forward Presidential announcements to take full advantage of the Mid-Terms victory momentum. Meaning, Republican Presidential candidates speculation could be touted closer to the 2010 Mid-Terms.