This Week in Fake Presidential Candidates

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Hey, did you hear who's maybe running for president? Everyone. At least that's seemingly what each and every Republican politician wants us to think these days. And why not? Just say you're "thinking about it" or "keeping your options open," and the media will suddenly lavish attention on you as if you really matter. But not everybody does. Each Friday until the primaries truly begin, we'll look at which of these prospective candidates are more likely or less likely to actually enter the race, along with a prediction of the likelihood that they'll throw their hat into the ring. Excluded from this rigorous scientific analysis: any candidate we're pretty sure is definitely going to run or have already announced it — guys like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson, and, most recently, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty

  • Herman Cain

  • 99%

The only way Cain isn't announcing tomorrow is if the Apocalypse gets in the way. So we guess we're giving the Apocalypse a one percent chance of happening.

Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

  • Jon Huntsman

  • 85%

Huntsman has an intangible that Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty don't: He's interesting.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty

  • Michele Bachmann

  • 84%

She's still taking way too long to make this decision, with seemingly no obstacles standing in her way, but the departures of Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump from the race do provide an opening for her, and she seems to have noticed. "We had announced earlier that we would be looking at a June entry date for a decision one way or another about this race," she said this week. "Possibly we may move that up."

Photo: Steve Pope/Getty

  • Rick Santorum

  • 82%

It still seems as if Santorum is running, but having him up in the nineties is a bit too high. There is, after all, a possibility that he wakes up to the fact that he's one of the weakest candidates in a weak field, and we wouldn't be totally shocked if at some point he announces that a run just wasn't in God's plans for him.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty

  • Mitch Daniels

  • 56%

"I'm not going to take much longer," Daniels promised this week. What the hell is taking so long to begin with?

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

  • Sarah Palin

  • 30%

Palin still has no shot to win the presidency, but the departure of Huckabee from the race leaves her as the lone superstar at the top of the polls with Mitt Romny, and might make her more inclined to run. For what it's worth, she claims she has the requisite belly fire to make it happen.

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

  • Buddy Roemer

  • 19%

Roemer is going to Dover, New Hampshire for a "meet and greet" this Tuesday at the home of what we assume is his lone supporter.

Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty

  • Rudy Giuliani

  • 6%

Giuliani has taken his first step into the presidential race ... in Peru.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty

  • John Bolton

  • 0.7%

John Bolton is growing out his walrus mustache for a trip to New Hampshire on September 8 to give a speech to the Nashua Republican City Committee, most likely on the topic of walrus mustaches.

Photo: Ron Sachs/Getty

  • Peter King

  • .2%

Welcome to the list, Congressman King! You have promised not to campaign anywhere and yet, annoyingly, you also refuse to admit that you aren't running for president. "Let's face it, the odds are very much against it," you said today. "But if something's out there, I won't stand in the way."