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 who has already announced — guys like Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Herman Cain.

Photo: Steve Pope/Getty

  • Rick Santorum

  • 99%

Santorum is making his announcement in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Monday, which is probably an effort by him to look like a "serious person."

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty

  • Michele Bachmann

  • 92%

She's already pretty much said she's going to run, and she recently hired a pollster. And she thinks there's enough room in the race for her and Sarah Palin, so that's good.

Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

  • Jon Huntsman

  • 89%

He's not participating in the June 13 debate in New Hampshire, but he claims he'll make an announcement within the next two weeks, and it'll probably be that he's running. He'll have his work cut out for him in Iowa, though, where he currently attracts the support of about 1 in 500 Republican voters.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

  • Sarah Palin

  • 57%

Honestly, we have no idea what's going on with her. She probably doesn't even know.

Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty

  • Rick Perry

  • 25%

About a week ago, the Texas governor said he'd start thinking about running, after previously claiming it wasn't going to happen. Now "everyone" is wondering what will happen next. So far, nothing.

Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty

  • Rudy Giuliani

  • 18%

A recent poll shows Rudy Giuliani in the lead for the GOP nomination, and he's in New Hampshire as we speak. Of course, he led in the polls last time, too, and then went on to win as many delegates as we did.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty

  • Paul Ryan

  • 12%

Will Congressman Ryan, he of the Medicare plan that voters hate but no Republican is allowed to criticize in any way, be the GOP's savior? He used to flatly decline. Now? "Look, I think I want to see how this field develops."

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty

  • Buddy Roemer

  • 11%

Oh no. Roemer says that if he wins the presidency, he'll "hold his inaugural celebration in Iowa, and not in Washington, D.C." It's dangerous to dream like this, Buddy.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

  • Thaddeus McCotter

  • 6%

Who? Hold on, we need to Google him. Oh, he's a Republican congressman from Michigan and he's talking about running. Okay.

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

  • George Pataki

  • 5%

New York's former governor is airing ads about the debt in New Hampshire for some reason. Because he's going to run? Doesn't really sound like it. “I hope one of the Republican candidates comes out with a good, solid, serious plan," he told NBC. "If it doesn’t, we’ll see what may or may not happen down the road."

Photo: David Becker/Getty

  • Donald Trump

  • 2.5%

Trump will "absolutely" run as an Independent if the GOP doesn't field "the right person." And by absolutely, he means "definitely not."

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty

  • John Bolton

  • 0.5%

Bolton tells Roll Call that he will announce by summer's end whether he's going to run. "If I run, I run to win," he said, denying speculation that he'd only run as a way to promote his own line of walrus-mustache trimmers, which are way different than regular mustache trimmers, by the way.

Photo: Ron Sachs/Getty

  • Peter King

  • 0.05%

This is Peter King's last week on this list.