The race for 2012 is decided on the Democratic side. On the Republican side, there are dozens of potential candidates. Even Rick and Kay have both been rumored to be GOP contenders for 2012, something I doubt very highly would ever happen.
Although the race for 2012 is already on, it still won't really begin in earnest until after the 2010 elections. Thankfully. The Rick vs. Kay primary race may set a lot of the tone for the 2010 midterms and the 2012 presidential primary. Will Republicans reward Rick for rejecting a portion of the stimulus money? What do the angry Republicans who make up the base of the GOP really want? Will the party primary follow tradition and be dominated by pro life conservatives who skew fiscally conservative as well, or will more moderates show up this time around?
CQ Politics offers some analysis of the stimulus debate (link). Excerpts follow...
If you had to guess, will the federal stimulus remain a big issue a year from now? I think it just might be. I think abortion will still be an important issue, as always. Personality, leadership, and character might also play a role. Some of the big issue differences may not yet be determined.
The Texas governor's race already is testing what could be a key question in the 2010 elections: Just what do Republicans want to hear from their politicians when it comes to the stimulus?The GOP primary for governor between incumbent Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison promises to be one of the most intriguing, expensive elections of 2010, with the winner a favorite to prevail in the general election. The race also promises to be one the longest -- voters won't go to the polls for nearly a year, but already the two candidates are in campaign mode. The most recent source of disagreement: The stimulus.Rick Perry (Getty)