I don’t think it is any of the announced candidates.
It’s a member of the Texas congressional delegation, whose members are worried about whether any of the wannabes can hold the seat against a Democrat.
–This candidate has a large, enthusiastic constituency that goes beyond the boundaries of his district and his state.
–This candidate won’t have to spend a nickel on name ID.
–This candidate has $2,742,426 cash on hand.
–This candidate is totally in touch with the GOP base, as it evolves further and further to the right.
–This candidate has demonstrated an amazing ability to raise money on the Internet: He raised $4.2 million in a single day during his campaign for president (albeit short of his goal of $10 million).
It’s (drumroll) Ron Paul, of course. Actually, I’m surprised that Paul hasn’t already thrown his hat into the ring. (His son is running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky.)
Paul is sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve. It currently has 282 co-sponsors (218 needed for passage). A member of the GOP delegation told me that his office gets more calls about that bill than any other. Barney Frank, the Democratic chairman of the House Financial Services committee, supports the bill and said Friday that it was going to pass the House.
None of the wannabes has a constituency. Their road to the Senate depends upon Hutchison’s resigning her seat and Perry bestowing the appointment upon a favored candidate. The only candidate in the current collection who would have a shot to beat Paul would be Dewhurst, because of his money, and Paul is far more popular with the GOP base than the Dew is. He would inflame the base.