GOP's 2012 Presidential Field Starts to Take Shape

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After a slow start, the GOP field seems to be coming together for the 2012 presidential race.

This week, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin kicked off her East Coast bus tour. Her New York meeting with Donald Trump upstaged the candidates already in the Republican race.

So far, Palin's not committing to a race of her own, saying there's still a lot of time to make a decision.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will jumping into the race this week. Romney is set to announce his candidacy in New Hampshire, Thursday.

In Iowa -- the nation's first caucus state -- former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is already working hard for votes, and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman says she'll head there soon to begin her own campaign.

"We'll be making our announcement next month," Bachman said. "We'll be making it in the city I was born, conveniently enough in Waterloo, Iowa."

Still, major GOP donors say they don't see voters getting behind a single candidate yet. That has some calling on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to join the campaign.

"We're just going to encourage him to think about getting in the race. We think his message would go over well," said Iowa fundraiser Bruce Rastetter.

Meanwhile, Palin isn't the only one keeping the pundits guessing. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Utah Gov. John Huntsman and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are all doing the same.

Businessman Herman Cain is running for sure and moving up in the polls, although he hasn't gotten much publicity.

Whoever gets in the race in the next few weeks faces an unprecedented media gauntlet and a steep climb to match President Barack Obama's billion dollar war chest.

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

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