Though the list for the GOP nomination changes by the day, some candidates (and could-be candidates) are quietly gaining momentum in the crowded race. Here's a summary of the newest, loudest and most controversial Republican candidates.
Conservative radio talk show host Herman Cain's background is in business, not politics, making him a favorite of the Tea Party. He announced his candidacy on May 21 to an enthusiastic crowd in Atlanta. Here, Cain speaks at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation fourth annual "Defending the American Dream" summit in Washington on August 27, 2010. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn
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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy in May via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and has been the subject of scrutiny ever since. After calling Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan "radical," his financial disclosure statement revealed debts to American Express in excess of $15,000 and between $250,000 and $500,000 to Tiffany's jewelry store.
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Her background, her policies and her every action is followed so meticulously by the press and her fawning supporters that almost nothing needs to be said about Palin. She's flirted with a run since the 2008 elections, even while starring in her own reality show and joining Fox News as a contributor. Though she told Fox she has a "fire in her belly" to try for the presidency, she said her interest is protecting her family from further media scrutiny.
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Former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential also-ran Mitt Romney has the money, having formerly been the CEO of Bain & Company, and the experience, turning a $3 billion budget deficit into a $700 million surplus complete with tax cuts and expanded health care coverage. Though he hasn't officially declared his candidacy, it's fairly clear that's the reason he raised $10.25 million in a single day's phone campaign.
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A favorite of populists and libertarians everywhere, Texas Representative Ron Paul may not have the best chances in the world, but his role in the 2008 election proved that he does have an ardent group of supporters. Paul announced his bid in May, just days after revealing in a radio appearance that were he in charge, he would not have ordered the killing of Osama bin Laden.
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Rep. Michele Bachmann, besides being the first Republican woman to be elected to the House of Representatives from Minnesota, is perhaps best known for her outrageous comments on homosexuality, intelligent design and the American Revolution. Bachmann says she's waiting until June to make an official announcement on her campaign. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg
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Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty may not have the highest profile of these candidates, nor is he viewed as a particularly dynamic individual (some would go as far to say he's boring) but he announced his campaign May 23 anyway. His desire for a balanced budget (notice a theme here?) in Minnesota has won him praise, and he was potential running mate in Sen. John McCain's 2008 campaign. Pawlenty's team hopes voters will find him to fill the hole Mitch Daniels left in the race.
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