Any professional will tell you that it’s waaaay too early to predict the republican presidential nominee for 2012 at this time. They’ll tell you any test you use for past nominations, regardless how well it does, is suspect. I agree. Still, I have a fun test.
Get the list of potential nominees as of three years prior to the nomination. Use google news archive search, limit it to that year (1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2009). Search for all the potential nominees using the string (without quotes) “republican presidential candidate [name]” – replace [name] with the last name of each potential candidate in turn. Note the number of hits, and see the magic yourself.
The potential candidate who receives the most hits becomes the nominee three years later – with the exception, of course, of 2009 as 2012 has not yet happened.
That person, by this magic 8-ball, is Sarah Palin.
I note it, I do NOT endorse it, but out of idle interest I will remember to see how this mechanism works.
Oh – it does not work for democratic nominees.