How 'pitiful' is the Republican presidential field? - The Week According to public opinion polls, the field is currently "quite weak." Only two likely Republican contenders Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have positive favorability ratings. Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have "especially poor" ratings, in the negative double digits. Is the 2012 GOP field, as The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan puts it, irredeemably "pitiful?" The GOP field is weak: These numbers are "bad news for Republicans," says Jim Lindgren in The Volokh Conspiracy. Some of the GOP contenders could make "better than average presidents," but "I see no one who as yet looks to be a better than average candidate." If this is the best the GOP can muster, "President Obama will be hard to beat."