Based on this NY Times poll, Ron Paul appears to be the most popular nominee for the Republican presidential race. The lead nominees are:
1. Ron Paul (79.21%)
2. Rick Perry (9.19%)
3. Mitt Romney (8.25%)
4. Michele Bachmann (3.35%)
This is of course an online poll, so it remains to be seen whether this will translate into actual primary nominations. One suspects Ron Paul's lead is not so strong, as he was always an 'internet darling'
If I review the candidates, I am inclined to think that:
1. Ron Paul - Is probably the best candidate in term of values, i.e. He is a Baptist, but perhaps at least sufficiently pragmatic that his religious values pose no threat, since he chose to name his 3rd child 'Rand'. One could hope after Ayn Rand, but in fact he is unlikely to do her values justice if he professes to be a Baptist. He is a libertarian; with a penchant for disenfranching the Fed's monopoly over public financing. Given his historic criticism of US monetary policy, he would appear to be a front-runner for having the integrity and foresight to anticipate the problems. See Wikipedia.
2. Rick Perry - seems more of a Democrat than a Republican, and his values and governorship have raised questions. See Wikipedia.
3. Mitt Romney has a favourable history; though you would have to mark him down for potential mystical values, given his Mormon background. See Wikipedia.
4. Michele Bachmann believes in a Christian Constitution, so she is a classic deluded blueblood Conservative, so hopefully she will disappear as a candidate. See Wikipedia.
From this field, Ron Paul looks like the best nominee by a long distance; though I could live with Mitt Romney before I would fall on my sword. You might wonder why an Australian like myself would be so interested in US politics. There are two reasons:
1. By virtue of its great size - the US has a great impact on the global economy
2. Due to its greater stupidity - the US has a great impact on the global economy
We thus must come together to help Americans make better decisions; lest they sux the world into their mindless vortex.