Mitch Daniels is not running for president. I have to see this as good news for Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty, a fellow midwestern evangelical protestant, is the most demographically similar candidate in the field.
On paper, Pawlenty is ideologically very similar to Daniels. He’s got some minor heterodoxy in his past in the form of flirtation with progressive ideas on climate change, but Daniels has flirted with progressive ideas on defense spending. But as I’ve written previously, conservative elites are distinctly unimpressed with Pawlenty’s actual (meager) record of accomplishments.
Intrade bettors continue to think that Mitt Romney’s odds are better than Pawlenty’s but I don’t see how that could possibly be right. I don’t think it’s appropriate for guys who write about politics for a living to bet on those markets, but I’d say is a huge buy opportunity priced at around 20%. I’d rate 50% as a fair market value.