Tracking the GOP race to 2012

The big news of the day, of course, was Mark Sanford's admission of an affair, commentators commenting that GOP stars are falling, as John Ensign and Sanford made similar admissions in short succession; in related news, Haley Barbour will take over as head of the Republican Governors Association now that Sanfor's stepping down; in non-Sanford-related news, Sarah Palin ranked as the most popular Republican figure in a Pew poll that compared her to three other top partisans (none of them being Mike Huckabee, who addressed the Southern Baptist Pastors Conference this week).