Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will form a presidential exploratory committee "early next week, as early as Monday," an initial step in a bid for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, a Huckabee advisor tells CNN.
Huckabee's my favorite right now on the Republican side, but he faces long odds.
McCain is the "inevitable" candidate on the Republican side right now. McCain has laid the groundwork for several years (I suspect that McCain-Feingold stifling the Colorado Springs contingent was a feature, not a bug), but I just have a hard time imagining him being nominated unless all hope is gone for a Republican victory (see Dole, Bob). He missed his chance in 2000. He would be 72 when he took the oath, 76 if he won a 2nd term, and 80 when he would be campaigning with the follow on Republican candidate. That'd be almost as short sighted as embarking on a nation-building project in the Middle East.
No one has really latched onto the outsider/anti-McCain mantle yet, but there's a lot of dogs in the hunt. All have their issues, but several have been organization building quite some time. With the amounts the frontrunners are going to extort (see the grumbling about Hillary's fundraising) It's going to be a hard slog for an outsider to raise money from the leftovers.