The 2012 presidential election is years away, but there is already a growing crop of Republicans who are toying with the idea of seeking the GOP's presidential nomination.
The first test will come April 8-11 when the Southern Republican Leadership Conference will hold a widely attended cattle call in New Orleans, which several potential GOP presidential candidates are expected to attend.
ABC News spoke with strategists, Republican Party officials and conservative leaders to narrow down the list of GOP candidates who seem the most committed to taking back the White House.
Here's a look at a dozen Republicans whose names have emerged as possible contenders to take on President Obama in 2012. In the end, not all of these Republicans will run. But as of today, they seem like the 12 best bets to get into the race.
One Republican not on the list? Scott Brown. The newly elected senator from Massachusetts is the conservative darling at the moment. Insiders say, however, that his support for abortion rights and the overlap between his political team and that of Mitt Romney will keep him out of the 2012 race.
Con: Romney, who dropped his support for abortion rights as he got closer to his 2008 presidential run, faces lingering questions about his authenticity. There also remain certain evangelical Christians who are not sure if a Mormon qualifies as a Christian. Romney showed in 2008 that he can endure the rigors of a presidential campaign. His previous run, however, also makes him something less than a fresh face.