Just ask the 2006-2007 presidential “front runner” Rudy Giuliani how that early status worked out for him.
Now the object of their attention is suddenly the front runner in Iowa, and a leading contender for the 2012 GOP nomination.
The 2008 GOP presidential flameout Mitt Romney is the 2012 GOP front runner, or so conventional wisdom has it.
Certainly, if immigation reform does pass, he overtakes Ryan and all the others as the front runner for 2016.
The leader in a contest, election, etc: That left as front runners Runcie and England's second-ranking churchman (1914+ fr racing)