A presidential pitch for Pence

With many political observers increasingly convinced that Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is now favoring a run for Indiana governor in 2012, at least one influential conservative voice would rather see him make a run for president.

RedState's Erick Erickson wrote Monday that other than former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Pence is the only rumored 2012 hopeful that truly excites him and potentially the only one that the conservative grassroots could fully unite behind.

"Right now I see plenty of candidates the establishment really likes, but very few that the grassroots could agree on across the board," wrote Erickson. "Certainly Romney fans like Romney. Pawlenty fans like Pawlenty, Huckabee fans like Huckabee. But largely those fans of the individual candidates then hate the other guy."

In making the argument for Pence, Erickson said the congressman not only bridges the gap between the establishment and the grassroots, he's "in the comfort zone of both." 

With the recent news that Indiana's Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman (R) won't run for governor in 2012, Pence has a clear path to the Republican nomination. 

It also looks increasingly unlikely that Democrats will have a top-tier candidate in the race. Outgoing Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) have both passed on the contest.