Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) said Monday he will decide whether or not he is running for president in 2012 after this year's midterm elections.

Barbour, who is chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, said that he is focused on the 2010 contests but that he will consider a bill after November.

"This year, to the degree I've got political time and energy I'm going to spend it with elected Republican governors because I'm [RGA chairman]," he said on MSNBC. "If after November it seems there's something we need to think about, we'll think about it then."

Barbour left the door open when he was in Washington almost two weeks ago for a meeting of governor's at the White House.

"If you see me losing 40 pounds that means I'm either running or have cancer,"  Barbour joked to reporters, but later said his candidacy is not likely. 

Barbour emerged as a top pick of Republican insiders to run for president, after GOPers swept the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial contests last November. 

The GOP's performance this November will likely serve as a key factor in Barbour's decision-making process.

Should the GOP make large gains in state houses, Barbour could be encouraged to launch a White House bid. But if Republicans fall short of expectations, that could discourage the Mississippi governor from entering the fray.