The face of the Republican party’s potential presidential nominee is a familiar one, but he swears he’s not running.
Mitt Romney leads all other potential candidates within his party by a double-digit lead. He is trailed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Paul Ryan and Gov. Chris Christie, all of whom are seen as potential presidential candidates.
But Mitt Romney has insisted, time and time again, that he will not be running for president in 2016. And if Romney’s assertions that he will not run again leave any doubt, wife Ann is there to back him up, loudly and resoundingly. “Done,” she recently told the L.A. Times in response to whether Mitt Romney would run again. “Completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done…Done. Done. Done.”
But even though Mitt Romney does have a double-digit lead over the next closest potential Republican candidate, the numbers still aren’t impressive. Romney garners only 21% of support among Republican voters, meaning that 79% of Republican voters would prefer another candidate. Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee, who have tied for second place in the recent poll, only received 10% each of voter support. Paul received 9%, Christie received 8%, while Ryan trailed with only 5% of voter support.
In other words, Romney may be leading, but he is not the preferred candidate in 8 out of 10 potential Republican voters.
When Romney is removed from the poll, those voters who support him scatter, “adding no clarity to the GOP free-for-all,” as ABC News reports. In a scenario that excludes Romney, Bush, Huckabee and Paul each have around 12 to 13% support with the other potential candidates remaining in single digits.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Hillary Clinton still dominates support from Democratic voters, garnering 64% of voter support. But there are some worrisome gaps in her support, although her early lead is impressive. Only 54% of male voters support her, versus 70% of the female voters. Also, only 55% of Clinton’s supporters are younger than 50, while it’s 72% for those over 50. She also receives less support from Democrat-leaning independents, with 53%, whereas “mainline” Democrats come in at 69%.
It’s still pretty early to start paying too much attention to polls, but many worry that the Republicans have yet to produce a strong contender who would be likely to garner support from a wide array of voters, just within their own party. But with midterm elections just a few weeks away, the next big race on the political calender is the 2016 presidential one.
Do you think Mitt Romney run, despite his protests?
[Image via TIME]