A new CNN poll smashed Mitt Romney’s delusions that he could defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by showing that voters would support Clinton over Romney 55%-42%.
The poll revealed numbers that are even worse for Romney than his thirteen-point deficit to former Sec. Clinton. Romney only led Clinton with men by one point (49%-48%) and trailed with women by twenty-six points (62%-36%). Romney led with whites by six percent but trailed by fifty-seven points (77%-20%) with non-whites. Mrs. Clinton led Romney with every age group and tied him with those over age 65 (49%-49%). Clinton also led in every region of the country. She led with voters making over and under $50,000 per year, and with both college and non-college grads. Clinton also led Romney by eleven points suburban voters (54%-43%). Romney’s supporters were white male conservative Republicans who live in rural areas.
Republican voters have shown an openness to the idea of voting for Mitt Romney again, and there are reports that he is trying to put together a deal for the 2016 Republican nomination. This poll indicates that another run by Romney would be a disaster for the Republican Party. A Mitt sequel would not only cost Republicans the White House, but it might also cost them Senate seats as the map will flip in 2016 and Senate Republicans will be on the defensive.
The same CNN poll illustrates why Republicans may end up turning to Romney again. Republicans have no clear cut favorite for the nomination. Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Paul Ryan are all statistically tied for first place among Republicans. All of the GOP top five has serious flaws. It doubtful that any of them could defeat Hillary Clinton. The CNN poll didn’t test Romney’s level of Republican support, but in the field listed above, the former Massachusetts governor might be the strongest contender.
The CNN poll also found that Romney would beat Obama if the election were held today, but the question is meaningless since that rematch can never happen. The question is on the same level as who would win if JFK and Ronald Reagan thumb wrestled? With Romney making private noises about his ability to beat Clinton and running in 2016, it is interesting to see where he stands with voters against a candidate who will almost definitely be running.
Mitt Romney doesn’t fare well and, no matter who they nominate, the Republican Party may do even worse against Hillary Clinton in 2016 than they did against President Obama in 2008 and 2012.