A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Mitt Romney leads the pack of GOP hopefuls for 2016, with Jeb Bush running in second place. The survey of Republican-leaning voters finds that Romney claims 20 percent to 10 percent for Jeb Bush. Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Ted Cruz are the next most popular Republican choices.
Since 2012, Republican leaders have often said they are “rebranding” to improve the party’s image and attract a more diverse range of voters. However, GOP-leaning voters appear to be sticking with the same old ideas hat cost them the 2012 election. Not just the same ideas, they want to run the same candidate.
Mitt Romney is the GOP frontrunner, and if he decides not to run, Republicans would like to nominate yet another Bush family member to be their candidate for president. That Republicans are eager to rerun Mitt Romney for president is a testament to just how awful the other GOP candidates are. If Romney declines to run, the fact that Republicans first choice would be to put a member of the Bush family back in the White House, is equally revealing. The Republican field is so uninspiring that Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush are viewed as their top options going forward.
The 2016 election is still nearly two years away. With a splintered Republican field, other candidates could pull ahead of Romney and Bush as the election draws closer. However, at this stage, Republican voters appear to be saying they prefer the party to stay the course and avoid trying anything new. The republicans have run a Bush or a Romney in five of the last seven presidential elections. Republican voters say they would like to make it six out of eight. If this is an attempt to rebrand the Republican Party, it isn’t a very convincing one.