The idea that Mitt Romney may run for president again in 2016 is getting closer to becoming a reality as a Vox Populi Poll found that 70% of Republican primary voters are open to voting again for Romney.
Republican primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina were asked if they would consider voting for Romney again for their party’s nomination in 2016. Twenty-three percent of South Carolina primary voters would vote for Mitt Romney again, and 51% would consider it. In New Hampshire, 30% would definitely vote for him, and 47% would consider it. In Iowa, 21% would definitely vote for him, and 53% would consider it.
The numbers in each state suggest that Romney already has enough support to win two or maybe all three of the first three primary states on the Republican calendar. Romney’s support has stayed fairly consistent with his 2012 performance. In 2012, Romney got 25% of the caucus vote in Iowa. Today, he is at 21% in the state. Romney got 39% of the 2012 GOP primary vote in New Hampshire, and he is at 30% today. In South Carolina, Romney got 28% of the vote in 2012, and he is sitting at 23% today.
Romney’s lingering popularity with Republican primary voters suggests that voters aren’t in love with any of their possible options. Scandals have sunk Chris Christie and Scott Walker. Rand Paul remains a Paul, and his foreign policy views are completely out of step with most of the party. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have past support of immigration reform working against them, and the rest of the potential candidates hail from the Ted Cruz kooky wing of the party.
A glance through the alternatives makes it easy to understand why Romney remains popular with so many Republican primary voters. It might seem unbelievable, but Mr. 47% could be the least damaged Republican option out there. The big money voices in the GOP have been trying to cut a deal to clear the field and hand Romney the nomination, but they may not even need to do it.
A path is forming for Mitt Romney to run for a third time, and win back to back Republican nominations. Romney would lose to Hillary Clinton by an even larger margin than he lost to President Obama, but Republicans in early voting states believe that he is their best option in what could be a historically bad field of candidates.
Republican voters are willing to hand the presidency to Hillary Clinton by returning to Mitt Romney as their nominee.