Failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is leading a 2016 survey of likely Republican voters.
Romney has insisted that he will not run again unless all of the top candidates urge him to do so. However, a new CNN/ORC International poll found that “20 percent of voters say Romney would be their first choice for the nominee, with retired neurosurgeon and conservative activist Ben Carson coming in second with 10 percent of the vote.” When Romney is removed from the poll, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who said he would decide in “short order” whether he will enter the 2016 race, is in first place, leading Carson by three percentage points and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee by four percentage points.
The sweeping poll was based on “316 respondents who describe themselves as Republicans and 194 who describe themselves as independents who lean Republican.” The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points.
These early polls are mostly meaningless, though, because they only measure name identification. Before the 2008 elections in which Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) won their respective nominations for president, polls had Republican Rudy Giuliani and Democrat Hillary Clinton leading throughout 2007.