Mitt Romney in 2016 Could Split GOP Establishment

AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann
AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Al Hartmann

There is talk of former Massachusetts Gov. and failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney potentially entering the race for the GOP nomination in 2016. FiveThirtyEight points to it as a sign of how divided the current Republican establishment is. That, among other factors, could open the door for a more conservative nominee, whether said establishment likes it or not.

In March, I wrote that this was the most split Republican presidential field in the modern era (since 1976). And that still holds today. Jeb Bush’s 23 percent support in a recent CNN survey was the highest for any non-Romney candidate over the past year. Most polls show every candidate (besides Romney) south of 20 percent.

Romney made his remarks regarding a possible run to a roomful of potential donors in NYC on Friday.

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, told Republican donors in New York on Friday that he is seriously considering a third presidential campaign in 2016, according to a source present at the meeting.

Romney’s move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as former Florida governor Jeb Bush is swiftly snatching up major party donors and operatives as he prepares for an all-but-certain presidential campaign.

While media outlets including the Wall Street Journal are already focusing on previous statements of his indicating a run wasn’t likely, Romney is reportedly going to meet in Utah with some of his closest advisers.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush and company came out and announced a huge fundraising goal, $100 million, which could set him up for some bad headlines if it isn’t met. Romney’s entry could help make that even more problematic for team Jeb. A Bush-Romney face off could open the door for a more conservative candidate with genuine grassroots support.

Jeb Bush’s allies are setting a fundraising goal of $100 million in the first three months of this year—including a whopping $25 million haul in Florida—in an effort to winnow the potential Republican presidential primary field with an audacious display of financial strength.