In the real world, familiarity may breed contempt. But in the world of presidential politics, it apparently spells early success.
According to a Gravis Marketing poll of some 500 Iowa Republicans, Mitt Romney leads the field a year ahead of that state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. The 2012 GOP nominee earned 21 percent.
The next candidate is also a familiar face with a familiar name. Jeb Bush, a former two-term Florida governor, picked up 14 percent. Scott Walker, governor of neighboring Wisconsin, took third among candidates. He picked up 10 percent.
However, there’s plenty of room for change in the poll. A full 18 percent of voters said they were “undecided,” which isn’t surprising this far out.
Others receiving votes included former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee at 9 percent, Sen. Rand Paul (R-TN) at 8 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 7 percent. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) earned 5 percent, but that’s up for grabs, as he has since said he will not run for president. Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) at 5 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at 4 percent rounded out the poll.
So far, there are no declared Republican candidates, although Sen. Paul recently hired a campaign director. For his part, Romney recently told a group of donors, “I want to be president.” And Jeb Bush has resigned from his corporate boards, potentially clearing the path for a run. He has also advised donors, “Keep your powder dry.”
The survey was conducted for Townhall/Gravis between January 5-7. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.