- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Republican voters haven’t given up on Mitt Romney for president, putting him at the head of the pack of the potential GOP field for 2016 in a new national poll.

Mr. Romney led with 19 percent support in the Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 11 percent. New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and famed neurosurgeon and conservative commentator Ben Carson tied in fourth place with 8 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to dominate with 57 percent support from her party’s voters in the poll. Liberal firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts placed a distant second with 13 percent, followed by Vice President Joseph Biden with 9 percent.

Mr. Romney, who ran twice before and was the 2012 GOP standard-bearer who lost to President Obama, has shied from talk of another run. But Republican insiders speculate he will jump in the race if Mr. Bush stays on the sidelines.

No other Republican in the crowded field of potential contenders topped 6 percent in the poll, which found 16 percent of primary voters still undecided.



The poll found that the tea party has fallen out of favor among Republican voters, as has tea party champion Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican eyeing a presidential run.

About 45 percent of voters reported an unfavorable view of the tea party and just 27 percent had a favorable view. Similarly, Mr. Cruz got a negative 21 percent to 29 percent favorability rating, the lowest rating of any potential presidential candidate.

“Republicans still have Gov. Mitt Romney top of mind and top of the heap in the potential race for the top job,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “It looks like Republican voters are favoring more moderate choices for 2016.”

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