- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Former 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney has insisted he isn’t running for president in 2016, but conservative voters in Iowa are hoping he will reconsider.

Likely Republican voters in the early caucus state named Mr. Romney as their first choice for president in 2016 in a new poll published by Bloomberg News and The Des Moines Register on Tuesday.

Although his wife, Ann, said in an interview Tuesday that she and her husband were “done, done, done,” with the idea of a third presidential run, 17 percent of those polled are still hoping for a Romney ticket.

But the poll results also showed that if Romney weren’t to run, the GOP field is wide open.

Conservative activist Ben Carson came in second place with 11 percent, but Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took a close third with 10 percent of the vote.

Mr. Carson said Tuesday that there is a “fifty-fifty” chance that he will run in 2016.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, two GOP establishment favorites, fell to the bottom of the pack in the poll, with 6 percent and 4 percent of the votes respectively.

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