It’s important to remember when looking at these 2016 polls that we’re still a long way from the campaign. It’s not unusual to see seemingly-anointed contenders fall by the wayside even in the early days of the primary elections, so anyone claiming to know who will run in two years is fooling themselves. That said, it’s always interesting to get a look at the prospective nominees, and it appears that New Hampshire already has a favorite in good ol’ Mitt Romney.
According to a new poll out of the early-primary state, Romney leads the field even though he’s said repeatedly that he’s not going to run. Not only is he leading the other contenders – Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush among them – he demolished them. New Hampshire respondents chose Romney by a margin of nearly 20 points, a fact the GOP brass has to be taking into consideration.
Though Romney has maintained that he’s out of the political game, there have been hints that his reluctance could be wavering. There was a report over the summer that some big Republican donors were pushing the RNC to make way for a third Romney campaign. According to the story, Romney would consider running if the major donors would unite in his support, clearing the rest of the candidates off the table. If none of the up-and-comers can spark America’s imagination, that could very well happen.
Let’s Not Do This Again
If so, it could spell disaster for our chance to reclaim the White House. Romney has had his shots, including one on the big stage. He failed to deliver against a vulnerable incumbent. What makes Republicans think he can fare better against presumed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton? The Clinton machine makes Obama’s political savvy look juvenile by comparison. We don’t need a proven failure to go against that machine; we need fresh blood and fresh ideas.
That’s to say nothing of Romney’s questionable conservative bona fides. He has turned off libertarian-minded voters with his foreign policy agenda, and no one seems to think he’s the man who can cut the federal government down to size. His big selling point in 2012 was his electability, but we all saw how that turned out.
Republicans can’t afford to screw this up. America can’t afford to screw this up. The country has been careening down an irresponsible hill for six long years, and it’s time for some big changes. If we put Hillary in the Oval Office, it will just be more of the same. Even if Romney could manage to squeak out a victory, I’m not convinced he would bring the kind of turnaround we need. Would he be better than a Democrat? Of course. But in a field populated with interesting ideas, forward-thinking conservatives, and charismatic speakers, he is far from the best choice.