Poll: Six in ten Republicans favor Romney running

A new CBS poll shows that 6 in 10 Republicans want Mitt Romney to run for president.  That doesn't mean they want to see Mitt win the nomination, but it's depressing to think that someone like Ted Cruz sees only 21% believing he should run.  Ditto Rand Paul, who gets support for his candidacy from only 27% of GOP voters.

This is a beauty contest poll, to be sure, with name recognition being the most important factor.  But you would think that after two failed tries for the presidency, Republican voters wouldn't even give Romney the time of day.  Instead, there appears to be a sizable number of them who wouldn't mind going over a cliff in 2016.

Fifty percent of Republicans would like to see former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on the campaign trail as well, while 27 percent disagree. If both Romney and Bush run, analysts expect them to wage a competitive battle for the allegiance of the Republican establishment.

Another potential candidate viewed favorably by the GOP establishment, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is sought less eagerly by Republicans. Only 29 percent say they'd like to see Christie launch a bid, while 44 percent say otherwise. (Only former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's numbers are more underwater: 30 percent of Republicans say they'd like to see her run, but 59 percent disagree.)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee posts a respectable showing, with 40 percent of Republicans urging him to get in, and 29 percent urging him to stay out.

A trio of Republican senators who have stoked the enthusiasm of the grassroots have mixed numbers. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans would like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to mount a bid, but 34 percent disagree. Twenty-six percent would like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to run, while 19 percent would not. Twenty-one percent want Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to run, while 25 percent want him to not run.

Republicans are similarly lukewarm on some of the party's governors. Twenty-one percent want Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, to run, but 32 percent disagree. Fourteen percent want Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-Louisiana, to run, but 20 percent disagree. Wisconsin's Scott Walker fares better, however: 22 percent want him to run, while 12 percent don't.

Finally, 19 percent of Republicans would like to see former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum run, while 29 percent would not. And 21 percent would like to see a campaign by Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and conservative activist, while 17 percent disagree.

With those numbers, Christie may be having second thoughts about running.  Plus, Bush and Romney have sucked just about all the oxygen from center-right donors and activists, thus leaving him very little room to proceed.

To me, Huckabee would be the most interesting candidate – an outsider with an outside shot at keeping pace with Bush/Romney.  Huckabee's network of evangelical churches and social conservative activists levels the playing field somewhat with the big money boys.  Neither Cruz nor Paul has that kind of built in support, which puts them behind the curve in organization and money.

Huckabee's long-running TV show gives him name recognition he didn't have the last time out.  Can he resurrect his Iowa miracle of 2008?  If he is seen as a viable conservative alternative to Bush and Romney (and maybe Christie), the dynamics of the race would favor him the longer he can remain in the race.

A new CBS poll shows that 6 in 10 Republicans want Mitt Romney to run for president.  That doesn't mean they want to see Mitt win the nomination, but it's depressing to think that someone like Ted Cruz sees only 21% believing he should run.  Ditto Rand Paul, who gets support for his candidacy from only 27% of GOP voters.

This is a beauty contest poll, to be sure, with name recognition being the most important factor.  But you would think that after two failed tries for the presidency, Republican voters wouldn't even give Romney the time of day.  Instead, there appears to be a sizable number of them who wouldn't mind going over a cliff in 2016.

Fifty percent of Republicans would like to see former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on the campaign trail as well, while 27 percent disagree. If both Romney and Bush run, analysts expect them to wage a competitive battle for the allegiance of the Republican establishment.

Another potential candidate viewed favorably by the GOP establishment, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is sought less eagerly by Republicans. Only 29 percent say they'd like to see Christie launch a bid, while 44 percent say otherwise. (Only former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's numbers are more underwater: 30 percent of Republicans say they'd like to see her run, but 59 percent disagree.)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee posts a respectable showing, with 40 percent of Republicans urging him to get in, and 29 percent urging him to stay out.

A trio of Republican senators who have stoked the enthusiasm of the grassroots have mixed numbers. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans would like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to mount a bid, but 34 percent disagree. Twenty-six percent would like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to run, while 19 percent would not. Twenty-one percent want Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to run, while 25 percent want him to not run.

Republicans are similarly lukewarm on some of the party's governors. Twenty-one percent want Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, to run, but 32 percent disagree. Fourteen percent want Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-Louisiana, to run, but 20 percent disagree. Wisconsin's Scott Walker fares better, however: 22 percent want him to run, while 12 percent don't.

Finally, 19 percent of Republicans would like to see former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum run, while 29 percent would not. And 21 percent would like to see a campaign by Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and conservative activist, while 17 percent disagree.

With those numbers, Christie may be having second thoughts about running.  Plus, Bush and Romney have sucked just about all the oxygen from center-right donors and activists, thus leaving him very little room to proceed.

To me, Huckabee would be the most interesting candidate – an outsider with an outside shot at keeping pace with Bush/Romney.  Huckabee's network of evangelical churches and social conservative activists levels the playing field somewhat with the big money boys.  Neither Cruz nor Paul has that kind of built in support, which puts them behind the curve in organization and money.

Huckabee's long-running TV show gives him name recognition he didn't have the last time out.  Can he resurrect his Iowa miracle of 2008?  If he is seen as a viable conservative alternative to Bush and Romney (and maybe Christie), the dynamics of the race would favor him the longer he can remain in the race.