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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 5, 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 49
Republicans love losers: Mitt Romney leads 2016 polls, Rand Paul out of the race?
Section One
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Republicans love losers: Mitt Romney leads 2016 polls, Rand Paul out of the race?

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney leads the pack of Republican hopefuls for their party's 2016 presidential nomination, according to a Quinnipiac poll released November 26.

Romney came in at 19% in a crowded field of possible candidates. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush came second with 11%, followed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ben Carson each with 8% each, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 6%.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon with no political experience, is a conservative radio and TV pundit and author of One Nation, which topped the New York Times best-seller list in June.

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee all came in at 5%, while 16% of the respondents were undecided.

If Romney is removed from the poll, Jeb Bush leads with 14%, Christie comes second at 11%, and Carson third at 9%.

In a December 2 announcement, Rand Paul may have changed the calculations, however.

Paul's Senate term is also up in 2016, and Kentucky law forbids candidates to run for two positions on the same ballot. That means Paul would have to give up his Senate seat if he wants to run for the Republican nomination.

In a December 2 media release, Paul announced he would seek reelection to the Senate so he could continue with 'the task of repairing and revitalizing our great nation.' Fellow Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who will become Senate majority leader in January, said Paul was 'essential in the U.S. Senate.'

Paul may not be completely giving up on his presidential aspirations, however. His advisors believe there are ways around Kentucky law, and in any case he could withdraw from the Senate race at a later date if he believes he has a shot at the presidency.

Republican Senator Rob Portman also withdrew from the presidential race on December 2, although his exit will create far fewer waves than Paul's would, since Portman is not considered a real contender for the nomination.

'I have decided to run for re-election [to the Senate] in 2016,' Portman said in a statement.

'I am excited about continuing to serve, especially with the change in the Senate leadership.

'With the new Republican majority, I see a real opportunity over the next two years to break the gridlock in Washington and actually get things done to help Ohioans and all Americans. That's where I believe I can play the most constructive role.

'I don't think I can run for president and be an effective senator at the same time.'

Portman, whose son is Gay, was the only Republican presidential hopeful who supports marriage equality.

On the Democratic side, Quinnipiac found that Hillary Clinton led the field with 57%, followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 13%, and Vice President Joe Biden with 9%.

Warren has said repeatedly that she is not a candidate for the nomination. Biden has not said whether he will be a candidate or not, but he has been making the tour of the usual campaign venues as if he might run.

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