Daniel Doherty

Maybe I spoke too soon.

Hypothetically, according to a new USA Today/Suffolk poll, if Romney defies the odds and runs again for president in 2016, the Hawkeye State may be his for the taking. After all, more than a third of respondents said they’d ditch the candidates they’re currently backing, and choose him instead:

According to the new poll, if Romney was added to the list of potential 2016 GOP White House contenders, 35% of Iowa Republicans say he'd be their first choice in the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses and is considering another bid in 2016, is a distant second, at 9%. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who narrowly won the 2012 caucuses, are each at 6%. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are each at 5%, with the remaining potential candidates tested were all in the lower single digits.

Remember, Romney initially thought he won the Iowa caucuses in 2012; it was only later determined that, in fact, he didn’t. The poll, though, suggests that if he ignores the wishes of his wife and family and does run, he could potentially win. That's a seductive and intriguing proposition, but is it enough to sway him to take the plunge?

Incidentally, he appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show earlier this week, and, as Allahpundit noted, left the door kind of open to running again -- but not really:

In all seriousness, I’m utterly convinced he’s not running, as nice as that might sound, and as fun as that might be. But if he does, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong.*

*It’s not going to happen.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography