Mitt Romney Is the 2016 Republican Front-Runner

This is not an "Onion" story.

National Journal

Mitt Romney leads the Republican field among New Hampshire primary voters for 2016. Yes, you read that right.

Why not make it a third run for president? That's something that the former Republican nominee is definitely not thinking about right now. To put it in his own recent words: "Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no."

But that didn't stop the Virginia-based bipartisan policy firm Purple Strategies from adding his name to a recent survey for Granite State voters, which shows Romney in the lead with 25 percent support. Libertarian firebrand Rand Paul (who has strong infrastructure in New Hampshire) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are behind with 18 percent and 17 percent support, respectively.

We might be experiencing Mittmentum 3.0. The Netflix documentary about his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns was recently released to the excitement of political insiders everywhere. GOP insiders want him to come back: "You know what a lot of them say to me?" an anonymous "operative" told BuzzFeed. "I think we need Mitt back." Romney was even on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to slow jam the news.

So are we sure he's not running again? "People are always gracious and say, 'Oh, you should run again,' " he said in an interview earlier this month. "I'm not running again."

He's done this kind of race before. He's got the staff. He's got the loyalty. He has the money. Time has passed.

Is there a chance? "I think that Chris Christie and Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, and the list goes on, have a much better chance of doing that," he said in the same interview, "and so I will support one of them as they become the nominee."

Maybe, maybe not.

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