Are we looking at another lackluster group of Republican presidential candidates? Is Mitt Romney nostalgia sweeping the Republican Party? Is it a little bit of both?
Romney didn’t just win a poll of Republicans asked about their preferences in the Iowa caucuses. He killed.
The new USA Today poll gives Mitt Romney 35 percent of the caucus vote, with the rest of the tally divided among about a dozen also-rans. In second place is Mike Huckabee, who won the caucuses in 2008, but he pulls down only nine percent. Jeb Bush, the supposed potential juggernaut, is at just under five percent. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, who are supposedly catching fire, are each at five percent.
Now, let’s be clear, there are a few things other than Romney nostalgia going on here. One is simple name recognition. Another is that his enemies – the true severe conservatives – are divided, with Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee all in the range of four to nine percent. Interestingly, Marco Rubio, for all the PR he gets, is at about two percent, and Bobby Jindal is at 1.7 percent.
But it appears Romneymania is for real. And he must know it, because he is diluting his earlier declaration that he’s not getting in the race.