John Zogby: Romney's Strength Reveals Weakness in 2016 GOP Field

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 07:16 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Mitt Romney's lead against other GOP presidential hopefuls in a new poll shows there is a certain "weakness" among those in the crowded field, pollster John Zogby, who made the finding, tells Newsmax TV.

"Twenty percent is what he got in a very crowded race and then the next candidate [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie is down at 11 percent," Zogby said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"It’s significant … This at least shows that Mitt Romney did not hurt himself with Republicans. Twenty percent among nine or 10 candidates in the race, that’s a pretty significant number."

But Zogby also said that Romney's dominance reveals that there is "some weakness" on the part of the other candidates.

The poll — of 315 likely Republican primary voters conducted by Zogby Analytics from Aug. 13-15 — placed Romney on top.

The former Massachusetts governor was followed by Christie, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Trailing those names were Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindahl, New Mexico Gov. Suzanna Martinez, Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.

Romney also led all candidates among men (21%) and women, moderates and conservatives, and among born-again/evangelical Christians.

"To me, one of the most significant numbers that emerges is the fact that he leads by about 10 points among evangelical Republicans over Mike Huckabee who otherwise you know does fairly well in the polls still," Zogby said.

While many Republicans believe that Romney — who has said he has no interest in running again — will, in fact, not run, Zogby isn't committing himself.

Zogby praised President Barack Obama on his handling of the racial turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., where a black teen was killed by a white cop.

"The president is in a very uncomfortable position of being the first African American president and of having a solid base in constituency not only among African Americans, but people of color and young people as well," Zogby said.

"And his response was measured and calming. In the final analysis it has taken a while to begin to calm things down, but within that context … he acted in a measured, modulated sort of way."

But he was critical of the commander-in-chief reacting in outrage to the gruesome execution of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic terror group ISIS, and then going off to play golf.

"It troubles me that he had a very strong and impressive response to the beheading of James Foley, but going to play golf immediately after was the wrong thing to do," Zogby said.

"I just don’t know what he and his people could’ve been thinking. Hey, everybody … [is] entitled to a vacation, I get that … but there are some things that are inappropriate and send the wrong message, not unlike George W. Bush and the fly over New Orleans [after Hurricane] Katrina.

"It was just the wrong thing to do so certainly President Obama is going to lose some points on that one."

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