Two former Republican governors with high name recognition and establishment support got high numbers in a recent CBS News poll
asking GOP voters whom they wanted to see in the 2016 presidential race.
Fifty-nine percent of those polled said they want former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, to make a third try for the nation's highest office. Romney last week told Republicans in New York and California he is considering doing that.
Twenty-six percent of those polled think Romney should sit the next one out.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in a strong second, with 50 percent saying they want him to run and 27 percent opposing the idea.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another favorite of the establishment wing of the party, didn't fare as well, with only 29 percent saying they want him in the race and 44 percent who don't want a Christie bid.
Still in office, Christie has been hurt by his administration's Bridge-gate scandal, and many Republican voters still remember him cozying up to President Barack Obama a month before the 2012 election.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the only other Republican in the poll who had more people opposing a run than favoring it. Thirty percent want Palin to run, while 59 percent don't.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who recently quit his Fox News Channel job to consider a run, has the support of 40 percent, compared to 29 percent in opposition.
Huckabee has tea party support, but others favored by the conservative wing saw mixed results.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul had 34 for, 26 against; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was 26-19; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was 21-25; Texas Gov. Rick Perry was 21-32; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was 14-20; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was 22-12.
Rubio, appearing Sunday on "Face the Nation,"
compared the poll to pre-season college football polls, which he said have no real meaning. The only thing that matters, he said, is the National Championship Game at the end of the season.
On the Democrats' side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found 85 favoring a run with only 11 percent wanting her to stay out. Vice President Joe Biden's numbers were more even at 40-38, and liberal favorite Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren polled only 23-20.
Both parties shared similar views on ideological purity, the poll found. Sixty-one percent of Republicans would rather have a nominee they agree with on the issues, while 35 percent would rather have a nominee who can win the general election. Those numbers for Democrats were 63-35.
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