With a sizeable field of Republicans jockeying for a presidential run in 2016, Mitt Romney could be the one who gives the GOP the best chance to recapture the White House.
Some might dismiss a Romney candidacy given that he has already lost a presidential election, and Romney has sought to downplay the likelihood that he will run again.
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But there are compelling reasons why the former Massachusetts governor would make a strong candidate in the next presidential race. Here are the top 10:
1. He is already polling well. A CNN poll in December showed Romney garnering 20 percent of the vote, while no other potential candidate won more than 9 percent. A Quinnipiac poll showed Romney with the most votes, leading second-place finisher Jeb Bush by 8 percentage points. And a McClatchy-Marist poll in December showed Romney with 19 percent of the vote, ahead of all other potential GOP candidates in the survey.
2. He won 206 electoral votes in 2012 — and would not be running against an incumbent in the next election. Romney captured 24 states and 47.2 percent of the vote, a solid showing against a sitting president, demonstrating his ability to appeal to a wide range of voters.
3. He is battle-hardened. Romney has already weathered the rigors of a grueling presidential campaign, unlike any of his possible GOP challengers, and remained a vigorous and energetic candidate right up to Election Day.
4. He is the only Republican among the potentially leading candidates with considerable experience in the business world, including the co-founding of the hugely successful Bain Capital venture capital firm.
5. He has executive experience, having served as governor of Massachusetts, a claim that cannot be made by possible GOP challengers like Sens. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, or Rep. Paul Ryan. As governor, Romney presided over the elimination of a $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion budget deficit.
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6. The positions he espoused in the 2012 campaign have proven to be correct. While President Barack Obama extended an olive branch to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Romney assailed Russia as America's "number one geopolitical foe." That was before Putin annexed Crimea and threatened to invade Ukraine.
Romney said during the campaign that Obama would be unable to work with Congress and that could lead to a fight over the debt ceiling and possibly a shutdown or default. In fact, Obama continued to "ignore" and "attack" Congress as Romney predicted, and there was a government shutdown and the threat of a default.
Romney said that, despite Obama's claims to the contrary, many Americans would lose their current healthcare insurance due to Obamacare. As many as 12 million Americans did lose their insurance plan, according to The Washington Post. Politifact called Obama's mantra "if you like your plan, you can keep it" the lie of the year.
7. He is hungry and likely to campaign hard for the nomination and presidency. In March 2013, Romney said in an interview: "It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done."
8. He lent support to GOP candidates in the 2014 midterm elections and could expect support in return. Romney endorsed, campaigned for, and fundraised for a number of GOP hopefuls, especially those running for the Senate.
9. He has the resources to significantly fund a campaign. The Romneys are said to have personal wealth ranging from $190 million to $250 million. Plus, Business Insider reported that Romney has already been meeting with "key financial backers" in New York to "lay the groundwork for a presidential run in 2016."
10. He is conservative. Republican voters tend to ultimately close ranks around a candidate with a conservative record who can also appeal to independents and even some Democrats.
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