Americans say who they want on the 2016 campaign trail in new CBS poll

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There may be a feast of potential candidates for the presidency in 2016. However, according to a new poll by CBS News, Americans would like to see a number of prospective candidates enter the race, but not quite all of them.

The Republican field is unusually broad, and apparently growing. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, suggested to a room full of donors in New York City last week that he is considering a 2016 bid.

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans polled say they want Romney in the 2016 race; only 26 percent want him to stay out, the survey found.

Fifty percent of Republicans would like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to run for president; 27 percent disagree.

Republicans are less eager about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, with only 29 percent approving while 44 percent disagree. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is slightly more underwater: 30 percent of Republicans want her to run, but 59 percent do not.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is also viewed in the poll as a prospect by 40 percent of Republicans; 29 percent say no.

Three Republican senators, each favored by the grassroots, have mixed numbers overall. Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has the support of 27 percent of Republicans, but 34 percent disagree. Twenty-six percent say Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is a good prospect, while 19 percent do not. Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz gets 21 percent, while 25 percent say he should not run.

A few of the party’s governors get similarly tepid results in the poll. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas gets 21 percent approval, but 32 percent disagree. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has 14 percent wanting him to run, but 20 percent do not.

Managing a little better in the survey is Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin; 22 percent want to see him on the campaign trail, while 12 percent do not.

Lastly, Rick Santorum gets 19 percent of Republicans who want to see the former Pennsylvania senator run, while 29 percent do not. In addition, 21 percent favor retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a conservative firebrand, while 17 percent beg to differ.

A majority of Republicans — 61 to 35 percent — prefer a nominee who agrees with them on issues than one with the best chance of winning the general election. The same goes for Democrats: 63 percent believe it is best to have a nominee with similar values, while 35 percent want one who is simply the best at winning.

However, the Democratic presidential field is much narrower, with anticipation focused the most on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with 85 percent in the survey wanting her to dive into the race. Only 11 percent want her not to run

Vice President Joe Biden, Clinton’s chief competition, is preferred by 40 percent of Democrats, but not by 38 percent. Twenty-three percent of Democrats say liberal activist Elizabeth Warren should launch a bid, but 20 percent would not want the Massachusetts senator to run.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, the only person who has taken the initial step of forming a presidential exploratory committee, gets a feeble 6 percent of support from voters, and 14 percent disagree.

Most Republicans nationwide say that for six of the 13 prospective GOP candidates, they do not know enough about them to decide if they should run for president. Among Democrats, it is five of seven named in the poll.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.