In a rematch of the 2012 presidential election, if held today, Republican Mitt Romney would beat President Barack Obama by nine points, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll.
Nevertheless, Romney would lose to Democrat Hillary Clinton by double digits, the poll, released Sunday morning, also found. Romney would take 53 percent of the popular vote, while the president would receive 44 percent. In 2012, Obama won 51-47 percent over Romney, with an overpowering 332-206 victory in the Electoral College.
Although Americans view Clinton as a strong and capable leader, more so than Obama, Clinton’s numbers on five personal characteristics have dropped slightly in the past few months. In addition, Republican support for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Gov. Rick Perry has increased.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll in November had Romney winning a 2012 rematch by 49-45 percent.
Romney repeatedly said he would not run for the White House in 2016. But if he did, the CNN poll found he would lose to Clinton by a 55-42 percent margin.
“Politically speaking, there is an interesting group of people who would not vote for Obama, but would pick Clinton over Romney,” said Keating Holland, CNN’s Polling Director. “It turns out that nearly seven in ten of them are women, and 56 percent are Independents.”
The CNN polling is in line with nearly every other national and state survey in that the former secretary of state is the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Clinton has indicated she is considering another White House run.
Clinton’s popularity is strong with the party base — two-thirds of Democrats and independents leaning Democrat would likely support Clinton as the presidential nominee.
One in ten say could back Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite among liberals. Eight percent support Vice President Joe Biden. Last year, a CNN poll had Biden taking 12 percent and Warren 7 percent.
Biden is contemplating another presidential bid; while Warren said several times she will not run in 2016.
On the other hand, respondents saying Clinton shares their values dropped from 56 percent in March to 51 percent, and those who say she cares about people slipped from 56 percent to 53 percent during the same time.
The 2016 GOP nomination is still wide-open contest with voters, since no obvious front runner has yet emerged with Republicans.
Christie takes 13 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, with 12 percent each for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was a 2008 Republican presidential candidate.
Perry – who also ran for president in 2012 – and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – Romney’s vice presidential nominee – each receives 11 percent.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz get 8 percent each. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is at 6 percent.
Polling at the bottom of the GOP list are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (5 percent) and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (3 percent).
Christie and Perry both enjoy a five percent jump from a CNN GOP nomination poll taken in June.