Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida is seemingly the primary beneficiary of Mitt Romney’s decision to rule out a presidential bid last week --scooping up many of the donors who were previously backing the former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential candidate.
Bush’s closest competition, it seems, is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s also been aggressively courting former Romney donors, according to The New York Times. The two are seen as the most likely GOP candidates—with the largest war chests going into the primary elections.
While Bush and Christie seem to be the best positioned to drum up financial support, other lesser known candidates seem to be driving more buzz.
A new poll of Iowa voters from Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register shows Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leading among potential Republican presidential candidates with 15 percent, followed closely by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) with 14 percent. Meanwhile, Bush stood at 8 percent.
Of course, the Iowa poll doesn’t seal anyone’s fate. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was the leading candidate in the 2008 poll.
Walker--whose name has long been whispered as a potential contender—moved ahead last week after giving an explosive speech at a conservative summit in Iowa. The speech, which overshadowed other presidential hopefuls in attendance including Christie and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), seemed to be the unofficial kickoff to his presidential campaign.
Since then Walker has been making the circuit, repeating similar themes before the conservative American Action Forum in Washington, D.C., on Friday, then appearing on ABC’s This Week Sunday where he told host Martha Raddatz not to “bet against him” to scoop up the Republican presidential nomination.
“After three elections for governor in four years in a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1984 for president, I wouldn’t bet against me on anything.”
Speaking to Raddatz, the Badger State governor said Americans want “new, fresh leadership” further hinting that he believes he has a shot at the White House—and an official announcement may not be that far away.
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