He's said over and over that he won't run for the White House a third time, but a new poll indicates that if Mitt Romney did make another bid for president, he'd be the frontrunner among Republicans in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.
According to the Suffolk University/Boston Herald survey, which was released Thursday, 24% of Granite State Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say that Romney would be their first choice for their party's presidential nomination.
Among the potential 2016 GOP contenders, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was a distant second, at 9%, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 8%, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 7%.
While the survey may make headlines, it's important to remember that Romney's very well known in New Hampshire. He owns a vacation home in the state, has often appeared at GOP events in New Hampshire, and was governor of neighboring Massachusetts. Romney easily won the 2012 Republican primary, but lost the state by six percentage points to President Barack Obama in the general election.
And the 2012 GOP presidential nominee has been very clear about his 2016 intentions.
"I'm not running," Romney said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," a line Romney's used in interviews every time he's asked about whether he'll make a third bid for the White House. Romney's wife, Ann, has also been adamant against another run.
"Very sorry, Mrs. Romney. We had to ask the question," Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos joked to CNN.
Paleologos added that the results speak to "the weakness of the GOP field at this point in time."
Without Romney, Christie and Paul were tied at 11% as the first choice for the nomination among Republicans in New Hampshire, with Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas each at 8%.
The Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll was conducted June 14-15 and June 17-18, with 800 likely voters in New Hampshire questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.