Mitt Romney

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The Hill

By Peter Sullivan – 08/27/14 06:29 PM EDT

Mitt Romney is in demand, and it’s raising speculation about another White House run, however far-fetched that might seem.

The 2012 GOP standard-bearer has been stumping across the country for Republican Senate candidates, highlighting his popularity two years after losing the Oval Office to Barack Obama.

A Netflix documentary, “Mitt,” depicted Romney’s run for the White House in 2008 and 2012 and his devotion to his family, warming him to GOP audiences further.

On policy, Russia’s incursions into Ukraine have vindicated his tough stance in 2012, something Obama famously used to mock him as out of touch.

It’s all causing the public to give him a second look.

Romney lost badly to Obama in the last presidential cycle, but a CNN/ORC poll in July found that if the election were held again, 53 percent of adults would vote for Romney, and just 44 percent for Obama.

Romney has repeatedly said he’s not interested in running again, using the word “no” 11 times in a row in one January interview with The New York Times.

On Tuesday, Romney sounded a different note during an interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.”

“Someone else has a better chance than I do,” Romney said of the 2016 campaign, saying “that’s why I’m not running.

“And you know, circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there,” Romney concluded.

It’s just a sliver of an opening, but it got people talking, particularly given the wide-open race for the Republican nomination, for which there is no clear front-runner.

Furthermore, Republicans are looking for an establishment candidate as an option to Tea Party favorites like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and the libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

It’s led GOP observers to say he has a good chance at the 2016 nomination.

“He’s one of the very few people who can run and lock it up very early,” said Patrick Hynes, a Republican operative in New Hampshire who advised Romney’s 2012 campaign. “I think there’s a great deal of good will behind him at the moment because there’s buyer’s remorse about President Obama.”

“There’s no clear frontrunner, so I certainly think he would be one of the early favorites if he were to decide to get in,” said Bob Rafferty, a former chief of staff to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and a 2012 Romney supporter.

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