A Phoenix-area political analyst says he knows why Mitt Romney has decided not to run for president. Mike O’Neil with O’Neil and Associates says, Romney stepped aside to preserve Jed Bush’s chances of winning the 2016 race and prevent the Republican tea party wing from gaining momentum.

But O’Neil points out there’s also no clear front-runner for potential candidates in the Tea Party camp, which can lead to fragmented numbers to support any one candidate, and he adds, that kind of math can only favor the establishment Bush. He envisions possible candidates like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul duking  it out with only single-digit approvals separating them. Which is why O’Neil says  the most conservative faction of the G-O-P should not gloat about Romney taking a pass on another presidential bid.

Romney, who lost the 2012 campaign, announced declining to run for President on Friday.

-Barbara Villa

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