The announcement by Mitt Romney on Friday that he would not be running for president for a third time has reset the 2016 GOP field, with strategists saying Romney’s exit has positioned Jeb Bush as the establishment favorite and helped him to assemble campaign teams in key states with early voting.

Meanwhile, the former governor of Florida could become a bigger target for conservatives in the GOP who criticize both Romney and Bush as being too moderate.

Unless, Chris Christie the Governor of New Jersey can show he is a more viable candidate that he has been able to, there will be one establishment candidate and a field of conservative ones, said Steve Deace a conservative talk show host on the radio in Iowa.

Being establishment would have upsides. Now the veteran operatives who had been torn between Romney and Bush are free to put all energies behind Bush, should he declare he is running. If Romney had run, both would have been vying for the same resources, which include Wall Street monies and institutional support.

Even prior to the announcement by Romney, Bush was picking up members of Romney’s former gang.

Bush’s team on Thursday confirmed that David Kochel the former senior adviser for Iowa to Romney had signed as a strategist for the newly launched Bush Right to Rise PAC.

Reports were emerging that former donors of Romney were moving closer to Bush and that those who ran things in important primary states during 2012 were not as enthusiastic. Doubts lingered if Romney would be able to manage another campaign and then win.

Bush flew to Utah as well to have a private meeting last week with Romney.

Romney told his supporters on Friday that he was confident he would win his party’s nomination, but felt there was another candidate in the party who might have a better chance of winning the presidency against the Democrats at election time.

Along with Governor Christie, plenty of other possible Republican candidates could battle with Bush for large donors and strategists that are high profile.

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