Even if I accept Cain as a ‘strong candidate’ that still leaves the lack of unity in opposition to Romney.
And everyone who remained in the field contributed to this lack.
Heck, FReepers were far from united on any alternative to Romney.
I think it was Thomas Sowell who, very early in the race, that unless the others drop out and unite their support behind one NotRomney candidate, Romney will win.
Nothing changed and that’s what happened. There weren’t any surprises.
True, but in Santorum's case, it was intentional. Besides, he was never in it to win it. He did not even file the papers in some states. It was clear that his intent was to raise his profile and then join Romney as the VP candidate should the need arise.