Even with all the choices available, there was never a consensus, never a push for one candidate. None was ever pure enough. Romney outlasted them all. Reagan wouldn't be the nominee.
You think somehow you can start a successful third-party based on a repeatedly disorganized, self-defeating subsection of the second party?
Why not recruit one of the 30 GOP governors or 40-some Senators. There's even former office holders. Surely even ONE of them is conservative enough.
What we know it incumbents are hard to beat. Obama had his "historical nature" on top of that. He ran a campaign of demonization while begging for a Mulligan. More voters blame Bush than Obama for the economy even after four years. Voters late-30s and younger don't remember the Reagan recovery. They remember "Clinton prosperity" and the Bush wars and economic melt down.
Bush may end up nationally what Pete Wilson was to CA: twice elected but ultimately poisonous to the party brand.
Pure?!?!?!? Hell I would have settled for mediocre.
Not when they are Jimmy Carter and as disastrous as Obama, whose voters stayed home by the millions.
The concern is, has Romney destroyed the republican brand.
Running the white version of Obama, with his Romneycare, and homosexual agenda, leadership in a non-Christian cult, his pro-abortion, anti-gun, liberalism, and a 20 history of defeat and lack of success in politics, was a mistake of potentially fatal proportions for conservatism.