Quite clearly the GOP is irretrievably broken. Seems the moderates among them will sit home if Gingrich gets the nomination, and ditto for the conservatives if it`s Romney.
The Republicans are in desperate need of adult leadership.
You are nearly hitting the nail on the head. Here is what I see signs of in talking to quite a few people who are quite Conservative:
IF Romney gets the appointment as the nominee - Fiscal conservatives will stay home in droves - and Social conservatives are learning more about his “pro-choice” positions - thus limiting their influence as well..
IF Newt gets the nomination, Social conservatives will stay home in droves, and even some fiscal conservatives will dodge the polls.
IF Santorum gets the nod - people will sleep through election day...
Ron Paul - Some of the independent voters and quite a few Libertarians will vote for him - but a large portion of Republicans won’t bother.
And NONE of these candidates are going to help candidates “down-ticket” - where we absolutely HAVE to gain seats - especially in the Senate.
What the Conservatives and remaining GOP (not the “establishment” chunk) at all levels desperately need is a truly inspirational candidate who can energize the base - and motivate the voters to get out in force to take this nation back. Absolutely NONE of the the remaining “GOP” have that potential or ability. I seriously doubt the ability for ANY of them to even offer a serious challenge to Obama who SHOULD be one of the EASIEST candidates in the last century to beat (he make Jimmy Carter look like a fair president). Yet the best any polls today show is a “close” race, and many show Obama as beating any of the GOP hopefuls.
How did we get to this sad point? I will give you a hint (and many Freepers are guilty as sin) - compromise - year after year, election after election - we have tried the “anybody but ___________” attitude... and we have watched the whole political landscape shift Leftward. The hole that has been dug is a mighty deep one - and one that is growing dangerously close to insurmountable.
The best defense against a Romney/Obama regime will be a stout firewall in the House and a Republican Senate with at least some integrity.