Ross Douthat thinks Romney will win by default. Among the populist and establishment candidates Ross believes unlikely to run: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie:
[S]ometimes the “person who can win” decides not to run, and you’re left to choose between people who can’t. The last time the Republicans made big gains in the mid-term elections and then faced a vulnerable-but-formidable Democratic incumbent two years later, they found themselves choosing between Bob Dole, Lamar Alexander and Pat Buchanan in the primaries, while figures like Colin Powell and Dick Cheney (now there would have been a primary campaign!) stayed on the sidelines. It could happen again: Just because the Republicans seem to need a better candidate than Mitt Romney doesn’t mean they’ll get one.
This logic also applies to a certain former half-term governor ...
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