The Republican Party remains factionalized, with no oligarchy of elders to select a challenger for Barack Obama in 2012
Mitt Romney is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But don't buy the talk that he has wrapped up the GOP establishment and is somehow the party's inevitable nominee. That's the impression the former Massachusetts governor wants to give, but his party is healing fractures after a decade of internal tumult.
At the moment, there is no such thing as the Republican establishment.
Obama, DNC Raised $70 Million Since July
Dems Diversify Recruiting Class
Perry Blames 'Media Elites'
Instead, there are factions that are legs of the Republican stool. There are the money men, based largely around New York but with significant enclaves in every major metropolitan area in the country. There are the intellectual elite, based in Washington. And there are the actual activists themselves, who knock on doors and organize grassroots campaign events.
The three groups remain deeply divided over the 2012 nominating contest. For now, that works to Romney's benefit.
The Republican Party's deep-pocketed moneymen have yet to settle on a candidate, but Romney has made the most inroads. While an analysis of the 548 mega-donors who were top fundraisers for George W. Bush--the so-called Pioneers and Rangers--shows the vast majority have not signed up with any campaign, Romney has won backing from the largest number of Pioneers (48 of 327) and Rangers (33 of 327), according to campaign finance reports filed in July.