If Romney loses ...
Wed September 12, 2012 9:44 am

…the reaction from the right wing of the Republican party is going to be a ferocious backlash of “We told you so.” The GOP decided to stick with the front-runner, Mitt Romney, as is its long-established habit, and while it is certainly too early to say that Romney is in trouble, recent polling, particularly in key states like Ohio and Virginia, does not look good.

The message of the right will be that Republicans have had successive failures with moderate, establishment candidates like Romney and McCain (you can throw George H. W. Bush in 1992 and Bob Dole in 1996 in there too) who do not energize the base, and that Republicans will not start winning again until they start nominating “real-deal” conservatives. The energy in the Republican party is with insurgent groups like the Ron Paulers and the Tea Party. The Republican field for 2016 is strong but it lacks social conservatives like Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. The door could even open for the likes of Sarah Palin and Rick Perry. The dilemma for R’s is that the social conservative message turns off the independents and the establishment Republicans.

The right’s message will emerge about one second after the networks call the race. The scenario works, of course, only if Obama wins.

Here’s what Rush Limbaugh had to say early in the campaign season about the Republican disdain for the party’s right wing:

The Republican establishment, for the most part, if they could, would simply excommunicate every social conservative Republican they could find. They’d kick ‘em out of the party, and they would gag ‘em.  They’d find a way to make sure they couldn’t speak.  That’s how much they hate ‘em, detest ‘em, are embarrassed by them.  And it’s based on one thing, primarily. It’s based on the fact that these establishment Republicans and others who don’t like the social conservatives are primarily, singularly worried about what people are going to think of them for being in the same party with the social conservatives.  It really is no more complicated than that.  I mean there are other things.  They think social conservatives lose elections.  They think social conservatives make the whole Republican Party a big target, like what’s going on now, this contraception business.

* * * *

Here are the odds for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, from the Web site 2016 ELECTION.COM

Chris Christie 7/1

Mark Rubio 7/1

Sarah Palin 9/1

Paul Ryan 12/1

Rand Paul 15/1

Jeb Bush 18/1

Mike Huckabee 18/1

Eric Cantor 20/1

Bob McDonnell 25/1

John Kasich 38/1

John Thune 30/1

Jon Huntsman 30/1

Bobby Jindal 30/1

Rick Santorum 40/1

Tim Pawlenty 40/1

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