It seems to me that the Republicans have really fucked themselves in the current presidential election. Somehow they've selected three possible candidates that will eat each other and can't possibly win a general election.
Mitt Romney seems front runner-ish. But he's got some serious problems, which is what gives so much steam to any "non-romney."
I don't really know a lot about the party, but it seems like there's a large group that votes along religious lines, and there's a more secular conservative movement that cares more about fiscal policy and more general social issues not dictated by religion.
The more secular cons like Romney, but he's a Mormon, which most fundamentalist Christians seem to regard a cult. Even the more secular Republicans have to be troubled by Romneycare. If their major weapon in the attack on the current administration is the health care reform act, pejoratively called "Obamacare," it would help if their candidate didn't have a government sponsored health care program of his own.
The other contenders are Santorum and Gingrich. Santorum's name is LITERALLY a gay sex joke. It's very hard to take him seriously since he scares the shit ot of everyone except hardcore fundamental Christians. Not to mention the guy oozes latent homosexuality. His only draw for Republicans is that he isn't a poygamist, and I'm not talking about Romney when I say polygamist. Newt had a $500,000 debt at Tiffany and Co. That's a guy that fucks up BIG TIME or very often. Or both.
And its pretty obvious to anyone watching that Newt is only running for the money. Yes, you cannot make money directly by running for president, but Newt has figured out a way to make being a "former presidential candidate" into tens of millions of dollars in income, so he wouldn't want to win, it would prevent him from making any money. I think that's why Palin never even ran, she couldn't stand to suspend the income long enough to have an actual campaign. Just look at her Governorship in Alaska, it was preventing her from making money so she had to get out.
So part of the party hates Romney and would never vote for him, Santorum scares all the rational members, and Gingrich is just a guy standing at an ATM machine. Which one of these guys is going to beat Obama, whose campaign can be reduced to 7 words; "GM is alive, Bin Laden is dead."