I have another paradigm which I’d call the rolling yuk factor. The Republicans started with 8 bad choices none of which can beat Obama even though Obama has some serious problems himself.
Romney is known and voters don’t like him. That’s why McCain beat him last time. But the elites are behind Romney so he’s the man to beat.
Because voters don’t like Romney every other candidate surged one by one as the anti-Romney candidate and when the focus cam on them they were all flawed and fell back to the bottom (except Paul who has a small band of loyal followers)
Once Iowa and New Hampshire voted it seemed Romney was inevitable again and because of new missteps and renewed scrutiny a wave of yuk against Romney returned. Evangelical leaders met to endorse Santorum as the anti-Romney.
In a 4 person race with Ron Paul it’s down to Romney and 2 anti-Romney candidates. Santorum is weak and lacks gravitas and is only still in because he surged at the right time in Iowa. But soon it will be between Newt and Romney.
Newt has serious serious problems as well which are being brought out. But Newt is a fighter and Romney is sort of John Kerry like. Republicans like a fighter and see Newt as much more of a fighter than Obama, who the Democrats are also experiencing the yuk factor with. Obama is no Bill Clinton and Democrats are not thrilled with Hope and Change becoming Nope and Same.
So with 2 candidate that are too weak to even beat a weak president Republicans are trying to choose how they are going to lose. So the final paradigm is what I will call the “go down fighting” paradigm. With Newt they can at least lose with dignity and maybe the hope that if they put up a strong fighter they at least have some hope for a miracle.