For all that smart pundits have written him off, and conservatives elites don’t seem to like him, the continuing reality is that Mitt Romney has the best poll numbers out there:
What’s more, despite conservative media’s general antipathy to Romney, Ben Smith reports that Matt Drudge seems to be in his corner. What’s more, Nick Confessore’s reporting into the White House’s effort to woo Wall Street donors pissed off about Dodd-Frank seems to strongly indicate that Romney is now the favored candidate of the financial services community. Romney continues to have large, obvious vulnerabilities, but I wouldn’t write him off in a multi-candidate race.
One relevant question it would be interesting to see some reporting on is whether or not there’s a substantial number of lower-level Republican elected officials who privately agree with the David Frum view that Fox News and talk radio hosts have come to wield too much party over the movement. Obviously a small fish — a state senator, a mayor, a freshman member of Congress in a PVI D+1 House seat — isn’t going to want to pipe up vocally with that view. But these kinds of minor league elites have a big role to play as the party decides, and it’s not clear that the folks with the biggest megaphones in the national press actually speak for them.