Jon Huntsman will make it official tomorrow and he’ll endorse Romney. His departure is just more evidence that the moderate/establishment wing is better at playing the political game than we are at this moment. There’s absolutely no reason why influential conservatives/Tea Partiers couldn’t have convinced Huntsman to stay in the race for the purpose of trolling Romney and taking away some of his vote. After all, the moderate/establishment wing was able to convince Michele Bachmann to stay in the race all the way through Iowa and it has been able to convince Perry to do likewise in South Carolina even though both decisions helped Mitt Romney.
Conservatives need to create incentives for people like Pataki, Huntsman, and Rudy Giuliani to get into the race and stay in the race so that the moderate/establishment vote is divided. It seems that the moderate/establishment wing was able to convince every conservative huckster and their mother to run and split the conserative/Tea Party vote while credible conservatives like Governor Palin didn’t enter. There are too many incentives for no-chance conservatives to get into the race and not enough incentivies for no-chance moderates to get into the race.
The best hope in the future is that we’ll have a conservative conservative who is so strong that it won’t matter how many conservative hucksters moderate and establishment Republicans are able to convince to get into the race for the purposes of splitting the vote. We need a conservative candidate who is strong enough to defeat and overcome the political advantages held by moderate and establishment Republicans.