Let's get one thing straight: I despise Barack Obama. In my eyes, he does not possess a single quality as a politician that appeals to me. I think he's a liar, a cheater, a bully, and epitomizes everything bad that comes to mind when I think about Chicago politics. His "Hope & Change" mantra in 2008 has turned out to be nothing more than a campaign slogan that millions of people bought into, but he has failed miserably. In a nutshell, I would vote for virtually anyone but this charlatan in November.
That being said, the Republicans clearly have a problem. Because none of the potential nominees have been able to ingratiate him or herself to Republicans, we've seen most of them, at some point over the past few months, lead the polls among GOP voters.
From the beginning of the campaign for the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney has been the chosen one. But the flip-flopping of leaders among GOPers reinforces the fact that Romney just doesn't have what Conservative voters are looking for in a nominee. I'm not talking died-in-the-wool, hardcore Conservatives, I'm talking moderate Republicans who believe in less government intervention in our lives.
Personally, I've never cared for Romney, and I am the epitome of the Republican voter who has oscillated between virtually every GOP candidate at some point during the cycle (with the exception of Paul, who's just a nutbag). I was with Cain, I was with Newt, I was with Perry, I was with Santorum, and I was with Huntsman. The one guy I've never been with is Romney. He doesn't do it for me. Clearly I'm not alone.
Just yesterday, four national polls released show Santorum either leading or tied with Romney among GOP voters. From virtual obscurity, Santorum is overtaken Romney. While I would love to hypothesize that it has something to do with Santorum's conservative philosophies, the reality is that Santorum's surge has as much to do with GOP voter's lack of satisfaction with what Romney brings to the table.
In the end, I'll vote for the GOP candidate that gets the nomination against Obama, because Obama does not deserve another term. If that's Romney, so be it. But Romney, once considered a shoe-in for the GOP nomination, clearly has a significant disconnect with Republican voters, especially conservative Republicans. Whether or not he can bridge that gap remains to be seen.