Yesterday in a forum I frequent, an interesting question was posed, would Republicans accept a pro-choice Presidential candidate in the 2012 election? Here was my response...
What's important to consider is that the 2012 election will be first and foremost a referendum on Barack Obama. With a friendly Congress and power to manage the country as he sees fit, he will own every issue and the debate will lie squarely on what he has done and accomplished.
So the question isn't necessarily, "do you like the alternative better", but instead, "do you want someone else or not"... The difference in questions is slight, but important.
I think it's safe to say conservatives will have had enough of Obama after four years. That doesn't mean they will support a pro-choice candidate in the primaries, but if one somehow wins the nomination, a constructionist, but pro-choice candidate likely would be acceptable to the vast majority.
I think what will be most important to voters is one thing: can the nominee effectively articulate Obama's negatives?
Also, GOPers may be a little envious of having an intellectual of sorts(at least in perception) as a candidate. Cliches won't work. We want someone that can explain why the stimulus was a bad idea. Why the public option is unacceptable for health care. Why surrendering on missile defense is dangerous.
So, who are the options? My top three in no particular order are MS Gov. Haley Barbour, IN Gov. Mitch Daniels and LA Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Each has their weaknesses, but each also has far greater strengths.