I almost HOPE they get a guy whose a pretty staunch conservative in the next go round, if for no other reason than to see what actually happens. What's it seeming affect on the Conservative turnout? How much different do the numbers of independents, democrats, and various minorities ATUALLY end up looking?
I don't actually think he would've been a harder sell outside of the party. While he did have less name recognition than Romney, that isn't a huge issue to me. One, because one the general starts up people start paying attention and name recognition will expand greatly simply for being in the running. Two, I believe there was a fair bit of NEGATIVE name recognition with Romney, if not MORE negative than positive.I am not so sure he would have won against Obama. Romney won the primaries, when it is all said and done, because more people supported him than they other candidates. He would have had a higher hurdle to overcome than Romney within the party, and with lower name recognition, been a harder sell outside the party. It is not impossible, and we will never know for sure, but it seems like the idea that a less popular republican would win where a more popular one didn't seems counter intuitive to say the least.
Romney was hardly a loved figure by the base, so I don't believe Huntsman...once you hit the general and the aternative was Obama...would've done worse with them. I think Huntsman had a far better government record to run on in terms of job creation than Romney, which was something I think that could've played big in this election cycle. He also would've allowed Obamacare to become more of a factor as the healthcare reforms passed in his state tracked closer to what congressional republicans wanted rather than having to say "Well, it was good for massachusetts but not necessarily the country". I also think that the fact that Obama gave him a spot in his administration, and as ambassador to one of our largely international contacts no less, greatly would've hindered the ability to successfully attack him as some kind of right wing crazy that can't be trusted.
I can see why some would think he wouldn't be a shoo in, but I absolutely think he would've taken it barring a general election strategy as bad as his primary one. Which, sadly, is a legitimate concern.