Obviously, not all of these people are going to try, and still others will likely emerge. Sometimes after losing two consecutive presidential contests, parties become more pragmatic and move toward the center. Other times, they double down on ideology. Logic would argue for a GOP move toward a center-right nominee for 2016, but it is clear that the passion has been on the right; witness Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Perry, and Santorum each having been front-runners at different points last cycle, while Jon Huntsman never got a glance and the party seemed reluctant to settle on Mitt Romney.
Apparently Cook, no friend to conservatives, thinks that John McCain and Mitt Romney were not “center-right” candidates. If they weren’t – and at one point not so long ago, McCain was actually considering jumping to the Democrat party – I don’t know what Cook would consider “center-right” – Hillary Clinton, maybe.
The point is that the GOP has run “center right candidates” in the last four presidential cycles – George W. Bush twice, in which he lost the popular vote to the Democrat, and barely squeaked past an arguably treasonous Democrat candidate in the second, and then McCain, who got trounced, and Mitt Romney, who was likewise soundly defeated.
So turn it around – instead of “doubling down” on moderate center right mush, why not try something new, like an actual liberty-minded conservative?