I don’t have an answer to the question in my post title. All I have is some limited data showing that, while conservatives don’t like Romney, and favor either Gingrich or Santorum, they have a sneaking suspicion that only Romney can win.
I’m thinking that sometimes, as the Victorians said, it’s possible to be “too smart by half.” Trying to predict what voters will do in November is fruitless, because so much can happen between now and then. Decide what matters to you, and pick the candidate who meshes most closely with those values.
And then, for the approximately 60% of us who don’t get our chosen candidate, hold your nose, and vote to get Obama out of office.