I really have no idea what Newt/Rick/Ron’s endgame might be. That they will not win is a foregone conclusion, specifically in the case of Newt and Paul. Gingrich, at best, will help Romney in that he’ll be taking a lot of Santorum’s potential votes. Paul I can understand is largely fighting for his movement more than for the nomination.
What’s most puzzling is that I cannot imagine any of them rallying behind Romney come the general election. Santorum has already gone on record as saying that Obama would be better than Romney. That’s a statement made with no plan B; no way of backing up a bit in the event that he doesn’t win. It seems as though the primary race has been every bit as venomous as we’d expected the general to be.
Will they be able to take the podium and rally behind the nominee? Will the Republican party be able to unite after spending all of this time outright skewering each other to the point that Obama could just run ads playing their own statements verbatim and finish up with “even his own party doesn’t want XXX to win”? Or will they be struck with collective amnesia and act as though it never happened? I just don’t know.