With much speculation that on and off campaign front-runner Mitt Romney may be on a course for a defeat in his homestate of Michigan to Rick Santorum, who has drawn the ire of feminist groups and progressives for comments made by the candidate and supporters in regards to social issues, pundits and some within the party have talked about the entrance of new candidates or a brokered convention. The rumors are additionally fueled by polling throughout the campaign which has suggested dissatisfaction with the choices Republicans have to vote for, and back of the pack candidates like Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul having made it clear that they plan to continue their campaigns to the convention.
When asked on NBC's Meet the Press if he thought another candidate could still enter the race, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan said he doesn't see how it could happen; "It's just too late, I think."
However, POLITICO reported Monday that there are once again growing calls for Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to enter the race.
"Indiana GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb, one of Gov. Daniels’s closest advisers, revealed to POLITICO that 'the whispers have become shouts, the knocks on [Daniels’s] door have become fist pounding.'
'Republicans are fretting the four dancing now can’t beat Obama in the fall — so their national talent search continues,' Holcomb said, adding that the pleas had come from 'the adults' in the party."
POLITICO writes on the possibility of a"contested" or "brokered" convention:
"There is also the scenario, first reported by POLITICO’s Mike Allen, in which a late entrant (like, say, a Daniels or a Christie) arrives after Super Tuesday on March 6, which is still before the filing deadlines in some of the most delegate-rich states such as California and New Jersey.
A document is circulating among several Washington Republicans titled 'GOP Delegate Count Will Build Slowly,' noting how many delegates are still up for grabs after Super Tuesday.
A 'contested' convention could result, meaning the party heads into August without a clear nominee. A late entrant could try to amass enough delegates to win the nomination, given that only 34 percent of the total delegates are in play in contests before Super Tuesday. But they might have to pick up the remainder in a contested convention where delegates would still be up for grabs.
A candidate entering under that scenario — and it would mean amassing the necessary ballot-access petitions, which can take weeks, in an extremely short amount of time — would make a play by winning delegates in post-Super Tuesday states and then heading into the convention where they could peel off delegates.
Then there is the 'brokered' convention, at which a new candidate could essentially be airlifted in, and, through an arranged deal, awarded the right number of delegates. The notion of dropping in a candidate at the last minute strikes many as extreme and hard to imagine.
But a 'brokered' convention could also be the end result of a contested one, with power players uniting if no one agrees with a majority of delegates, or if no one can assemble a majority after the first few rounds of balloting."
The last time the GOP race was unsettled at convention time was in 1976, the last brokered convention for Republicans was in 1948. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a would be candidate often rumored to benefit from such a turn of a events, can't see it happening.
"I've heard it, but, man, that is an unbelievable scenario. It'd be really hard to achieve that," Bush told Fox News in a recent interview.
"I think it's about as remote as life on Pluto," George W. Bush's chief strategist Karl Rove told Fox.
A USA Today/Gallup Poll released Monday finds that 66 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning independents surveyed would prefer one of the four remain candidates secure the nomination before Tampa in August and are opposed to a brokered convention.
USA Today notes that 38 percent of all Americans predict Obama will definitely win in November; 22 percent say the Republican will win. In the middle, 32% say November's outcome depends on whom the Republicans nominate.
Among Democrats, more than two-thirds predict an Obama victory.