Liberal television host Rachel Maddow had an excellent segment the other night analyzing former Governor Mitt Romney's somewhat rocky relationship with others in the Republican party.
Back in 2007, the incumbent President of the United States, George W. Bush, was term limited. Vice President Dick Cheney said he had no interest in running for President. It was the first time in a very long time that both parties had an open slot in the presidential nominating process. Maddow played a clip from a debate hosted by ABC News. ABC set it up so that the Democrats had their debate first, and then they had the Republicans come out on stage and switched spots. She noted that most of the candidates were shacking hands and making small chat, but Mitt Romney just kind of stood there. No one talking to him. No one shaking his hand.
She then ran through several news reports, as well as segments from the book Game Change that documented the 2008 election, about the open disdain many GOP presidential candidates and their staffers had for Romney. Maddow often emphasized that they wouldn't even refer to Romney by name, but would say something like "We must beat HIM" or "We can't allow HIM to win."
I've found it interesting that despite the open (or thinly veiled) disdain some Republicans have expressed, Romney seems to have a consistent amount of support. He's generally in the mid-teens at the absolute worst, and mid 20s at best. Most of the other candidates seem to have bubbles that eventually burst, or just perpetually stay below 5%.
It'll be interesting to see if, since several primaries may be moving up much earlier than usual, if any of the lower-tier candidates will drop out, and see where their support goes. I'm sure Romney would love it if former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson or former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman would drop out since their supporters would likely go to him, whereas Herman Cain or Rick Perry would really like it if Newt Gingrich or Michelle Bachmann would drop out so that their base would expand and become a bit more stable.