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And Then There Were Three -- GOP 2012 Race Is Down to Romney, Cain and Gingrich

Here is where the 2012 GOP presidential race is now: It is a three-way race between Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.

All the other candidates are finished – done – over – forget them – don’t waste time even talking about them as they cannot win the nomination.

In fact, it isn’t even a sure shot that any of the Big Three can or will win the nomination, either.

OK, let’s look at this race in some more depth:

1) Romney just cannot grow his support. We have seen his act for six years; his supporters are there for him and no one else is buying what Mitt is selling. 

Ask yourself this question: how can a man who gets about 20% of GOP voters to support him – against a very, very weak field -- and cannot get any more -- ever be the nominee of that political party?

2) The GOP is a southern/Bible Belt-based party; Romney is a northerner.

3) The GOP is heavily evangelical Christian; Romney is a Mormon. And many Evangelicals believe that Mormonism is a “cult.”

4) Oh, yes, one other thing when it comes to Mormonism: in a Gallup survey last June, 22% of American voters said they would “never” vote for a Mormon. 

So, does the GOP want to begin a general election campaign against a very beatable President Obama with a candidate who has one out of five voters off the table before the campaign even begins?

5) The Tea Party now dominates the GOP; Romney and the Tea Party have never seen eye to eye.

6) So, with all that baggage, pundits still somehow proclaim him the front-runner? Why exactly?

7) Let’s face it: he doesn’t fit the Republican Party of 2012!

8) The Cain Fade has begun – especially among female voters. The multiple sexual harassment claims have bled female support away from Cain and he is now utterly un-electable in a general election. 

In fact, a Cain-Obama election would give Obama the opportunity to win the biggest landslide in American history. 

Only conservative men would vote for Cain; all the rest – women – even GOP women - independents and Democrats would – even if they have to hold their nose – vote for another four years of Obama.

9) Newt – simply on the basis of the debates and the Perry and Cain self-destructions – is now the latest anti-Romney possibility.

10) However, Newt, too, is un-electable in a general election – although not quite as much so as Cain.

11) Newt’s three marriages, his decades-long hypocrisy – the latest being the $300,000 he got paid by Fannie Mae and then lied about – and his overall lack of self-discipline make him a terrible candidate, too.

So where does that leave the race?

With under two months until the Iowa Caucuses commence on January 3rd, it is conceivable that the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is not even yet in the race.

Yes, it is possible that Romney – as he did in 2008 – falters coming out of the gate. Cain and Newt stumble along. And no one captures the hearts – or votes – of enough GOP primary voters to take off.

At that point – late winter/early spring – is it possible some new candidates come into the race?

Yes.

Why?

Because 2012 is still winnable. Obama can be defeated. -- Just not by the current crop of second-raters running for the GOP nomination.

Former New York Republican Congressman John LeBoutillier is co-host of "Campaign Confidential" which can be seen every Monday at 2 p.m. ET  on "FoxNews.com Live."

Former New York Republican Congressman John LeBoutillier is a Fox News contributor. He appears along with pollstersand  fellow contributors Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell on "Political Insiders" which can be see Sunday afternoons on Fox News Channel and every Monday at 10:30 am ET on "FoxNews.com Live."