The less probable outcome is that Jeb Bush would abandon a year of disclaimers to accept a draft in a brokered convention. But there are two reasons he might. The first is that an Obama landslide would devastate conservatism enough that it might be irreparable for a generation. One doesn’t have to subscribe to Gingrich’s Manichean rhetoric to concede that an Obama sweep would, for the first time in 76 years, institute government-centered, redistributionist economics as the country’s central governing philosophy. It would be, after all, the agenda that Obama and congressional Democrats had campaigned on, in contrast to the deliberately muted, ideologically vague platforms that elected Carter, Clinton, and Obama in 2008; or the growth-oriented, business friendly liberalism that JFK and LBJ embodied.
Second, Bush would have a pathway to victory in November. His brand of reform-oriented conservatism might actually be his party’s only pathway: Unlike Romney, whose leadership of Massachusetts produced one signature achievement — a hodgepodge of a health-care law that he likely wishes he could take back — Bush’s legacy is an issue that Republicans ought to own but are ignoring, education reform. He also turned Florida into a national laboratory for controlling health-care costs and reining in medical tort liability, both soft spots in Obama’s record.
Shortly after Gingrich's South Carolina victory, an online petition was created in support of a Mitch Daniels run. The Daily Caller reports it was started by former members of the prematurely established group Students for Daniels. The petition is off to a slow start, currently having 6,776 signatures.
Matthew Miller of Race 4 12 pushes back on the Daniels petition and makes the case for a draft of Bobby Jindal:
Daniels makes little sense as a late entrant. He has poor name recognition and a mediocre story, little cache with the grassroots, and is every bit as bloodless as Romney. If by some miracle he managed to drag us to a convention, it’s hard to see how he’d represent any sort of compromise between the disparate factions of the GOP...
...Like Romney and Daniels, [Jindal] has a first-class demeanor; like Newt, a roving intellect. Like Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, he would be embarking on an historic candidacy, instantly catapulting him into contention (he would both be the youngest President in history and the first Indian-American President). And he marries the regional biases of the GOP’s base (which prefers Southerners) to the cultural biases of the GOP’s establishment (which prefers big brains from big schools).
He is such an obvious choice for a draft movement; so clearly superior to the other possibilities; so much more likely to actually emerge victorious from the sausage-making messiness that is a convention fight, it’s a wonder anyone else is even in discussion.