From my friend David Frist over at AHI, a piece on "Real Clear Politics."
An important factor in lengthening the candidate roster and also making a quick winnowing unlikely is a long decline in political discipline among conservatives, who for many decades have dominated the Republican electorate. One notable result of this indiscipline is trouble judging who is most worth backing in a presidential race – the proliferation of fuzzy thinking about who is most likely to win a general election, remain true to conservative principles, and deliver for conservatives as president. This situation results from at least two causes. One is conservatives' and libertarians' ambivalent attitude toward power and therefore toward practical, as distinct from merely expressive, politics. The other is their long record of frustration with presidential power and federal authority.