They should have nominated Ron Paul.
Here is the reasoning behind this statement.
1) He would still carry the republican base vote. Even the social conservatives (i.e.. evangelists), there is know way that they would ever vote for Obama.
2) The fiscal conservatives would be behind him on most of his economic policies. Except for possibly his beliefs on defense spending, but who else would they vote for. In their eyes he would still be the better choice than Barry O.
3) He would have reached far more moderates than Romney. Instead of those people voting for Obama or a third party candidate they would have voted for Paul.
4) He just reaches more people and has always been consistent about who he is and what he believes in. Romney changes his beliefs depending on who he is talking to and was ultimately a big reason why he lost.
Now i understand that the republicans wouldn't nominate this man because, for them, it's all or nothing. But the harsh reality is, like life, politics is just a series of compromises. If you can't be flexible at all then you will never get anywhere. I just don't see a person that is socially conservative and fiscally conservative ever getting elected again in this country. The demographics are just changing to rapidly for that to be plausible. Every year there are more minorities voting and less evangelists voting. Which ultimately is causing these guys to fall short.