The 2012 presidential race is slipping away from Republicans

The Republican Party remains in a state of chaos — facing the increasingly realistic possibility of the first “brokered” convention in more than fifty years.

Mitt Romney — having won narrowly this weekend at CPAC and in Maine — is now turning his guns on Rick Santorum, whose resurgence last week in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota cost Romney his front-runner status yet again.

And none of the GOP contenders have offered positive messaging on why they should be president or produced detailed proposals for how they would get America going again, create jobs, revitalize the economy, balance the budget and restore America’s leadership in the world.

Meanwhile, the clear winner is President Obama — as evidenced by the latest poll numbers.

Indeed, the president appears to have dodged a bullet with his compromise on the contraception issue and has now put forth a budget that certainly hits all the right notes politically — speaking to short-term stimulus and long-term deficit reduction.

The president’s approval rating is up to 50 percent in the Washington Post/ABC News and Rasmussen polls, and he leads both Romney and Santorum by 6-10 points in the latest trial heats.

Put simply, the 2012 presidential race is slipping away from the Republicans.

And victory for President Obama will only grow more and more inevitable, unless the Republican contenders recognize that the nature of the race is fundamentally changing.

Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist and Fox News contributor. Schoen, who served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton, is author of several books, including the forthcoming “Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond” (Rowman and Littlefield). Follow him on Twitter @DouglasESchoen.