The whole point of the Tea Party is that we no longer have to vote for RINOs, at least at the primary level. I highly doubt that Romney would be able to get the nomination. The enthusiasm and energy within the Republican Party is with the Tea Partiers, and they will not go for Romney. While Republicans almost always go for a candidate that is familiar, who has been vetted by previous campaigns (George W. Bush was the only Republican to get the nomination on his first try since Goldwater), many of the previous crop will not be acceptable to the Tea Partiers, and I believe that they will be decisive in this next election. If they play, we win. If not, we don't. So the question is, who will they support?
First, they will want someone with a proven track record of governance that appeals to their fiscally conservative nature. That excludes Romney and, to a lesser degree, Huckabee. Giuliani probably has the most conservative record fiscally, but his socially liberal policies will alienate too many Tea Partiers. That leaves Sarah Palin, who has the strongest ties to that Tea Party among any of the candidates, and because she was the veep candidate in 2008, the Republican establishment won't be able to claim that she is unprepared. Now, there are other contenders who might do very well, like Bobby Jindal, but they have a lot to overcome if they are going to match Palin's name recognition, support base and fundraising.
I like Jindal as Gov but not as Prez. His rebuttal to one of Obama's speeches was a dismal failure. He also dropped the ball when he promised that he would not oppose legislators doubling their salaries if they passed his reforms. They already make more than any state in the south with the exception of FL. He got a lot of heat from voters so he vetoed the pay raise. I do not think Jindal has the right stuff for Prez. or is suited for life in DC. He was previously appointed to a health care position there.