Michael Grunwald thinks so:
If Huntsman or Romney wins the nomination, and then Obama wins the election, the GOP will quickly shift from “loosely tethered to reality” to “out of its freaking mind.” Remember, after its crushing defeat in 2008, the party faithful concluded that John McCain lost the election because he wasn’t conservative enough–and that George W. Bush lost his popularity because of his big spending. So the party moved even farther toward its right-wing base, casting away moderates like Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist and Michael Bloomberg. And its comeback victory in 2010 seemed to validate that strategy. A Huntsman or Romney defeat would just prove to the party that electoral salvation lies in ideological purity and rigid obstructionism, the kind of conclusion that already appeals to Tea Party activists who consider Obama some kind of tyrannical socialist usurper.
He’s got a point.