“The battle to take over the Republican Party begins today and the failed Republican leadership should resign,” said Richard Viguerie, a top activist and chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.

He said the lesson on Romney’s loss to President Obama on Tuesday is that the GOP must “never again” nominate a “a big government established conservative for president.”

Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots said Romney failed to make the kind of strong case for conservatism that would have won the election.

She described Romney as a “weak, moderate candidate hand-picked by the country club elite Republican establishment.”

“They didn’t see a clear distinction so they went with what they know,” she said of voters.

“It should have been a landslide if Romney had run as a true conservative,” said Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center.