In interviews this week with nearly a dozen committee members — the people who comprise the most active and powerful core of the party apparatus — nearly all expressed deep skepticism about a third Romney White House bid. The sentiment was unambigious: The GOP needs to find a new candidate to carry the party past its painful 2012 loss and back to the White House.

“He had a great opportunity last time and I personally want a fresh face,” said Roger Villere, the Louisiana Republican Party chairman. “What’s going to be different this time?”

“I have not detected a groundswell of support for him,” added Rob Gleason, the Pennsylvania GOP chairman.