Mitt Romney fails to win Utah Senate nomination outright

Mitt Romney, former GOP presidential candidate in 2012, came in second place at the Utah GOP convention's Senate nominating contest, forcing a June primary against state Rep. Mike Kennedy.

Romney, who had been undecided about a Senate run until recently, failed to win 50% of the vote, losing by a few tenths of a percentage to Kennedy.

The Hill:

In the final round of voting at the party's convention, state Rep. Mike Kennedy (R) won 50.88 percent of the vote, with Romney following with 49.12 percent.

Because neither candidate secured 60 percent, the two will head to a June statewide Republican primary.

Romney and Kennedy are running to succeed retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch(R).

Saturday's defeat was a surprising turn for Romney, whose national profile far exceeds Kennedy's and who could count on a strong donor network and the endorsement of prominent Republicans, including Hatch and President Trump.

When he made his bid official, Romney was considered a virtual lock for the GOP nomination and was not expected to face a serious primary challenger.

Kennedy was first elected to the Utah state House in 2012.

Romney's Senate bid, in contrast, is only the latest step in a long political career.

A former Massachusetts governor, he ran for president in both 2008 and 2012. He failed to secure the nomination his first time, losing to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but won the GOP contest in 2012. He fell to former President Obama in the general election.

In 2016, Romney made waves again when he urged Republicans to oppose Trump. He called Trump a "fraud" who lacked the character to be president.

To anyone who's been paying attention to Republican party politics since Donald Trump was elected, this is not a suprise. The GOP has undergone a transformation - especially at the grass roots level - and a politician like Romney, despite his prominence, is going against the tide.

In fact, it's Romney's familiarity that may be his biggest handicap. The former Massachusetts governor earned a reputation for moderate governance, despite his "conversion" to conservatism in 2012. This is poison to many GOP primary voters, and while Romney may eke out a victory in June and coast to an easy win in the mid terms, his day - and the day of Republicans like him - has already passed.

Romney has many fine qualities that stood him well in the business world, where he was very successful. But he was never a very good politician and was exposed as such by Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

Mitt Romney, former GOP presidential candidate in 2012, came in second place at the Utah GOP convention's Senate nominating contest, forcing a June primary against state Rep. Mike Kennedy.

Romney, who had been undecided about a Senate run until recently, failed to win 50% of the vote, losing by a few tenths of a percentage to Kennedy.

The Hill:

In the final round of voting at the party's convention, state Rep. Mike Kennedy (R) won 50.88 percent of the vote, with Romney following with 49.12 percent.

Because neither candidate secured 60 percent, the two will head to a June statewide Republican primary.

Romney and Kennedy are running to succeed retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch(R).

Saturday's defeat was a surprising turn for Romney, whose national profile far exceeds Kennedy's and who could count on a strong donor network and the endorsement of prominent Republicans, including Hatch and President Trump.

When he made his bid official, Romney was considered a virtual lock for the GOP nomination and was not expected to face a serious primary challenger.

Kennedy was first elected to the Utah state House in 2012.

Romney's Senate bid, in contrast, is only the latest step in a long political career.

A former Massachusetts governor, he ran for president in both 2008 and 2012. He failed to secure the nomination his first time, losing to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but won the GOP contest in 2012. He fell to former President Obama in the general election.

In 2016, Romney made waves again when he urged Republicans to oppose Trump. He called Trump a "fraud" who lacked the character to be president.

To anyone who's been paying attention to Republican party politics since Donald Trump was elected, this is not a suprise. The GOP has undergone a transformation - especially at the grass roots level - and a politician like Romney, despite his prominence, is going against the tide.

In fact, it's Romney's familiarity that may be his biggest handicap. The former Massachusetts governor earned a reputation for moderate governance, despite his "conversion" to conservatism in 2012. This is poison to many GOP primary voters, and while Romney may eke out a victory in June and coast to an easy win in the mid terms, his day - and the day of Republicans like him - has already passed.

Romney has many fine qualities that stood him well in the business world, where he was very successful. But he was never a very good politician and was exposed as such by Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.