Mitt Romney, with President Trump's backing, the blessing to leave Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R), and Republican popularity as a presidential candidate in 2012, appeared en route to Utah's US headquarters. Senate candidate
Delegates to the GOP Congress denied Romney their nomination, as Mike Kennedy, a threefold state representative who had entered the competition a few weeks earlier, decimated the establishment's favorite by 50.88 percent of the vote to 49.12 percent.
The close result that secured Romney and Kennedy in the primaries of June 26, according to Romney advocates, is a mere speed threshold in his political revival.
Nonetheless, the rejection of the delegates was a setback, underscoring that Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who made Utah his primary residence only five years ago, has not yet made the sale with Republican voters. Kennedy had portrayed himself as a real Utahan, portraying Romney as a well-established interlopper, an attack that came in among some Republican delegates.
"We need a candidate who lived, worked and raised a family in the state of Utah," Kennedy said last month when he entered the race. At the congress, he embraced a David and Goliath settlement and presented himself to the delegates as "their stone ready to be flung upon the enemies of liberty."
The bigger hurdles for Romney are his well-made problems with Trump and his changing opinions. In 201
At (19659009) "Some people I've talked to today have said this is a 'David vs. Goliath' race, but they're wrong," Romney told the delegates on Saturday. "I'm not Goliath Washington, DC is Goliath I'm your neighbor."
The Republicans of Utah, who had long expected Romney to run for the Senate, said he was still in one strong position to win after Saturday.
The first Mormon to win the nomination for a major party, Romney won 72.6 percent of Utah votes in 2012, the best since Republican since Ronald Reagan's landslide of 1984. Even before Romney officially made his bid in the Senate, polls showed he could lead any potential Democrat candidate by almost 50 percentage points.
"There is no really clear way for Kennedy to win this primaries," said Boyd Matheson, former chief of staff Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and the editor of Utah's Deseret News. "He has a 60-day sprint against Romney, and he starts with a little name – that's no problem for Romney."
According to reports from the Federal Election Commission, Romney had raised $ 1.68 million for the brief campaign; Kennedy had raised something over $ 289,000.
Nevertheless, many Utah Republicans expected Saturday that Romney would miss out – including some in the Romney camp. Officials said delegates had hoped to force an area code, increase turnout for other races and send a message about the Convention process – but Romney had not ruled in June.
Republican delegates also usually tend to the right of the primary voter and have disturbed the "founding" of the party in several races.
In 2010, Senator Robert F. Bennett, with three terms in office, won only 25.9 percent of the congressional vote, ending his political career and founding a primary school, which was later won by Lee. In 2012, Hatch fell just short of the 60 percent support it needed to prevent primary care; He went on to win this elementary school with 66.5 percent of the vote. In 2016, Governor Gary R. Herbert lost the congressional vote to a conservative challenger; he won the junior elementary school by 43.5 percentage points.
Republicans familiar with Romney's election campaign said he had difficulty overcoming two factors – one of which could define the baseline. First, he had announced his intention to compete in headquarters and to collect signatures to attend the rally. That alienated some conservative delegates.
The bigger obstacle is his relationship with Trump.
In March 2016, Romney Trump deeply condemned Salt Lake City, urging Republican voters to campaign for one of the candidates to stop Trump in their country's primaries.
"He plays the members of the American public for the suckers." Romney said. "He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat."
In November, Republicans were briefly worried that Trump would lose Utah's electoral votes, as Evan McMullin, a member of the Mormon Church, gained steam as an independent candidate. In the end, Trump won just 45.1 percent of Utah's presidential election, good enough for the win, but less than any Republican presidential candidate in that state had won since 1992.
Since then Trump had solidified the support of the Utah Republicans – including Romney. In November 2016, he had dinner with the new president and told reporters that he had "growing hope" for his government and was open to joining her as foreign minister. He was passed over for this job, but in February he thanked the President for approving his offer in the Senate.
During the election campaign in Utah, Romney dropped his criticism of Trump. In March, he told Utah voters that he is "more hawk than even the president" on immigration policy. At the congress, Romney never mentioned Trump's name. Instead, he focused on his work to rescue the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and conservative issues where he joined forces with the president.
"Thoughtless college students seek exclusion from our First Amendment," Romney said. A former Supreme Court Court calls for the repeal of the second Amendment, and the federal powers reserved by the 10th Amendment are trampled on by federal assault. "
Kennedy provided little contrast, but won the delegates, by attacking Republican compromises in Congress. He promised to lift the Affordable Care Act – a question that many Republicans have given up and that has ruined the 2012 Romney.
"I live on a budget, you live on a budget, our government should live on a budget," Kennedy said.
He named the resident of the Oval Office and promised to "support President Trump" if he came to Washington. Romney, who had not quite satisfied the Pro Trump delegates, spoke more closely. In a Saturday interview with CNN, Romney dodged a question as to whether he would back up Trump's 2020 re-election bid.
"As someone with some political experience, if I support someone, I want to know what Utah is for and what help would it give us in Utah as key priorities," he said.