The most surprising thing about this year’s Republican state convention wasn’t that Mitt Romney failed to secure the Senate nomination; it’s that people were surprised by it.

The days after the April 21 convention brought headlines like “Romney Loses GOP Convention, Derails Senate Coronation,” “Romney Forced into Primary” and “Mitt Romney Fails to Secure Utah GOP Nomination.” These are all a bit breathless for an outcome that most, including Romney, expected.

Romney was never supposed to win the nomination at the convention outright. In fact, by getting 49 percent on the last ballot, he probably overperformed. The party’s most conservative voters populate the state’s Republican conventions. These are the same conservatives who denied then-U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett the nomination in 2010 because he worked across the aisle, something convention delegates treated like an act of treason. These are the same conservatives who threatened U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2006 and 2012 because they think he is too moderate.

The convention process began with caucuses on March 20; just 38 days after Romney announced his candidacy. The process of getting supporters

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