The Conservative Identity Crisis

America's political conservatives have long been a blended family with different strains, beliefs and priorities. Can they unite this year to defeat a President they all agree must go?

Photo-Illustration by TIME / Digital Zoo / Getty Images

Waiting for the conservative base is the campaign-trail version of Waiting for Godot. Confusing plot, but audiences still find it gripping. For months we've heard that Mitt Romney, a former governor of liberal Massachusetts, could not win the Republican presidential nomination because the conservative base would rise up to oppose him. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania promised to deliver the CB after the Iowa caucuses. Instead he lost three primaries in a row. Newt Gingrich's thunderous win in South Carolina seemed to herald the CB's arrival. Nope. Now Romney has survived another existential crisis by sweeping the Florida primary on Jan. 31....

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