By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog

TAMPA— After a year and a half of the Republican presidential nomination process, it seems that the inevitable nominee will be nominated at the Tampa Bay Times Forum next week.

Clinging to the title of presumptive nominee, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney will take to the floor at the Republican National Convention to shed that name and attempt to unite the 18 million voices that cast votes in the primaries, not always in his favor.

The many months of attempting to find the “anti-Romney,” the candidate without a large state government health care plan or a more liberal governing record in his past, seem to have been unsuccessful.

As foretold by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat in November 2011, the political press at that time was ready to commit to nearly a year of avoiding Romney’s ‘inevitability,’ engaging in an “extended masquerade, designed to persuade credulous readers and excitable viewers that the Republican presidential nomination is actually up for grabs.”

In March 2012,after the endorsement of future vice presidential nominee U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Republican strategists and party bosses felt the same.

“This is evidence of Mitt Romney transitioning from being the frontrunner to the presumptive nominee,” senior Republican strategist Doug Heye told CNN.

Read more: Florida Watchdog