WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican activists are incredulous: Why can't Republican Mitt Romney seem to break open a tight race with President Barack Obama given the nation's sluggish economy and conservative enthusiasm to beat the Democrat?

Thousands of activists are attending the annual Values Voters Summit this weekend. In interviews, they say Romney should be far ahead of a president they are anxious to beat in November. They say the Republican Party will need to do some "soul-searching" if the GOP loses this fall.

The activists are core to the Republican base and say they plan to help Romney as best they can. But they are frustrated with their candidate's efforts as recent polls show Obama with a slight edge and an advantage in key swing states.

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