The first casualty of the 2010 primary season, Senator Bennett also seemed like one of the most unlikely. He had high vote ratings from conservative-leaning advocacy groups like the US Chamber of Commerce, and he strolled to victory in 2004 with 69 percent of the vote.
But Utah’s Republican primary voters took exception to Bennett’s “yes” vote on the Troubled Asset Relief Program – the bank bailout – in 2008 and his partnership with liberal Sen. Ron Wyden (D) of Oregon on a health-care reform plan. (The Wyden-Bennett plan never even came to a vote.) At the Utah Republican convention on May 8, Bennett finished a distant third in the Senate balloting behind two political novices with “tea party” support, thus failing to qualify for the June primary.