In a remarkable turn of events, Utah Republicans have denied incumbent Senator Bob Bennett a spot on the 2010 ballot. Even Mitt Romney couldn’t save him.
Senator Robert F. Bennett, an 18-year veteran Republican who had been seeking a fourth term this fall, was stripped of his party’s nomination on Saturday at the state convention, becoming one of the first Congressional victims of the surging ferment of discontent from the Tea Party-infused Republican right.
Mr. Bennett, 76, was outmatched in delegate votes by two relative newcomers despite an enthusiastic endorsement and convention speech from Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and local Utah hero, and a political pedigree of deep Mormon roots and public service.
Given that it’s Utah we’re talking about, it doesn’t seem likely that this development represents a huge pickup opportunity for the Democrats. It’s also conceivable (though unlikely) that Bennett will wage a write-in campaign to keep his seat;
if he were to do so, one imagines that the Democrat’s chances would improve. (Never mind that last bit – apparently he can’t run as an independent, though he could run as a write-in in the GOP primary.)