Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) has lost at his state Republican convention — officially defeating him for re-nomination without a primary. He is the first incumbent Senator to lose re-election in 2010, a Republican driven from office by the anti-establishment conservative insurgency.
The results of the second ballot, courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune: Businessman Tim Bridgewater 37%, attorney Mike Lee 36%, and the incumbent Sen. Bennett 27%. There will now be a final round of voting pitting Bridgewater against Lee, to see whether one of them can get 60% of the delegate vote and thus be nominated outright. If neither receives 60% of the delegate vote, the race will go to a primary on June 22.
It should of course be noted that Utah is one of the most conservative, Republican-friendly states in the nation. The last time it voted Democratic for president was in the 1964 Lyndon Johnson landslide; the last time it elected a Democratic Senator was 1970; and it voted for John McCain in 2008 by a margin of 63%-34%. So with that said, the eventual GOP nomineeÂ will be heavily favored to keep the seat in Republican hands.
Late Update: There will be a primary. Bridgewater took 57.28%, short of the magic 60%, to Lee’s 42.72%.