Anti-Incumbent Fever Could Take Down GOP's Bennett
It's not just a problem for Democrats this year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2010 7:19 AM CDT
In this May 13, 2009, photo, Sen. Bob Bennett R-Utah, walks to the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill.   (Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – Republican Sen. Bob Bennett—darling of the NRA and grandson of a Mormon Church president—suddenly may not be conservative enough for ultraconservative Utah. Bennett could become the first 2010 election casualty among incumbent US senators if he fails to win at least 40% of the 3,500 delegates at the state GOP's convention May 8. His struggle to do that proves that incumbency isn't just a problem for Democrats this year.

"It's hitting just about every incumbent," Bennett said in a recent interview. For many Republicans "that's really good because most of the incumbents are Democrats. But in this state, there is no Democrat to get really mad at in this fashion, so they get mad at me." Bennett's list of perceived political transgressions is long: He voted for the bank bailout, co-authored an alternative health care reform bill, and has already broken his promise, made 18 years ago, to only serve 12 years.