Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Senator's Strings Cut?

I've blogged quite a bit about Senator George LeMieux (R-Crist), and whether Charlie Crist's apparent immanent departure from the GOP nomination contest might affect LeMieux's votes in the Senate.  I haven't, however, posted anything about another intriguing case.  Senator Bob Bennett is apparently in deep trouble for his own renomination.  As David Weigel explains, under Utah rules if any candidate receives 60% of the vote at the state party convention, that's it: that candidate is the nominee, and the primary election is canceled.   And it seems that polling of the delegates indicates that it's a real possibility that first-time candidate Mike Lee might be able to do that   We'll know on May 8; if Lee can't shut the thing down, it goes to a primary on June 22.

Bob Bennett, a second-generation Senator, has always seemed to me to be about as close to the ideal regular conservative Republican as you can get, but for whatever reasons Utah Republicans might be ready to give him the boot.  My question: how will he react?  Unlike LeMieux, he gives (as far as I know) absolutely no hint of having any liberal inclinations, so it's hard to believe that freedom from electoral constraints would push him to the left.  On the other hand, he certainly would have a motive for sticking it to Republicans: revenge.  The guy will be 77 by January, so it's not as if he'll be bucking for an ambassadorship from the next GOP president...

I'm not predicting anything.  Just saying that if he is defeated on May 8 or on June 22, it might be worth keeping an eye on how he reacts.

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