(CNN) – A Republican Senator predicted Friday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is likely to retain his Senate seat despite a challenge from Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.
Utah Sen. Bob Bennett made his prediction during an interview with the Associated Press, and added that the GOP may also falter in other competitive Senate races in Colorado and Kentucky.
"With the Tea Party creating the mischief that it is in Colorado, we may not win that seat. My sources in Nevada say with Sharron Angle there's no way Harry Reid loses in Nevada," Bennett told the Associated Press.
(CNN) – Republican Sen. Bob Bennett – the first incumbent senator this cycle to fall victim to a primary challenge – says his party isn't doing a good job of advancing substantive ideas.
"As I look out at the political landscape now, I find plenty of slogans on the Republican side, but not very many ideas," Bennett told The Ripon Society, a Republican think tank in Washington.
"The concern I have is that ideology and a demand for absolute party purity endangers our ability to govern once we get into office," Bennett also said in his speech Wednesday.
Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah is backing one of the two challengers who ended his bid for a fourth term in the Senate.
On Friday, Bennett confirmed that he's endorsing Tim Bridgewater in Utah's upcoming GOP primary. Bridgewater and Mike Lee finished first and second early last month at a state Republican party convention, advancing to the June 22 primary. Bennett finished third in the voting by delegates, which eliminated him from advancing to the primary and ended his chances of re-election. Bennett became the first sitting senator to go down to defeat in a primary season marked by a strong anti-incumbent sentiment.
"I've known Tim Bridgewater for more than a decade, and I am impressed by the fact that he, like me, brings a businessman approach to political issues," said Bennett, in a statement released Friday by the Bridgewater campaign.
Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah said he would not launch a write-in bid to keep his seat.
"I will not run a write-in campaign for the Senate race in Utah," Bennett told reporters Thursday.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after Bennett failed to garner enough Republican support at a state party convention to qualify for the primary ballot in next month's Utah primary. Facing significant anger aimed at Washington and at some of his past votes, Bennett was eliminated by the 3,500 delegates at the convention from seeking re-election as a Republican. He was the first incumbent to fall victim to the growing anti-Washington mood ahead of this year's midterm elections.
Bennett came in third in a second round of balloting at the party convention behind candidates Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee. In a final round of voting, neither Lee nor Bridgewater won 60 percent of the vote needed to win the nomination. They will now face each other in a primary election June 22.
"This has been the nastiest race that we have had for a party nomination in the history of the state of Utah, for a statewide office," said Bennett.
(CNN) - GOP Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah announced Thursday he will not seek his party's nomination as write-in candidate in next month's primary.
The announcement comes two weeks after Bennett failed to garner enough Republican support at the state convention to appear on the ballot.
Facing significant anger aimed at Washington and at some of his past votes, Bennett was eliminated from seeking re-election as a Republican, becoming the first incumbent to fall victim to the growing anti-Washington mood ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.
Bennett came in third in a second round of balloting at the state party convention behind more conservative candidates Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee. In a final round of voting, neither Lee nor Bridgewater won 60 percent of the vote needed to win the nomination. They will now face each other in a primary election June 22.
Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) – Facing significant anger aimed at Washington and at some of his past votes, Utah's Republican Sen. Robert Bennett was eliminated Saturday from seeking re-election to a fourth term, becoming the first incumbent to fall victim to the growing anti-Washington mood ahead of the 2010 mid-term elections.
Bennett came in third in a second round of balloting at the state party convention behind more conservative candidates Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee. Lee and Bridgewater now will face off in one final round of balloting to see if one can get 60 percent of the vote. If not, then they will face each other in a June primary.
Bridgewater garnered 37.42 percent of the vote while Lee got 35.99 percent. Bennett was eliminated with 26.59 percent of the vote.
Before the voting, Bennett told reporters "this is obviously a difficult political environment."
Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) – Facing significant anger aimed at Washington and at some of his past votes, Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah survived a first test at the state party convention Saturday. He still, however, must overcome large obstacles in order to stay alive in his quest for re-election.
Facing seven other more conservative candidates, Bennett has been the focus of withering criticism from members of his own party as well as Tea Party activists.
Surviving the first test, Bennett is one of the three contenders who garnered enough votes in the first round of balloting from the nearly 3500 delegates to move on to the next stage later Saturday. If any candidate gets 60 percent of the delegates' support in any round, that candidate becomes the nominee. If no candidate reaches that threshold, the top two vote getters will face-off in a June 22 primary.
The candidate receiving the most support on the first ballot was Mike Lee, a lawyer running on a platform of strict adherence to the constitution and limited government. Both Lee and businessman Tim Bridgewater, who have significant support from Tea Party activists in the state, got more votes than Bennett did in the first round. Lee received 982 votes, followed by Bridgewater at 917 and Bennett at 885.
Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - It is part political town hall and part social gathering. And in order to take part, thousands of Utah Republicans trekked from across the state to participate in their party convention on Saturday.
In one of the country's more unusual systems, a candidate running for state-wide office in Utah must garner at least 60 percent of the delegates' votes if they are facing a challenger. If a candidate doesn't meet that threshold, then the top two vote getters will face off in a primary next month.
So the 3500 delegates and others interested in observing the activities gathered this morning to hear candidates for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and Governor give one last pitch as they try to woo enough support.
All of the candidates had booths set up in a section of the exhibition hall and were taking questions from delegates who could pick up a t-shirt or a goody bag at the same time.
Incumbent Sen. Robert Bennett, who runs the real risk of not getting enough support to survive, stood in the middle of a group of delegates and defended everything from his political contributions, to his decision not to stand by his original promise to only serve two terms, to his use of earmarks.
Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - The political fate of three-term Republican Sen. Bob Bennett will be decided Saturday when 3,500 delegates cast ballots at the party convention.
Bennett faces the real possibility of failing even to make it to a primary, depending on the results of the state's GOP convention Saturday.
" 'Shocked' is not the right word. I'm adjusting," Bennett said. "The anger against Washington is very, very palpable - very, very strong. And since I am in Washington, I become the focus of that anger."
The 76-year-old incumbent is facing off against seven challengers, all of whom are more conservative.
One of the key men leading the effort to oust Bennett is political newcomer David Kirkham, who last year founded the state's Tea Party chapter. He wants to punish the senator for his vote to authorize the 2008 financial bailout.