If anybody was wondering how bad the 2010 elections may be for incumbents, yesterday may have been the answer. Three-term U.S. Senator, Bob Bennett (R-UT), was shown the door at Utah’s state GOP convention Saturday. It wasn’t even close! A mix of Tea Party, 9/12 Project and Conservative groups put businessman Tim Bridgewater and lawyer Mike Lee on the ballot for a state-wide primary on June 22nd. Bridgewater won, 57% to Lee’s 43%. When the results were announced that Bennett was eliminated, the convention crowd of 2,700 delegates cheered “He’s gone!” and applauded!

After serving Utah for 18 years, Bob Bennett became the first incumbent Utah senator to not win his party’s nomination in 70 years! In 1940, Democrats tossed out William King, who opposed FDR’s New Deal. Bob Bennett was the son of Wallace Bennett, who served Utah as their U.S. Senator for 24 years. Bennett told reporters after the vote yesterday, “The political atmosphere, obviously, has been toxic and it’s very clear some of the votes I have cast have added to the toxic environment.”

There is no word yet if Bob Bennett plans to run as a write-in candidate. The deadline for being on the ballot as an Independent has already passed. Two weeks ago, Governor Charlie Crist (R-FL) announced his intentions to run as an Independent after polls showed State Representative Marco Rubio widened his lead for the Republican U.S. Senate primary. In Utah, as with many other earlier state elections, the influence of the Tea Party and 9/12 Project groups was felt. The convention center was full of many people waving “Don’t Tread On Me” flags. The bigger loser in Bennett’s defeat yesterday may be Mitt Romney, who supported the incumbent’s re-election. Romney, who has yet to announce any plans to run again for president in 2012, has been actively courting support from grassroots Conservatives. Whether he, and other GOP incumbents, and survive the growing anti-incumbent rage across America remains to be seen.