Sen. Bob Bennett says Utah's freshman senator likely won't go to the head of the class
Bennett, who recently endorsed Bridgewater, said some of the issues both Utah Republicans still in the race have campaigned on, such as replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax, just aren't going to happen. "The impact on Utah will not come from what they can do. It will come from what they won't be able to do," said the state's junior senator.
That's because in a system that clearly favors incumbents, there is a lot of resistance to change.
"There are certain ways things get done," said University of Utah political science professor Matthew Burbank. "While senators can be unhappy with that process and want to change it, the reality is it's beyond one or two or three senators."
Burbank said there are plenty of people in Washington, D.C., who are "perfectly happy with the way things work."
Kelly Patterson, director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University, said the Senate's longer terms — six years, as opposed to two years in the U.S. House of Representatives — help "nullify public opinion."
He said it would take multiple election cycles to make any real difference in how the Senate operates. In the meantime, Patterson said, taking ideological stands "may not be the best strategy for Utah's future growth."
This story was reported from Salt Lake City.
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