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In the nation's only primary yesterday, Sarah Palin's candidate lost in an upset, highlighting the fractures in the Republican party in this one party state. It wasn't even close, with state Rep. Raul Labrador winning 47-38.

As the Statesman reports it, the establishment lost.

In a rebuke to the Republican establishment, state Rep. Raul Labrador defeated Vaughn Ward in western Idaho's 1st Congressional District and punched his ticket to face incumbent Democrat Walt Minnick in November.

"My friends, the key to our renewal is liberty," Labrador told a cheering crowd at GOP headquarters in Garden City shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday. "The answer to Obamaism is liberty."

Ward, a Marine reservist and a first-time candidate, had a 6-to-1 money edge and the backing of the Idaho and national GOP hierarchy. Ward was a commanding presence on TV, while Labrador ran only a smattering of radio spots in the final two weeks. Both are from Eagle.

Labrador told the Idaho Statesman that the secret to his win was his consistent conservative message: "I didn't just say it. I've always acted the same way."

Despite Palin's endorsement of Ward, Labrador was the teabaggers' choice, as is obvious given his quotes, above. Ward's series of missteps--lifting whole sections of other Republicans' talking points for his Web site, falsely claiming endorsements from Idaho officeholders, plagiarizing from Obama--sealed his fate.

Unfortunately for the incumbent, Dem Walt Minnick, because his best chance of holding on to his seat was the mistake-prone Ward, who was unlikely to generate the kind of enthusiasm Labrador can garner. The best a Dem can hope for in this state is low Republican turnout.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed May 26, 2010 at 07:52 AM PDT.

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