In Idaho's GOP primary, Labrador beat out the well-heeled Vaughn Ward. Labrador, a tea-party favorite from Eagle, Idaho, beat out Marine reservist Ward who had been supported by Idaho's Republican machine and Washington establishment GOP money. Ward has also been endorsed by high-profile conservatives including Sarah Palin. The Idaho Statesman reported that Ward had a 6-to-1 spending advantage over low-key Labrador.
Ward made several missteps in his campaign, including plagiarizing a Barack Obama speech from the 2004 National Democratic Convention. He also misused pictures of himself in uniform and called Puerto Rico a country. A video juxtaposing the Ward speech and Obama's went viral on YouTube. The Idaho Statesman reported Ward's wife was employed by beleaguered Fannie Mae, which was the recipient of a large government bailout. What followed was called the biggest election "meltdown in Idaho history."