||In the 1992 United States Senate election, Utah continued its strong trend toward conservatism. Since the 1960s, Utahns identified themselves predominantly with the Republican Party. This ideological transformation occurred in conjunction with a significant population shift from urban areas to suburban communities, growing conservative strongholds in Utah politics. Traditional urban versus rural tension continued, but a decrease in rural residents limited its importance, particularly in general elections. With Utahns joining the conservative movement in large numbers, Republican Bob Bennett, a candidate with no previous elected experience, easily defeated four-term Democratic Congressman Wayne Owens in the 1992 U.S. Senate election. The most competitive contest in this race occurred in the Republican primary rather than the general election, a trend demonstrating the increasingly conservative nature of the state. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were key to potential change. They constituted two-thirds of the state's population in 1992. These were the rank and file of the conservative movement in the state. As Mormons turned to social conservatives and settled into homogenous suburbs, Republicans gained an electoral advantage that proved almost insurmountable for Democrats.