Hatch Heading for a Fall?April 30, 2012
From: National Review Online
By: John Fund
All the senator’s horses and all the senator’s men couldn’t quite wrap up the Utah Republican nomination for Orrin Hatch on Saturday. At the GOP convention, the seven-term senator narrowly missed winning the 60 percent of delegates he needed to avoid a primary against former state senator Dan Liljenquist.
Polls still show him favored in the June 26 primary, but Hatch now faces his first serious challenger since he won his seat in 1976. And, as Richard Lugar can testify — the 80-year-old Indiana colleague of Hatch’s is now suddenly neck and neck with a challenger in his own May 8 primary — a lot can happen in the few weeks of an intense campaign.
Hatch knew he would face opposition this year after Tea-party delegates, who dominated the Republican party’s 2010 state convention, unceremoniously dumped his Senate colleague Robert Bennett in favor of Mike Lee, the constitutional scholar who is now Utah’s junior senator. Bennett didn’t even receive enough delegate votes to force a primary.