Hatch confident about Senate seat after Utah party caucuses
March 16th, 2012
12:08 PM ET
2 years ago

Hatch confident about Senate seat after Utah party caucuses

(CNN) – Despite opposition from within the Republican base, initial results from Thursday night's Utah party caucuses indicate Sen. Orrin Hatch may survive efforts to derail his six-term incumbency.

While the numbers will not be finalized until late Friday night, the veteran senator's campaign came out of the contest feeling confident, saying the results "look very good."

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"The hard work over the last year by our field staff paid off last night. The rough numbers coming in look very good for Senator Hatch's reelection through the state convention," Evelyn Call, Hatch's communications director, told CNN.

She added: "We will spend the next few days looking at how many of our supporters won state delegate spots and assessing where all of the delegates stand on their support for the Senator. So far it looks good."

Voters flocked to more than 2,000 caucuses across the state Thursday to elect the 4,000 delegates slated to go to the state convention in late April. The state party reported at least than 125,000 Republicans flooded into the caucuses Thursday, more than twice the turnout from the last cycle two years ago.

If a candidate wins at least 60% of the vote at the convention, then the candidate wins the nomination. However, if no one breaks that threshold, then the top two picks move on to a primary.

The 35-year veteran announced earlier this week that if elected this would be his last term.

Hoping for a repeat of 2010–when GOP incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett was ousted in the primary–the conservative grassroots organization FreedomWorks has been hammering away in the state, urging voters to replace Hatch with a fresher candidate who favors smaller government and less spending.

Its super PAC, FreedomWorks for America, has spent more than $600,000 on this cycle's Senate race alone.

"Last night historic numbers of Utahns participated in the caucus process. We are very pleased with the turn out," the super PAC's national political director, Russ Walker, said in a statement. "Our supporters showed up in force. Like everyone we are waiting for the final numbers so we can better asses the race and move forward."

Also see:

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With or without Adelson, Gingrich aims for Tampa


Filed under: 2012 • Orrin Hatch • Senate • Utah
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. jdun

    If Hatch isn't far right enough for these tea party folks, who is? He hasn't cast a compromising vote since Ted Kennedy died.

    March 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. ED FL

    The media needs to put forth a truthful investigation into the collaberation between Hatch and Romney during and about money from the Olympics that they both were involved in in UTAH.Maybe some interesting information would be forthcoming on Romeys candidacy and Hatchs re election try.

    March 16, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Lizzie

    Why are Reid and Pelosi on Sen.Hatch side?

    March 16, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Hatch should probably go after 6 terms. 36 years is far too long to be in DC. Time for some new blood and somebody that'll simply stop spending money we do not have.

    March 16, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Gee, it looks like old school Republicans may still hold a majority in Utah. This bastion of consevative civility my by our last and only hope for our two party political system.

    March 16, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Romney / Hatch
    2012 / Bring back the Past “Believe in America.”

    Mainstream Mormons may not grow their own child brides like Warren Jeffs, but Mormon zealots can be just as dangerous

    March 16, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    There is something wrong with the world when Orrin Hatch can face a serious primary challenge because he's periodically had the audacity to work with members of the opposite party.

    March 16, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Rick

    The vote outcome is irrelevant. The Republican establishment will rig the result just as they did in Maine and Michigan. If you want to see voter fraud in action then look at the Republican party

    March 16, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    EDIT: This bastion of consevative civility *may be* our last and only hope for our two party political system.

    Sorry, burger fingers.

    March 16, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Lizzie - Why are Reid and Pelosi on Sen.Hatch side?
    ===========================================
    Beter to put one in his back from there I guess!

    March 16, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. ...a Kentucky long-rifleman...

    Mr. Hatch reminds me of HIS GOOD OLE DAYS...............................1952-1959, WHEN CIVIL RIGHTS WERE BUT A DREAM FOR US, WHEN WOMEN WERE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS, and WHEN IKE PLAYED GOLF 24 / 7 !!
    .
    Gosh Mr. Hatch, PLEASE GO................................I MEAN PLEASE DON'T..........JUST GO !!!!!!

    March 16, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rick - The vote outcome is irrelevant. The Republican establishment will rig the result just as they did in Maine and Michigan. If you want to see voter fraud in action then look at the Republican party
    ============================================================================================
    BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Democrats OWN the voter fraud franchise! Why do you think they fight tooth and nail to STOP voter ID laws? It's not that people won't able to vote, it's that all the dead Democrats won't be able to vote! Yes, there will be lower voter turnout when you remove all the fraudulant and dead Democrat voters.

    March 16, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    Democrats OWN the voter fraud franchise! Why do you think they fight tooth and nail to STOP voter ID laws?
    -------------–
    Almost every Republican state primary/caucus has had a share of controversy. BTW, the Voter ID laws are themselves voter fraud.

    March 16, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Funny, all the recent issues about votes being miscount or mislaid seem to have happened in GOP primaries or in elections where GOP reps were being recalled. Seems as though they have just as big a problem with basic math as they do with budgets and taxes.

    March 16, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |