(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."