November 8th, 2010
02:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Hatch a Tea Party target in 2012?

Washington (CNN) - A new poll suggests that GOP Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah may be looking over his shoulder for a 2012 challenge, and not just from the Democrats.

A Salt Lake Tribune/Mason-Dixon survey released Monday indicates that a plurality of likely voters in Utah favor electing a fresh face for Utah's U.S. Senate seat in 2012.

In a poll conducted one week before the 2010 midterm elections, 48 percent of likely voters would favor another candidate if the 2012 elections were held today. Forty percent said they would re-elect Hatch and 12 percent were unsure, though they have two years to make a decision.

Earlier this year three-term Sen. Bob Bennett, a fellow Republican who supported the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and sponsored a bi-partisan heath care reform bill, was targeted by Tea Party activists and was defeated in his bid for re-election. At the Utah GOP state convention he lost his bid for his party's re-nomination at the hands of Tea Party conservatives, who eventually backed conservative Mike Lee, who subsequently won the GOP primary and then the general election.

According to an April Mason-Dixon poll, 19 percent of Republican delegates said they'd support a seventh term for Hatch, but a majority–71 percent– said they'd favor another candidate for Senate. Hatch has a history of reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats, which could spell trouble for 2012. The most recent Salt Lake Tribune/Mason-Dixon poll indicates that 60 percent of Republican likely voters would support Hatch's bid for re-election, though it did not gauge his chances in a contest with any other candidate.

If Hatch does survive any possible primary challenge, he could face off in the general election against Democratic Representative Jim Matheson, who considered a run this year against Bennett before winning re-election to a sixth House term. Matheson may look to challenge Hatch in 2012.

The Salt Lake Tribune poll of 625 registered Utah voters was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research from October 25-27. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus four percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Orrin Hatch • Tea Party movement
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Indie Woman in Denver

    Much as I wouldn't have a problem with Senator Hatch being replaced, it's WAY TOO EARLY to tell what the political environment is going to be like in 2012. Let's wait and see how the current crop of TP'ers fare before we start making any sort of predictions.

    November 8, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. Whatever

    Good let them feel the wrath of their own party crazies!!!! LOL

    November 8, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Whenever I see the term "a plurality" of likely voters I really have to wonder who they polled. If they polled Democrats, then, yes, they will get a large number of folks who say they want Sen. Hatch to go. If they polled Republicans, then what answer do they get? We are talking the US Senate here, not the Brigham Young Elementary School PTA! I do not have to agree with Senator Hatch (and I often do not) to recognize in him a legislator who truly cares about the country, not some small, limited part of it. Those are the people we need. Not the ignoramuses espoused by Caribou Barbie, the Great Bloviator, and Glenn the crybaby! Also, if Caribou Barbie wants to keep politicking, then she should quit her gig with Faux News (all the news that fits the print) and go for it.

    November 8, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The voters of America, having been flooded with (1) right-wing lies, paranoia, and misinformation, and (2) the inactions of a blubbering and scared turdless left too scared to speak up for themselves and set the record straight, are now being left to believe that the Teabaggers are ithe folks in charge of running things.
    The voice of reason flew the cuckoos nest. Mass hysteria and confusion alongside the inmates are running the asylum.
    Hurry back Mr. President, the country's going to hell!

    November 8, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    Of course they'll go after Hatch – he's the sort of dirtbag who listens to reason, and works with people who dont belong to his party. It's about time we got rid of these jerks who actually want to get things done in Congress! Vote the bums out, and together we can herald a new era of obstruction and repression! Yay for us! And lets get rid of all those pesky amendments to the Constitution while we're at it – the founding fathers obviously didnt have those in mind... And how soon till we can abolish the EPA, so we can have the luxury of having to chew our air before we inhale it – like China? And lets get rid of ALL taxes, too! That way we can live in a proper third-world country where this kind of fundamentalism really means something!

    (I hope you caught the sarcasm here – i'm doing my best to lay it on thick)

    November 8, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. John


    I'm a registered Dem from Oregon but I've always respected Sen. Hatch. Is working with the other side anathema now?

    November 8, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Utah_1

    If Utah has someone better than Orrin Hatch running for US Senate, I would vote for them, If not, Hatch would get my vote. While he has voted for some things I would not have, he has always responded to letters and personal contact re: voting – for or against bills.

    Hatch has met with and listened to local Utah Tea Party and 9-12 leaders for a year. He has been willing to change votes where suggested and is actually trying to follow through with recommendations.

    If Jason Chaffetz does decide to run against Hatch, I would vote for Chaffetz, but we shouldn’t have to give up one of the better US Representatives to “knock off Hatch”, unless Chaffetz wants to move to the US Senate.

    November 8, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Pelosicare?

    The republicans are purging their party of those that they feel didn't do their job. The democrats have kept their Pelosis, Reids, Franks, Boxers, Watters, Rangels, Clintons.... At least one party is trying to improve itself.

    November 8, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You guys did not think that the Tea Party and their secret corporate sponsors elected you for your good looks did you?
    It is time to pay the Piper boys and girls.
    You'll be dancing an all-out jig trying to keep the voters AND your Corporate Owners (TParty) happy.
    Another round of drinks,waiter!!!

    November 8, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Wouldn't it be funny if all those Republicans got booted out only to be replaced by a group of "tea baggers" that fight more amongst themselves than the Democrats do. It would show to me that it doesn't matter who it is or how united they seem, it means there is no monolithic group.

    November 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. KathyC in Minnesota

    The good common sensed Republicans are fallingnlike flies to the TP/GOP Republicans who want to turn back the country like it's 1860!!!

    November 8, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Only in Utah...the most right-wing extremist state in America. I am white and they even hate me there because I told the locals that I am from California.

    November 8, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Hatch has been there long enough.

    November 8, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Next the teabaggers will target Romney.

    November 8, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. thomas

    He's a Mormon ,
    Tea Party people only like born again Christians !

    November 8, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. I Support President Obama

    Good grief, the 2010 election is not a week old. The party of No should have put this group of terrorist idiots in their place. The GOP has really divided our country by not standing up to the tea party. The GOP used the morons to get votes and now they can't control them.

    November 8, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. angry liberal

    I would hope all Dems and Repubs start looking over their shoulders at Independents, Green Party, Tea Party, Libertarians.

    It is time to clean out the Status Quo and get some real debate going on. The Dem-Repub club has failed us all.

    November 8, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Charlie from the North

    If the Tea Party treats it's creators this way what chance do the rest of us have when their fierce stupidity is unleashed on the NAtion?

    November 8, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |