Hatch Finds Himself in Primary Battle
Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah is currently trying to beat back tea party activists who are challenging is run for another term in Congress. Hatch qualified for the primary ballot for Republicans in his attempt at his seventh term on Saturday. However, he just fell short of an outright win for the GOP nomination.
Challenges from tea party activists as well as their allies in the upcoming primary will test if their power is as strong as it was during the elections of 2010. To get the outright nomination, Hatch needed 60% of the delegates at the GOP convention to eliminate his nearest rival, Dan Lijenquist and advance to the nomination without any primary. On the second ballot, Hatch fell just short with 59%.
Because of those results, Hatch will face Lijenquist in a faceoff at the primary June 26. The winner will be almost certain to win the Senate seat in a state that is predominantly Republican. Hatch said he was pleased with how far the campaign has come and was looking for to the battle ahead.
Despite the fact he fell just short of the 60% he needed for the outright victory, Hatch will enter the primary in June with a huge advantage, with funding that will exceed that of his opponent Lijenquist.
A key test to see how tough the tea party activists are will come on May 8 when Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana will face a primary against Richard Mourdock the State Treasurer who is supported by the tea party activists.