Hatch in huge trouble back home 

Last week, FreedomWorks announced that Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would be their first target for the Republican primaries. This weekend, The Desert News released a poll showing that they chose a very vulnerable target:

A majority of Utah voters believe Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has been in office too long and should be replaced, a new Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.

The poll by Dan Jones & Associates found only 38 percent of registered voters agree that it’s important to re-elect Hatch in 2012 because of his seniority. Fifty-nine percent said after 36 years, it’s time for someone new.

Utah is no stranger to throwing out incumbents. In 2010, Utah Republicans threw out former-Sen. Bob Bennett in favor of current-Sen. Mike Lee.

That said, the poll’s value is somewhat limited by the fact that it only reached Utah residents. Utah chooses its party nominees through state conventions, so Hatch’s standing among the general public is somewhat irrelevant. But he is not going to get caught napping like Bennett though. The Desert News reports that Hatch is “getting supporters elected as delegates next spring to the 2012 state Republican Party nominating convention.”

Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who has not yet announced, is expected to be the FreedomWorks/Tea Party alterative to Hatch.

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Conn Carroll

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