Hatch’s 2012 victory in the face of a tea party challenge could discourage potential challengers, said Hansen, the senator’s former campaign manager.
“I think they look at it and say, ‘Look, if we try to challenge him, he’ll just beat us again,’” Hansen said.
Utah strategists say the anti-establishment environment from 2010 has fizzled with respect to Hatch. A spokesman for conservative group FreedomWorks, which supported Hatch’s 2012 challenger, said it was too early to determine whether the group would be involved in Utah.
“That momentum that claimed the position of Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah is not really there right now,” said Jason Perry, head of the Hinckley Institute that has conducted polls of the electorate. He said most Utahans approve of the job Hatch is doing, even if many believe he should step aside.
Chuck Warren, who worked on voter contact and grass-roots consulting on Hatch’s 2012 campaign, said he did not think outside groups would get involved against Hatch this time. He pointed out that those groups are focused defending more vulnerable Republican congressional seats.
“They have bigger problems,” Warren said. Full Article Here….