Matt Lewis, noting that there's "been a lot of talk lately about whether or not Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) might be ousted by the same tea party zeitgeist that took down former Utah Senator Bob Bennett in 2010," offers five arguments for why Hatch will "probably" survive in 2012.
1. Hatch saw this coming two years in advance. Sen. Bennett was blindsided by the rising tide against him, but that won’t happen to Orrin Hatch. By all accounts, Hatch is working hard, courting tea party conservatives, and ratcheting up the rhetoric against Barack Obama.
2. The timing is different. Obviously, 2012 is not 2010 -- meaning there probably won’t be the same level of anger and anti-incumbent fervor that permeated politics in 2010. What is more, unlike 2010, the presidential election campaign in 2012 will likely suck up some of the attention that might otherwise have been focused on Senate races.
More specifically, it’s important to note that the 2010 Utah caucuses (where the state delegates to the convention were voted for and chosen) were held just one day after Obama signed health care reform legislation into law.
Though Sen. Bennett wasn’t officially ousted until the May 8 state convention, the delegate selection that took place at the caucuses essentially sealed Bennett’s fate.