Orrin Hatch's campaign is getting more confident about their chances in 2012.
The Hill says Hatch's path to re-election is getting easier now that Jason Chaffetz and Jim Matheson have declined to challenge him next year.
While Hatch is still likely to face a Republican foe in state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, the six-term senator has positioned himself well, campaigning hard across the state, sitting on $4 million in the bank and facing no full-fledged opponents.
“It’ll be more difficult for Sen. Liljenquist to challenge Sen. Hatch than if a congressman had challenged him; he doesn’t have the same name recognition as Rep. Chaffetz,” said state Sen. Stuart Reid, who plans to back Liljenquist over Hatch in the race. “Hands down, Sen. Hatch is the best campaigner this state’s ever known, so it’s no surprise to me he’s effectively organizing his campaign and is hitting every mark he needs to do to run an effective campaign.”
Dave Hansen, Hatch’s campaign manager, said that he feels “very good about where we are in the campaign,” but added that Utah’s unusual party nomination process means they will take nothing for granted.
“We’re not slowing down at all,” Hansen said. “We take every challenger seriously and the convention is a different animal than the primary nominations.”