TPM looks at the factors that contributed to Hatch's overwhelming victory over Liljenquist. Hatch was mostly helped by the early warning he might be in trouble when Bob Bennett lost in 2010. That helped him run hard to the right ahead of this year's challenge.
Hatch thus had the advantage of having learned from Bennett’s misfortune, and made a very strong push at local Republican events and the state GOP caucuses — so strong, in fact that pro-Hatch delegates were all elected from Liljenquist’s home precinct.
He has also been moving even further to the right, relentlessly courting right-wing groups that Bennett failed to cultivate. The Tea Party Express, for example, opposed Bennett but ended uppraising Hatch.
Hatch made other moves to court the conservative faithful, including telling the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference that he was “prepared to be the most hated man in this godforsaken city in order to save this country, and I need your help.”