Orrin Hatch fails to clinch GOP nomination in Utah — by 0.9%

posted at 4:21 pm on April 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

Weird rule out there: The delegates to the Utah GOP convention get first crack at choosing a nominee by voting on the candidates. If anyone gets 60 percent, he’s nominated. If no one gets 60 percent, the top two finishers go to a statewide primary. That’s how Bob Bennett was sunk two years ago, you might remember. Tea partiers filled the ranks of convention delegates and ensured that he couldn’t place higher than third; Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater went on to the primary and you know how that turned out.

Hatch’s goal today was simple. To make sure that he’d at least make it out of the convention, he’s been working the delegate process for months — and has been so successful at it that, as of 10 days ago, an internal poll concluded that he had a very real chance of clinching the nomination by taking 60 percent. If he could pull that off, he’d avoid a primary and snuff any chance of a belated tea-party awakening on his challenger’s behalf. As of 2:30 p.m. ET, the votes are in. Hatch’s take: 59.1 percent. More from Dave Weigel:

The Tea Party movement is alive in Utah. With representatives from FreedomWorks in the audience, delegates at the Utah Republican Convention managed to force Sen. Orrin Hatch into a June 26 primary. He got 59.2 percent of their votes against Dan Liljenquist, a 38-year-old state senator. Hatch needed 60 percent to avoid the primary. He couldn’t do it. In two rounds of voting, he went from 2,243 votes to 2,313 votes. If he’d gotten 32 more votes, he would have wrapped this up

FreedomWorks and other Tea Party groups now have two Causes to distract them from their failure to replace Mitt Romney with some better candidate — the Senate races in Utah and Indiana.

Yeah, the last point is key. 59.1 percent sounds hopeless for Liljenquist if it’s an accurate reflection of Republican voters in Utah, but there’s bound to be a burst of tea-party enthusiasm for him now that he and Richard Mourdock are the last best chance to tilt the GOP further right at the federal level. Hatch did himself no favors either when he said this recently of his opponents on the right, FreedomWorks:

“These people are not conservatives. They’re not Republicans,” Hatch angrily responds. “They’re radical libertarians and I’m doggone offended by it.”

Then Hatch, a former boxer, turns combative. “I despise these people, and I’m not the guy you come in and dump on without getting punched in the mouth.”

Go read FreedomWorks VP Matt Kibbe for a response to that. If tea partiers didn’t have enough incentive already to pay attention to this race, they do now. There’s also some reason to believe that today’s delegates were actually more pro-Hatch than the general electorate: He and his team shrewdly maneuvered behind the scenes before the convention to make sure his people were well represented on the floor.

More than a year ago, Hatch’s campaign polled the 3,500 Republican delegates who voted Bennett out of office in May 2010.

Its discovery: Hatch had no chance of getting renominated, if those same 3,500 people voted.

“This is not going to be a campaign of persuading delegates,” Hatch’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, said Thursday, recalling a conversation with the senator early last year. “This is going to be a campaign of replacing delegates.”

To survive, Hatch needed new delegates. The first step was to recruit supporters willing to run in the 2,000 precincts that select this year’s 4,000 delegates to Saturday’s convention. Then he had to round up supporters willing to attend caucus night to vote for the Hatch-backed delegates. The initial goal of getting 20,000 supporters out on a cold Thursday night was eventually upped to 35,000. The campaign staff of 25 used every possible list to speak with potential backers.

As recently as two months ago, Mike Lee’s chief of staff thought Hatch was destined to lose; instead he came within a hair’s breadth of winning without a primary. Give him credit for knowing the rules of the game and playing it well. And in fact, despite celebrations this afternoon by proud tea partiers like the boss emeritus about having forced him into a primary, Hatch is still in very good shape. According to Roll Call, he has a $3 million advantage over Liljenquist in cash on hand and, as you’ll see below, he also has the full support of the first Mormon presidential nominee in U.S. history. That can’t hurt in a state with the largest number of Mormon voters in America. Gonna be a mighty heavy lift to oust him.

In case you’re wondering, Hatch and Dick Lugar, who’s also seeking another six-year term, have spent a combined 70 years in the Senate. Exit question from Ace’s co-blogger rdbrewer: Did Hatch’s comments about despising “radical libertarians” alienate just enough delegates to prevent him from wrapping this thing up today?


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An ideological purge of all non-Conservative/libertarian public officials within the GOP is good IMO.

jdun on April 22, 2012 at 2:38 AM

If he’d gotten 32 more votes, he would have wrapped this up…

Every vote counts. Every single one of them.

Chaz706 on April 22, 2012 at 3:18 AM

Sir, all I can say is that you do not seem to have discussed directly with a libertarian. Yes, they do believe that many of Big Governments laws should be abolished, but prostitution and legalizing marijuana is not at the forefront of their agenda. I know because there are many in the TEA Party today.

Again, I say compare Gary’s record of accomplishments against any other candidate running for POTUS.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 1:47 AM

Gary Johnson hasn’t been in political office in like 20 years. He’s been more idle than Romney has.
Obama would have a field day with Gary Johnson’s views on legalizing prostitution and other things. Libertians can only win elections if they fake conservative, but they have not figured that out yet. Get elected first, then try to legalize drugs and prostitution. And stop saying stupid things like Iran isn’t a threat and we deserved 9-11.

Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 3:44 AM

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM

(laughter)

Orrin Hatch is finally facing some slight danger. And not loving every minute of it.

David Blue on April 22, 2012 at 4:14 AM

Libertians can only win elections if they fake conservative, but they have not figured that out yet. Get elected first, then try to legalize drugs and prostitution. And stop saying stupid things like Iran isn’t a threat and we deserved 9-11.
Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 3:44 AM

More evidence you work for Obama. When he is retired, your purpose will be over.

ray on April 22, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Uh, ray, Tesla’s right.

Most people don’t think that we deserved 9-11, or that Iran is a bunch of happy fuzzballs.

Libertarians are right about the toxicity of the warfare/welfare state and, of course, gold, but they get wrapped up in hookers and weed and that sort of gets them sidetracked.

It’s the reason they’re the 1% party. They SHOULD be our version of the Lib Dems in Britain, but they are a clown show politically. Perhaps the Ronulans can straighten them out.

victor82 on April 22, 2012 at 7:42 AM

I like Barack Obama, and I want to help him if I can.

That alone should have ended him as the Republican nominee.

Tomolena1 on April 22, 2012 at 8:02 AM

We need some sea change in DC. Glad to see it might happen again. Hatch is only interested in getting his gavel back as the chairman of a committee just the same as Nanzi. Don’t think he’d take us down the same road as she would but he revealed it’s all about the power to these people.

Kissmygrits on April 22, 2012 at 8:54 AM

To me this has less to do with the Tea Party and Libertarians than Hatch is too old and cranky. He has been in Washington to long and is one of the reasons why we need term limits. Some of the people voting for Hatch in Utah want his seniority so when the GOP gets back the Senate he will give them some more stuff. Term limits take away the seniority problem for Senate committees.

William Eaton on April 22, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Libertarians are right about the toxicity of the warfare/welfare state and, of course, gold, but they get wrapped up in hookers and weed and that sort of gets them sidetracked.

victor82 on April 22, 2012 at 7:42 AM

The media brings that stuff up and they’re not smart enough to avoid the topic. Except Rand Paul. He gets it.

besser tot als rot on April 22, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Down the Hatch!

CorporatePiggy on April 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM

It will really boil down to what the people of Utah want;

Do they want to elect a Republican for the sole purpose of Electing a Repulbican

Or

Do they want to Elect a Republican for the purpose of changing the direction of the country.

In reality, many people are beginning to figure out that having your values betrayed by a Democrat or by a Republican is still having your values betrayed. At least the Democrat has done it Honestly. That is to say, they didn’t stab you in the back, they stabbed you right in the chest where you could see the knife comming.

jaydee_007 on April 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Send the Old Bastard out to pasture already!! Hatch has been in Washington so long he’s forgotten where Utah is located. I think a nice warm glass of milk and a few Unisom will help the Old Bastard settle into retirement.

Tbone McGraw on April 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM

And people still wonder what happened to the GOP?
Dinosaurs like Hatch, McConell, etc. is what. As long as the “Tea Party” puts up a candidate in Dan Liljenquist, who hopefully has already been vetted six ways from Sunday, they might unseat the unholy hubristic Hatch. Go home Orin. Power corrupts and leads to “entitlement”.
(and, while we’re at it, let’s reverse the 17th amendment)

BUT! The Cavalry comes to the rescue!

“Hatch is still in very good shape. According to Roll Call, he has a $3 million advantage over Liljenquist in cash on hand and, as you’ll see below, he also has the full support of the first Mormon presidential nominee in U.S. history. That can’t hurt in a state with the largest number of Mormon voters in America. Gonna be a mighty heavy lift to oust him.” – AlP

What a sorry commentary on all fronts:
The United States of America,
The U.S. Senate,
The Grand Old Party,
The good people of Utah.
(stepford hatch should step aside for some new blood. enough incestuousness)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Rino hunting, the sport of champions.

esnap on April 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

; )

Bmore on April 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

If you want the definitive takedown of Hatch, go here. These people have invested great intellectual energy in researching and documenting this douchebag’s Senate voting record, including a pretty telling look at the vaunted ACU conservative ratings, and how they can be misleading.

Go to your Maryland ocean-front mansion and hold your Georgetown cocktail parties and leave us alone, you jerk off.

Jaibones on April 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I agree with the posts here that Hatch’s voting record is abysmal if you believe in our unalienable rights and limited constitutional government that can only be changed through amendments. And he has voted for all the leftist politicians in black robes on the SCUS.

All, I can add is why didn’t those that supported Mike Lee in the caucuses last time “sense and see” Hatch’s maneuvers to replace people that supported Lee but not people like Hatch?

Falcon46 on April 22, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 3:44 AM

You keep running away from the fact that Gary is the ONLY candidate able to run on his record. He could destroy the rest just by comparing their liberal failures to date to his record of real accomplishments.

Symbolism turns to dust when actual substance is revealed. The Democrats know it, the GOP knows it, and you know it too.

When it is discovered that the TEA Party supports Johnson the game will be over.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

More evidence you work for Obama. When he is retired, your purpose will be over.

ray on April 22, 2012 at 6:25 AM

While the thought of 0bama getting thrown out of the White House is nice, the empty rhetoric of EVERYONE working for 0bama is beyond lame. It is worn out, tired, and irrelevant, doubly so since you have NO proof to offer.

Instead of trying to discredit the people who disagree with you, why not sell your candidate? Be honest! And if there is no other reason to vote for your candidate except for ‘He Isn’t 0bama’ tripe you might want to do something about that.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Rino hunting, the sport of champions.

esnap on April 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I Like It!

RINO hunting, the hobby of TEA Party Patriots.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM

And people still wonder what happened to the GOP?

Karl Magnus on April 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Not me. I KNOW what happened to the GOP. It decided to cave in to liberal ideology decades ago:

“A lot of Republicans in Congress [RINO's] want to cooperate, they know better, but they are in the thralls of this reign of terror from the far right [aka. the TEA Party] that has dragged this party to the right,” Axelrod said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning.

He is right, and the point he makes is that if it weren’t for we TEA Party Patriots the politicians in Washington would ALL would be Democrats today.

Remember when people used to show the courage of their convictions? Well, both partys made that politically incorrect decades ago.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Perhaps the Ronulans can straighten them out.

victor82 on April 22, 2012 at 7:42 AM

The Ronulans are the reason they’re a clown show.

Odysseus on April 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Symbolism turns to dust when actual substance is revealed. The Democrats know it, the GOP knows it, and you know it too.

When it is discovered that the TEA Party supports Johnson the game will be over.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

You are demonstrating typical delusions of liberterians.

Gary Johnson flamed out in the Republican primary. He couldn’t even get invited to debates in a weak field, he was polling that low. He’s not going to be president of anything but some Pothead socail club. The “man” seems effeminate to me as well.

Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM

An ideological purge of all non-Conservative/libertarian Big Government public officials within the GOP is good IMO.

jdun on April 22, 2012 at 2:38 AM

How’s that sound?

Jaibones on April 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM

You are demonstrating typical delusions of liberterians.

Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I certainly hope I am since it was our delusional state that made the Historic Wins in 2010 possible.

If you don’t bet you will never win. The same result can be expected if you are too afraid to show up to a fight.

He couldn’t even get invited to debates in a weak field, he was polling that low.

And today he is the ONLY ONE with a proven Conservative track record. That alone makes him unique in the race for POTUS.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Gary Johnson 2012: The Chrystal Clear Choice

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Danno, give it a rest. You are not changing hearts and minds here.

karenhasfreedom on April 22, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Attention Mitt Romney,

You must get in line. Remember, 65-70% of the votes cast this primary were for another candidate. It’s time to through Mitch and John under the bus. It time to rid Congress of Rino’s.

jjnco73 on April 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM

They tend to be RINOs … you know … “conservative first, Republican second”. They are actually in many cases conservative DEMOCRATS who are out to do damage to the Republican nominee.
The “true conservatives” aren’t Republicans and do a lot of damage or often TRY to do a lot of damage to Republican candidates and campaigns.

crosspatch on April 21, 2012 at 4:44 PM

This is an important WARNING.

redridinghood on April 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I confess to experiencing weapons grade schadenfreude about this. I’m old enough to have been “politically aware” during the entire Clinton impeachment imbroglio. Thank-you Rush. I found Orin Hatch to be one of the most irritating public figures back then. BJ Clinton really needed to be impeached AND removed. I can forgive all the nasty Demo operatives. But on our side, there was Orin… poring cold water on our fire. The LSM ate it up. Arghhhhh!

If I ran into Orin on the street I would be polite and say…”May you live in interesting times.”

Tomolena1 on April 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM

It’s little things like this that give us hope… not for Republicans, not for “conservatives” (whatever that means at the moment) and or for “radical libertarians”. There’s hope for constitutional conservatism, liberty, reason, righteousness and for an America as it was destined to be. Thank you Freedom Works!

elfman on April 22, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 1:50 PM
I’ve got your back on that one. Johnson is an open border, legal drug, pro-choice hack.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Danno, give it a rest. You are not changing hearts and minds here.

karenhasfreedom on April 22, 2012 at 2:31 PM

So I should do like [most] the rest and offer political rhetoric instead of reading material that feeds the mind?

No thanks. I’ll keep offering up information while the rest offer their insults, rhetoric, and attempts to silence those with differing opinions.

I’ll try to lead by example and maintain the courage of my convictions.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:12 PM

FreedomWorks is pro amnesty so I don’t know if I’d get too caught up into believing they are conservative.

Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Johnson Romney is an open border, legal drug, pro-choice hack.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

After comparing their records I decided to fix that for you.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:12 PM
What convictions? You claim to support Sarah Palin. She is anti- illegal immigration and staunchly prolife, while Gary Johnson is pro-choice and advocates open borders. You sound really principled.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:15 PM
That is such bullcrap. Romney is not for open boarders or legalized drugs and he is prolife.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

FreedomWorks is pro amnesty so I don’t know if I’d get too caught up into believing they are conservative.

Dr. Tesla on April 22, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Freedomworks discusses the current FAILed immigration policy, but I’ll bet you cannot provide a single link proving your empty assertion.

Dick Armey might be pro Amnesty, but so was Reagan. I guess he wasn’t a conservative either, right?

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Castle would be multiple times better than Coons. Anyway, someone who believes a Democrat senator from Maine wouldn’t vote to bring Obamacare out of the committee is flat out crazy. The same crazy that Reid can thank for the last 2 years as majority leader. No wonder his friends are financing you guys.

joana on April 21, 2012 at 11:23 PM

What a pathetic straw man “argument”. Nobody expects a Democrat Senator from Maine not to vote to bring Obamacare out of the committee. We have every right to expect, however, a Republican from ANYWHERE not to vote to bring Obamacare out of committee. If, as a Republican Senator, you can’t even be trusted to do such a minimally acceptable thing as that, what value do you have?

fitzfong on April 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

That is such bullcrap. Romney is not for open boarders or legalized drugs and he is prolife.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to again disprove the Romney rhetoric:

Romney is prolife:

Mr. Romney acknowledges that he has changed his position on abortion in recent years. Supportive of abortion rights during much of his term as governor of Massachusetts, he says he became convinced that the procedure should be banned in late 2004. [Sketchy]

Mr. Romney donated $15,000 to Massachusetts Citizens for Life, the group honoring him, in 2005. His campaign said that is his only abortion-related donation.

Immigration Policy:

Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times asked Romney to explain something in his immigration plan– the fact that he wanted to get people out of the country to apply for entrance legally, but also did not call for deporting anyone

In a 29 March 2006 interview, Romney said that “We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status”
Romney has tended to donate to candidates with more liberal immigration stances than himself. . How would he get them out of the country?

Drug Policy

Romney is an opponent of illegal drugs and does not favor legalizing medical cannabis. Romney answered a question on the subject from a man afflicted with muscular dystrophy who asked him about it on October 7, 2007. The man stated that he is medically dependent on medicinal marijuana, and asked if Romney would have him and his doctors arrested. Romney did not answer the question directly, but repeated his stance on medical marijuana, and walked away.

You do better than the other Sketchy supporters. You got one answer right out of three.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:54 PM

You sound really principled.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 3:17 PM

IMHO, if you did the research so you could supply links to your opinions you would learn a lot and be wrong less often.

Google is your friend.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Great news. We can’t stop until all of the RINOs have been booted out.

steve123 on April 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 3:56 PM
It’s not just my opinion. Gary Johnson is pro abortion and gay marriage. Thats a fact.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 4:17 PM

It’s not just my opinion. Gary Johnson is pro abortion and gay marriage. Thats a fact.

Rusty Allen on April 22, 2012 at 4:17 PM

We’ve got lousy choices all ’round, Rusty.

MelonCollie on April 22, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Orin Hatch born, March 22, 1934 (age 78) assumed office in January 3, 1977, and he’s been assuming the American people would keep putting up with him ever since.

It’s called wearing out your welcome….35 years in the United States Senate. If we are electing these people to life time “appointments” why bother having elections every 6 years?

The federal age for retirement is 65 years of age. Orin Hatch is 13 years past the federal age of retirement. Orin Hatch turned 21 in the year of 1955. Elvis (the pelvis) Presley, couldn’t be filmed below the waist in 1955 LOL!

Dr Evil on April 22, 2012 at 6:28 PM

He [Axelrod] is right, and the point he makes is that if it weren’t for we TEA Party Patriots the politicians in Washington would ALL would be Democrats today.

DannoJyd on April 22, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I think that’s right.

Axelrod also said: “…it was because the GOP had chosen to block everything Obama had pushed for that immigration reform hadn’t happened, and that if Obama wins reelection Republicans will be less resistent to working with him because the election will be a rejection of the party going “way off to the right.”"

So obviously it’s vital to eject Obama.

But that can’t come at the expense of putting primary pressure on Republicans. Without that pressure, all politicians in Washington will belong to the Bipartisan Liberal Party, and the consequences will be as bad as if they had been elected openly to promote open borders and liberalism.

David Blue on April 22, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Orrin Hatch is finally facing some slight danger. And not loving every minute of it.

David Blue on April 22, 2012 at 4:14 AM

Good. The RINOs all need to be ousted.

dogsoldier on April 22, 2012 at 6:50 PM

But that can’t come at the expense of putting primary pressure on Republicans. Without that pressure, all politicians in Washington will belong to the Bipartisan Liberal Party, and the consequences will be as bad as if they had been elected openly to promote open borders and liberalism.

David Blue on April 22, 2012 at 6:47 PM

IMHO, we might see that happen if Romney is given the position of leader of the Republican Party, thus I’ll continue to push for Gary Johnson … unless a better choice becomes available [SARAH PALIN].

DannoJyd on April 23, 2012 at 6:40 AM

I forgot about Romney running for the Senate:

CITATIONS

DannoJyd on April 23, 2012 at 7:02 AM

While there are several RINOs in the Senate that deserve to be dumped, Orrin Hatch is NOT one of them. Hatch has always been one of the most conservative Senators, and was a very capable Chairman (or Ranking Member) of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responsible for vetting judiciary appointees. It was a shame when the power-hungry Arlen Specter took over the Judiciary Committee, and we all know what happened to Specter, who became a Democrat and then lost a Democrat primary.

If the Republicans take back the Senate in 2012, Hatch could once again become Judiciary Committee Chairman, hopefully shepherding President Romney’s judiciary appointees through Senate confirmation. Or he could be primaried out by some unknown freshman, then who takes over the Judiciary Committee?

Steve Z on April 23, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Or he could be primaried out by some unknown freshman, then who takes over the Judiciary Committee?

Steve Z on April 23, 2012 at 10:29 AM

This makes no sense. How would he be primaried out by someone already serving their first term in the Senate? If Hatch is ousted, then the next senior Republican on the committee could be chairman–if the Repubs first succeed in regaining a majority.

Nutstuyu on April 23, 2012 at 3:33 PM

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