“Chaffetz was the toughest competition for Hatch, but with him out, I think Hatch still needs to be concerned about the convention,” Webb said. “And I think there’s still a possibility someone could force Hatch into the primary. But I think Hatch is now the favorite.”
In 2010, then-Sen. Bob Bennett was targeted by the Club for Growth and other outside groups and finished in third place at the GOP nominating convention. Now-Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) won the primary and then was elected to the Senate last November.
If Hatch is able to make it past the convention and primary he could still face a November contest worth watching. Matheson is considering running for statewide office depending on what happens to his district in redistricting. National Democrats are high on their prospects in the state, even though Utah hasn’t elected a Democratic Senator since 1970.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.