In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Last year, tea party turnout defeated incumbent Sen. Bennett in the GOP primary. Hatch has made some moves lately that appear to be aimed at stemming off a revolt from the right and preventing the same fate from knocking him from office.
Earlier this month, Hatch dropped in on a Tea Party town hall meeting in Washington to tout his conservative credentials. But in an awkward moment, Tea Party Express president Amy Kremer told TPM that Hatch hadn't been invited, but actually just crashed the event.
The poll's results are the latest sign that Hatch will have a tough road back to reelection in 2012. A Utah Policy poll released last month showed Hatch trailing by about 20 points in a hypothetical primary against former Gov. Jon Huntsman.
The Utah Policy poll was conducted February 16-19 among 600 registered voters, including 348 Republicans. Both samples have a margin of error of 4.5%.