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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's senior senator appears to be appealing to Tea Party voters as he tries to avoid in 2012 the same fate Sen. Bob Bennett met earlier this year.
On Facebook, Twitter and to reporters in Washington Tuesday, Hatch offered the same message:
"I'll stand up for the Tea Party every time. These people are angry, justifiably angry. They're taking part in the process. They're making a difference," Hatch said.
Recent publications have pinpointed Hatch as a Tea Party target in 2012, and The Washington Post labeled Hatch as one of the five Republican senators who could fall that year. The website Salon also highlighted Hatch.
University of Utah political science professor Tim Chambless says the senator's appeal to Tea Party voters may resonate with some and not with others.
"His goal is to persuade them," Chambless told KSL Newsradio Wednesday. "What Senator Hatch can do is campaign as the incumbent, campaign on his record, but campaign as he is right now -- reaching out to those who are the most highly energized and the most angry, the most motivated."
Chambless also says it is too early to say if the strategy will work, especially with 3rd District Rep. Jason Chaffetz potentially in the race. Chaffetz has said he is considering running.