Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is attempting to win his seventh U.S. Senate term but first he must get through his state party’s nominating convention today.  If Hatch receives 60 percent or more of the delegates’ votes, he automatically receives the GOP nomination. If he fails to do so, the race will go to a primary where the top two vote-getters at today’s convention — probably Hatch and his top challenger, State Sen. Dan Liljenquist — will square off.

Many tea party activists and movement conservatives, including Twitchy founder Michelle Malkin and FreedomWorks, oppose Hatch.  Last August, Malkin wrote:

Orrin Hatch is … is a mascot for big-spending Beltway entrenched incumbency who has consistently joined hands with destructive Democrats.

He slobbered over corruptocrat Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd.

He co-sponsored the $6 billion national service boondoggle and dedicated it to his good friend Teddy Kennedy, with whom he also joined hands to create the ever-expanding SCHIP entitlement.

He supported tax cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner from day one, lavished praise on Joe Biden’s balls, and embraced and defended Attorney General Eric Holder’s nomination because, he said, “I like Barack Obama and I want to help him if I can.”

He was an original sponsor of the open-borders DREAM Act illegal alien student bailout and voted for the massive TARP bailout.

Last summer, Hatch described himself as a “tea party person” but lately he has been singing a different tune.

On Twitter, Liljenquist is a clear favorite over Hatch:!/mwbowler/status/193498283052765184!/KeepUtahReal/status/193408190631772160!/DanMartin_cards/status/193553876841009152!/MarkScheering/status/193532777583493121!/ComanderKoolAid/status/193535534373666817!/reshas/status/193144675517988864!/MatthiuDuquette/status/193547051261370368!/ikonkennel/status/193558706892451840!/NatalieCGordon/status/193515143823491073!/JNealLawson/status/192273758508171264!/plaidspolitics/status/193156486636122112!/Jeremycrow4life/status/193006974303088640

As the Washington Post reports, Hatch was able to stack today’s convention with supporters. As a result, he has a decent chance of reaching the 60 percent threshold.!/Duncan365/statuses/193757488099753984!/RobertGehrke/statuses/193755889981865985!/RobertGehrke/statuses/193756116537184259!/RobertGehrke/statuses/193756927459737600!/rjvanbib/status/193758225580044288!/bstein80/status/193746639981252611!/maxroth/status/193757821744066561!/UTJolley/status/193742519023058944!/Duncan365/statuses/193763356937695234

Update: Hatch failed to win the 60% needed to secure the nomination today. He is headed for a primary against State Sen. Dan Liljenquist.

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