Mike Lee won't endorse Hatch

Published: Friday, Feb. 11 2011 11:00 a.m. MST

Sen. Orrin Hatch

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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If it wasn't already apparent that Sen. Orrin Hatch would be fighting for his political life in 2012, it is now with the breaking news that Sen. Mike Lee won't endorse Hatch in the 2012 GOP Senate Primary.

In an interview Friday morning on MSNBC, Lee said, "It's not my intention to support any candidate until the democratic process has had a chance to play itself out in Utah."

Some instant analysis from The Hill:

Lee's decision not to endorse Hatch speaks volumes about the political danger Hatch faces in 2012. The veteran GOP senator is expected to face a primary challenge from his right, and there's active precedent that a challenger could succeed; Lee, after all, succeeded in wresting the Republican nomination from veteran Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) in a primary race last year.

e-mail: jaskar@desnews.com

twitter: @askargo

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