"Hatch's haul is a symbolic flare," Cantanese writes, "meant to signal to Rep. Jason Chaffetz that he'll be financially prepared for what appears to be a likely challenge from the congressman."
Federal Election Committee reports show Hatch Election Committee, Inc., reached the $1.3 million figure by bringing in roughly $750,000 from individuals, another $500,000 from political committees such as PACs and $50,000 from party political committees. Operating expenses for the campaign during the quarter were $817,352, and Hatch's re-election effort entered July with $3.43 million in the bank.
New poll results released Tuesday by Democratic polling organization Public Policy Polling have Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, leading both Hatch and Rep. Jason Chaffetz in hypothetical 2012 senate elections.
"Democrats really do have a chance to be competitive in the U.S. Senate race in Utah next year, but that potential for a close contest is completely predicated on Congressman Jim Matheson taking the plunge. … Matheson would lead incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch 45-44 in a head to head, and would hold a wider lead over fellow Congressman Jason Chaffetz at 47-42."