< Previous Page
"I think it is a new game here," he said. "I am very optimistic that Utahns are going to come to the same realization Hoosiers are coming to this week."
Hatch's campaign manager, Dave Hansen, says "it is apples and oranges to a great degree," but he has been keeping an eye on Lugar.
"It seems like the Indiana race has been Senator Lugar starting on top and a gradual drop since then," Hansen said. "In the Hatch race, our starting point was probably our lowest point and it has continued to go up from there."
He also noted that Lugar had to fight off the opposition of a number of conservative groups, while Hatch's opposition is more limited.
"It is just one renegade group out here," Hansen said, referring to FreedomWorks.
While Hatch has the support of the National Rifle Association, Lugar does not. Hatch has also benefited from the endorsement of conservative talk radio personalities and more importantly Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate and a political superstar in Utah. Lugar doesn't have that backing.
Outside groups have spent $4.8 million on Indiana's Senate race. Opponents to Lugar only have increased their spending in recent days, while the American Action Network, a group backing the senator, has backed away. So far, outside groups have spent closer to $1.5 million in Utah, and more than half of it has supported Hatch.
More telling than anything is that Lugar has started encouraging independents and Democrats to vote in his state's open primary, a sign he's not confident he can win if only Republicans go to the polls.
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.