Utah GOP delegates deciding fate of Sen. Hatch

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The fate of the long-serving senator from Utah, Orrin Hatch, is in the hands of 4,000 GOP delegates.

They will decide Saturday whether he becomes the Republican nominee or heads to a state primary.

Republicans are gathering outside Salt Lake City to cast their ballots, with the spotlight on Hatch's effort to win a seventh term in the Senate.

Hatch needs at least 60 percent of the vote to avoid a primary. He faces opposition from nine GOP challengers. His top two rivals are former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist and state Rep. Chris Herrod.

Hatch has been targeted by many of the tea party supporters who ousted three-term Sen. Bob Bennett in 2010. Hatch is waging an aggressive and expensive campaign to sway delegates.

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