Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) could be facing a challenge from his right as he vies for re-election, but he has some new ammunition to vouch for his conservative credentials.
The American Conservative Union recently released its 2010 Senate ratings, and Hatch scored a perfect 100 over the last year, just one of 12 senators to receive a perfect score. Other senators who had an unblemished voting record include conservative stalwarts like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
Hatch's score rose noticeably from his lifetime ACU rating of 89.5 and his 2009 mark of 88. In the last year, Hatch has highlighted his conservative bona fides to the right to fortify himself against a tea party challenge. Hatch was one of the original sponsors of the DREAM Act, but voted against it in the lame-duck session.
Hatch's longtime colleague Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) didn't fare as well. Lugar, who will likely face a primary challenge of his own, received a 71 rating. Only Maine's moderate duo of Sens. Olympia Snowe (R) and Susan Collins (R) scored lower among Republicans, with each earning a 64 from the ACU.
Twenty nine Democrats received scores of 0, including some who could potentially face competitive re-election campaigns, like Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).
And in his final year in the chamber, former Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) closed out his career with a 0 from the ACU.
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