The Washington Times - February 9, 2011, 12:51PM

Facing a possible tough primary battle in Utah for his seat, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch received a boost Wednesday when he was rated one of the top conservatives in the Senate last year by the American Conservative Union.

ACU’s annual scorecard of lawmakers deemed a dozen Republican senators and 75 House Republicans “defenders of liberty,” meaning they voted the way ACU wanted on a set of key votes.


Among the dozen senators, Mr. Hatch is the most intriguing, having seen his former Republican seat mate from Utah, Robert F. Bennett, fail to win the Republican nomination last year.

Twenty-eight Democratic senators and dozens of House Democrats scored zero ratings. Among the 25 key votes in the Senate were the START treaty, efforts to protect Arizona’s immigration law, a debt limit increase, health care and an earmark moratorium.

The 24 key House votes included health care, campaign finance and an offshore drilling moratorium. The ratings can be found at