Tea Party Activists Target GOP Senator in Utah

The Tea Party Movement, which has fueled the downward spiral of Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate campaign in Florida, is now targeting Republican Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah.

Bennett, who is seeking a fourth term this year, is facing a long list of potential primary challengers, including businesswoman Cherilyn Eagar, millionaire entrepreneur Tim Bridgewater, businessman James Williams and Mike Lee, a former assistant U.S. attorney.

But Tea Party activists are seeking to torpedo Bennett's re-election campaign because he supported the $700 billion financial bailout plan and has "missed a lot of the basic blocking and tackling," a political operative with close ties to Tea Party activists told Fox News. "He's just become too inside the beltway."

Next Friday, some Tea Party activists will gather in Salt Lake City to discuss their options.

A candidate must win 60 percent of the delegate vote at the state Republican convention May 8 to secure the party's nomination. If no candidate garners 60 percent, the top two finishers will face off in a primary election.

Tea Party activists note that because of the caucus nomination process in Utah, a group of committed activists can really "make a mess out there."

Bennett has reportedly already spent more than $500,000 trying to reach out to potential delegates who will be selected at caucus meetings in March.

But Bennett apparently hasn't spent nearly as much reaching out to Tea Partiers.

"Bennett hasn't tried to work with us too much," one activist said. "Maybe he's tired and that is why he hasn't tried to reach out any more to the Tea Party people."

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.