Former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reportedly considering a run for Senate in Utah, should Republican Senator Orrin Hatch opt out of reelection and retire.
Last month, a poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics claimed that 78% of registered voters in Utah think the 83-year-old Sen. Hatch should retire. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, “Those numbers mirror results from a January poll that found 78 percent of Utahns think the senator should retire at end of his seventh term.”
Senator Hatch said in March that his “current plans” are to run for his eighth term in office, but he also hinted that he may consider retiring if Romney runs to replace him.
While Hatch is waiting on Romney to make a decision, it seems Romney is waiting on Hatch.
UtahPolicy.com claims that “Sources close to Romney say the two-time presidential candidate will jump into the 2018 Utah Senate scrum if Hatch opts not to”:
Dave Hansen, a longtime political advisor to Hatch, told UtahPolicy.com last month that he didn’t expect Hatch to decide on his political future until October. However, sources now tell UtahPolicy.com that Hatch may not make up his mind until December.
Hatch’s reticence to make a definitive announcement is presenting other candidates from getting in the race, but Romney has the financial resources to mount a campaign no matter when Hatch decides.
Rep. Chris Stewart also has said he would like to jump into the race if Hatch decides against running for an eighth term next year.
A UtahPolicy.com poll shows Romney would be in great shape to win a Senate race against Democrat Jenny Wilson. Romney pulls 64% of the vote to Wilson’s 26%. The poll shows Stewart would only be ahead of Wilson 34-30, but that’s likely due to Stewart being less familiar to Utah voters.
Utah Policy later reported that “Romney is very likely to enter the race if Sen. Orrin Hatch decides to retire.”
If Sen. Hatch takes Romney’s claims seriously, perhaps he’ll reconsider his previous plans for his political future.
According to the Utah Policy poll, “Mitt Romney runs much stronger than other Republican candidates against Democrat Jenny Wilson.”
That means that if Hatch wants to maintain a Republic senate seat, in light of recent polls showing that most registered voters think he should retire, he may want to step aside and let Romney take over.
The Washington Times reports:
UtahPolicy.com reports that sources close to Mr. Romney say he’s making preparations to run, but some say Mr. Hatch likely won’t make a decision on whether he’ll run for another term until the end of the year.
[…] Rep. Chris Stewart, Utah Republican, has also expressed interest in running for the Senate in 2018. He currently represents Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, which serves Salt Lake City.
Let us know what you think will happen, and sound off in the comments below.