Report: If Hatch Wants Out of Senate, Romney Wants In

Former presidential candidate said to be waiting on Utah senator's retirement decision
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2017 10:58 AM CDT
Report: If Hatch Wants Out of Senate, Romney Wants In
In this photo taken Nov. 19, 2016, Mitt Romney talks to the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in Bedminster, NJ.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

What Joe Biden wants, Joe Biden gets—maybe. In June, the former VP had recommended to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney that the latter should run for Senate if Utah's Orrin Hatch retires next year, as has been rumored. Now, sources tell Utah Policy that Romney is gearing up for the 2018 Senate race if Hatch opts out, though Hatch apparently is still mulling what to do and prolonging his decision. Last month, a longtime adviser told the site that Hatch may not offer an answer until October has closed out, but now sources say that answer may not come until December. Although that kind of waffling might frustrate most potential candidates, Utah Policy notes that Romney has the resources to jump right into the fray no matter when Hatch makes up his mind.

Hatch had said earlier this year he'd step down if he knew an "outstanding person" were in the mix to take his place, and a new poll hints that Utahans might consider Romney to be just that person: The survey commissioned by Utah Policy and Dan Jones & Associates shows that if Romney were to run today against Democrat Jenny Wilson, believed to be the major contender for her party, he would harness 64% of the vote to Wilson's 26%, with 10% undecided. His next-closest competition, GOP Rep. Chris Stewart, who's also expressed interest in running, would nab 34% to Wilson's 30%, with 36% undecided. Romney's approval ratings are up there, too: Per Business Insider, a February poll had Utah voters giving Romney a 71% approval rating, with 25% disapproving (mainly Democrats, per Utah Policy).

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