One of the longest-serving senators in America is about to retire. By all appearances, he could be replaced by a failed presidential candidate and noted anti-Trump Republican.
According to Free Beacon, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has privately told those close to him that he will be stepping down next year. Also, Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has indicated that he plans on running for Hatch’s seat.
Both Romney and Hatch are noted centrists who have stood against the policies and proposals of President Trump in the past.
During the 2016 election, some observers thought that President Trump would have a hard time winning Utah. After all, the state is known for its “niceness” and its religiosity. Mr. Trump’s crude, New York style was seen as a turn-off.
Furthermore, third party candidate Evan McMullin, a former CIA agent and a Mormon, entered the race based on the idea of denying Trump Utah.
This plan did not work for Mr. McMullin, for Trump won Utah with forty-five-percent of the vote.
As for the Hatch-Romney plan, it seems tailor-made to work. After all, Hatch is a liberal Republican, and Romney is a liberal Republican.
Romney is also a Mormon, and unlike pretty much every other American state, this fact does not work against him politically in Utah.
However, Romney could face opposition because of his outsider status, the fact that he has very little connections to Utah itself (although Romney does currently live in the Salt Lake City area), and the fact that Romney simply oozes establishment elitism.
According to The Atlantic, one Utah CEO called Romney running a “done deal.”
Romney’s race can be seen as a plot engineered by Utah’s GOP and its donors. Hatch is widely unpopular in Utah, with 78-percent of respondents saying that they believe that Mr. Hatch should retire.
Given this reality, Utah Republicans have reportedly been trying to convince Mr. Hatch to retire for some time now. They fear that Hatch could be easily defeated by a Democrat.
With Romney, Utah Republicans have a big name with some built-in support. Romney could also generate lots of establishment money from Washington, New York, and Boston. Romney also already has the support of donors in Utah.
Derek Miller, the CEO of Utah’s World Trade Center, told the Atlantic reporter: “if Romney runs, I will fully support him.”
If Romney does run and wins, then the Trump White House would get a new opponent in the already-combative Senate. Romney would likely become another Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell, two Republicans in Congress who have watered down or otherwise killed some of Mr. Trump’s biggest proposals.
Could Mitt Romney run for Hatch’s seat?
Romney’s run for the Senate has already earned him his publicity in the mainstream news, with several liberal outlets positively reporting on Mr. Romney’s chances of becoming the next big anti-Trump superstar.
Whatever ultimately happens, it is all up to the people of Utah. They are the ones who can decided whether they want Mitt Romney or not. Although Utah is held up as a conservative, yet mostly anti-Trump state, one cannot forget that Mr. Trump won the state in 2016, therefore meaning that his policies have some serious support in the Beehive State.