After it was reported that Mitt Romney is preparing to run for the U.S. Senate in 2018 if Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, decides to retire, a new poll indicated he would perform far better against his Democratic opponent than other likely Republicans.
On Monday, sources close to Romney said the two-time presidential candidate would "jump into the 2018 Utah Senate scrum if Hatch opts not to," according to Utah Policy. Hatch has said in the past that he would run for re-election in 2018 if his and his wife's health stayed strong. His decision was expected to be known by October; however, it looks like it may not be decided until December, Utah Policy reported.
A new poll also suggests that should Romney run for office, he stands a fighter's chance of landing the seat. Romney trounced his faux opponent Democratic candidate Jenny Wilson, the leading announced Democratic candidate, according to Utah Policy. Romney would have received 64 percent of the vote, while Wilson would have only received 26 percent, with 10 percent undecided.
Other potential candidates, such as GOP 2nd District Congressman Chris Stewart, would beat Wilson 34-30, with 36 percent not knowing how to vote. Utah Valley University President Matt Holland would lose to Wilson, 23-30, with 47 percent not knowing how they would vote. However, Hatch performed the worst and would lose to Wilson in the faux election, 34-45, with only 21 percent not knowing how they would vote, according to the poll. The survey was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates between August 30 and September 5, with 608 registered voter respondents, Utah Policy reported.
"Hatch could decide on the last day of the filing period not to file, and Romney would have the resources to step in and run," said Utah State University political science professor, Damon Cann, on Hatch's potential decision. "Few other people would be able to do that."
"There's no one on the planet who could beat Mitt Romney in a Senate race in Utah," he continued. "Romney is widely admired and appreciated in the state of Utah. If Sen. Hatch doesn't run, there will be a collective sigh of relief from many Utahns. If Mitt Romney does run, there will be cheers from the gallery and enthusiasm from every corner of the state."