78% of Utahns want Senator Orrin Hatch to retire

November 18, 2017

Utahns are split over whether they approve of seven-term Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s performance in office, but a large majority are sure they don’t want him to run for office again, according to a new poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Nearly 80% of registered voters statewide polled recently said Hatch—who is currently Senate Finance Committee Chairman and who also  serves as the Senate’s president pro tempore —shouldn’t seek re-election, with 57% saying he should “definitely not” run. Those numbers mirror results from a January poll that found 78% of Utahns think the senator should retire at end of his term.

“Even though he’s in a powerful … the voters are indicating they’re ready for a change,” said Tim Chambless, associated professor of Political Science at the university, adding, “If I were the campaign manager for Senator Hatch, I’d be very concerned.”

Hatch made news last week when he intervened to say that the President Trump “Cut, Cut, Cut” tax bill would not only benefit the rich. “I really resent anyone saying that I’m just doing this for the rich,” Hatch said, disgust evident in his voice, according to a report in Red State. “Gimme a break. I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old.”

Hatch has said he intends to run for another six-year term, although he won’t officially make the call until later this year. He had said during his last run in 2012 that the next run would be his final bid, but now says President Donald Trump, fellow senators and business leaders are urging him to continue on.

Research contact: tburr@sltrib.com

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