Poll: Three-quarters of Utah voters want Hatch to retire

Poll: Three-quarters of Utah voters want Hatch to retire
© Greg Nash

More than three-quarters of Utah voters don't want Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchGOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw Hatch: Second Kavanaugh allegation is 'phony' MORE (R) to seek reelection at the end of his term next year, according to a new survey.

A poll by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics finds 78 percent of respondents think Hatch should "definitely" or "probably" not run for reelection in 2018.

Another 12 percent think Hatch should "probably" run for reelection, and only 7 percent think he should "definitely" run again.

Voters are divided over whether they approve or disapprove of the job Hatch is doing in Congress.

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Forty-six percent of respondents strongly or somewhat approve of his job performance, compared to 48 percent who disapprove.

The poll was conducted from July 18 to 20 among 614 registered Utah voters. The margin of error is 3.95 percent. 

Hatch, 83, is the most senior Republican senator, having served in the upper chamber since 1977.

Hatch's office said he hasn't yet made a final decision about whether he will run for reelection, but said the Utah Republican is focused on serving his state.

"In an era of unprecedented gridlock and division, Senator Hatch is leveraging his leadership and successful legislating experience to encourage civility, bipartisanship, and collaboration among his colleagues," Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock told The Salt Lake Tribune.

"He's committed to serving the people of Utah and magnifying the duties of his office to tackle the toughest issues facing our nation. While he hasn't made a final decision about a campaign that's more than a year away, he hopes to by the end of the year."