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SALT LAKE CITY — A majority of Utahns do not think Sen. Orrin Hatch should run for an eighth term in office, according to a new poll.
The poll, by The Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, shows 78 percent of respondents said Hatch should not run again when his current term ends.
Hatch, the longest-ever-serving GOP senator, promised in the 2012 election that his current term would be his last. However, last March he announced he changed his mind, partially due to encouragement from President Donald Trump and top Republicans.
A similar, unscientific survey on the Facebook page of KSL Newsradio's Doug Wright showed 94 percent voting against Hatch seeking an eighth term and 4 percent supporting another run, with 438 votes cast.
One Facebook commenter said, "It depends on who else is running. If he is the best choice, I would vote for him again. He is incredibly powerful, and 4th in line for the presidency. There may be another candidate hiding in the wings who would be a good replacement, however."
Another commenter said, "Hatch came campaigning to my grandfather's door in 1978 with term limits as a cornerstone issue. Well, 40 years later and that's a promise that it looks like he never intended to keep."
And another reader called Hatch, "One of the most consistently productive Senators in US history. Compare his record of successful legislation against any other sitting Senator. His constituent services is the best in the state if not the nation."
The Tribune/Hinckley Institute poll also showed Utahns split in their opinion of how Hatch is doing in Congress. Forty-eight percent responded negatively to the job Hatch is doing while 46 percent responded favorably.
That poll was conducted by Dan Jones and Associates at the end of July.