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Situational awareness - January 8, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Utahns say the state is on the right path, but the country as a whole is not. Mitt Romney reportedly wants to fill Sen. John McCain's role as a counterbalance to Trump. Oprah 2020?

Tick Tock:

Utah news highlights

Utahns are not happy with the direction of the country but feel good about Utah's path

A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds that despite GOP control of Congress and the White House, most Utahns are not happy with the direction of the country. The results reveal a partisan divide: 54% of Utah Republican voters say the U.S. is on the right track, while 86% of Democrats feel the opposite way [Utah Policy].

Mitt Romney reportedly wants to be a counterbalance to Trump

Mitt Romney reportedly told members of Utah's congressional delegation he wants to follow in the footsteps of John McCain and be a Republican alternative to President Trump. Romney's imminent entry into Utah's U.S. Senate race is also apparently frustrating Rep. Chris Stewart, who also wants to run for the seat left open by Hatch's retirement [Utah Policy]. 

Flake and Shelby want Romney to run

Republicans Jeff Flake of Arizona and Richard Shelby of Alabama want to see Mitt Romney run for the Senate seat being vacated by Orrin Hatch [Utah Policy].

Former Hatch chief of staff Rob Porter may be leaving the White House

Rob Porter, who left Orrin Hatch's office to take a key slot in the Trump White House, is reportedly being courted by big businesses to join the private sector. Porter is seen as a key staffer in the White House. He has also worked for Sen. Mike Lee [Utah Policy].

Is a Democratic wave forming in 2018? 

Our "Political Insiders" say not so fast. They're not sure that Democrats are on track to capture control of one, or both, houses of Congress in November [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

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Today At Utah Policy

Utahns say the country is headed in the wrong direction, but are confident that Utah is on the right path

Most Utahns believe the United States is going in the wrong direction, a bit of an odd measurement considering the state is very Republican, and the GOP controls the White House and Congress, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows....

Romney: 'Who's going to stand up to Trump?'

Mitt Romney reportedly said a driving motivation behind his desire to run for Senate is to emulate Arizona Sen. John McCain as a Republican counterbalance to President Trump....

Several GOP Senators are urging Mitt Romney to run (with video)

Several Republican Senators say they'd like to see Mitt Romney run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Orrin Hatch....

Rob Porter, who was Hatch's chief of staff, may be leaving the White House

A key White House staffer with Utah connections may be moving on....

'Political Insiders' aren't sure there will be a Democratic 'wave election' this year

Democrats enjoy their largest lead on the generic congressional ballot in more than a decade. The last time their lead was this big was in 2006 when Democrats ended up winning control of both the House and the Senate in that year's midterm elections....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Congress

There's a U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2018 as well as all four U.S. House seats. Here's our list of rumored and declared candidates....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate

2018 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year, including an unexpected one because of a retirement. Here's our running list of candidates for those seats....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House

Next week candidates can start gathering signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who's in, who's out and who's challenging....

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Policy News

League of Women Voters welcomes dissolution of Election Integrity Commission
The League of Women Voters of Utah and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Utah welcomes the Trump administration's decision to dissolve the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a federal commission that had sought illegal access to the pe...

Congressman Stewart launches 'Valentines for Veterans' card drive
Congressman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) is hosting a Valentine's Day Card Drive to thank and honor our Utah veterans....

Register now for Governor Herbert's trade mission to Mexico
World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, is coordinating an official state trade mission to Mexico, led by Governor Gary R. Herbert....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Michelle Quist: Holding on until the very last minute, Hatch is out. Who is in?

Editorial: Utah still needs a push on air quality

Feds say Utah has another serious air quality problem - ozone

Gehrke: Inside Orrin Hatch's difficult decision to step away from the Senate and what it means for Mitt Romney

Lawmakers may impose fees on Utah cities that lack affordable housing

Population is booming in Salt Lake, Utah county neighborhoods - with one exception

Republicans and Democrats mourn Matt Hillyard - a senator's son with Down syndrome who was a beloved fixture at the Utah Capitol

A group that supported Roy Moore is now raising thousands for Utah Rep. Mia Love to run for U.S. Senate - and stop Mitt Romney

Kaysville councilman says extortion accusations are 'just a ruse,' refuses to resign after being publicly condemned by fellow council members

Deseret News

Op-ed: Trump and the Iranian people

New York Times says Salt Lake City's airport will 'link the mountains and the coasts'

The Week writer says Utah doesn't need Romney. Here's why

The agony of John Curtis

Kaysville councilman says he won't resign after censure

Layton councilman, head of Salt Lake's 911, arrested in DUI case


Capitol, Cache Valley fixture Matt Hillyard passes away (Logan Herald Journal)

National Headlines

The Democrats' 'Russian Descent' (Wall Street Journal)

Another 'Oops' from the Intelligence Community (PJMedia)

Grand jury empaneled in Burlington College case (VTDigger)

Good Fight to Explore Impeachment of President Trump by 'Shameless' Means (TVLine)

In Clash Between California and Trump, It's One America Versus Another (New York Times)

Recovering Sen. Paul says political violence rising concern (Associated Press)

Bannon expresses regret over response to bombshell book (CNN)

Bannon Tries Backing Away From Explosive Comments (New York Times)

Trey Gowdy Blasts Adam Schiff Over Statements About Trump-Russia Probe (Daily Caller)

U.S. judge in Las Vegas may dismiss ranching standoff case (Associated Press)

In possible boon for White House, Fed ready to lay low as tax plan kicks in (Reuters)

Wise Words

New Year Goal

"I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow." Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side


"President Trump announced that he wants to send astronauts back to the moon for the first time in 45 years. And then the president was startled when Melania yelled, "I'll go!" Harry Styles

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