‘Political Insiders’ weigh in on Hatch and Chaffetz’s political future

Jason Chaffetz and Orrin HatchOur “Political Insiders” and readers say Sen. Orrin Hatch should not run for an 8th term in the Senate in 2018. But, they’re not sure if Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s political fortunes have dimmed because of some of his recent public gaffes.

Hatch recently made news when he said he was planning on running for an 8th term (his office tried to pour cold water on that declaration shortly after he made it. Hatch previously promised his 7th term would be his last when he ran for re-election in 2012.

Our readers and “Political Insider” panel think Hatch should honor his 2012 promise and not try for an 8th term next year. Hatch will be 84 years old at the end of his current term and would be 90 if he finishes an 8th.

  • 62% of the Republicans on our panel say Hatch should not run next year.
  • 83% of the Democrats who responded say Hatch should not go for another term.
  • 95% of our readers say Hatch should retire at the end of his current term.



Chaffetz has been the center of some controversy after suggesting that Americans should prioritize paying for their healthcare instead of a new iPhone. He also said the people who shouted him down during a rowdy town hall meeting were paid protesters.

Chaffetz already has drawn two challengers for 2018, one Republican and one Democrat.

The Republicans on our panel say Chaffetz is not in political trouble because of those gaffes, while Democrats and our readers think he could be vulnerable next year.



Selected anonymous comments:

If Hatch’s health is good, and he can function at a high level, and there is a need for him on tax reform or other important issues, then Utah might be foolish to not return him to Washington with all of his seniority.

Sen. Hatch, as a campaign promise, indicated that he had one more term. We need to hold him to it. Will he make through a Utah State Republican Convention? I should see how he is received at this year’s convention. If he receives a mixed response and there is any doubt at all or a perceived change in popularity, his advisers need to coax, cajole, and convince him not to run again. My main concern is that we get another individual with Sen. Hatch’s more or less, statesman-like qualities. I hope there is someone that can fill his shoes whether or not you agree with his political views.

“What do you call a Senator who’s served in office for 18 years? You call him home” — Orrin Hatch. What do you call a senator who’s been in office for 42 years? You call him Orrin Hatch. Enough is enough, already.

Hatch promised when he ran last time that that would be his last term. I voted for him in the Primary for that reason. I will hold him to his word.

Many have great respect for Sen. Hatch, including myself. However, it’s time to pass the torch. Retirement is not a bad thing.

I love Senator Hatch and recognize all that he has done for Utah, but it’s time for someone younger and new to the whole DC game to step up and help us out.

Sen. Hatch should retire while he is on top. There is great glory in retiring with reputation and personal power intact.

If Hatch can shepherd through tax reform and other big-ticket items over the next two years then definitely.

It is time to thank Hatch for a job well done. He gave his word to the people of Utah. Nothing should TRUMP that.

As a Republican, I will absolutely vote for whoever the Democrats nominate if Sen. Hatch is the GOP nominee.

Senator Hatch has served honorably, and we should be grateful for his service, but it is time for a change. The world is not the same as it was 42 years ago.

Hatch is good for Utah. His seniority is important. But he also commands the respect of his peers because, unlike Mike Lee, he respects the perspectives of diverse groups and is, therefore, willing to find solutions that build on the best ideas of everyone. Let’s keep electing him for as long as he is willing to serve.

The U.S. Senate is a part-time job that makes you a rich celebrity. Hatch has added to that a motorcade and security detail. Why would you give that up?

Hatch running again is the best chance for Democrats to take a Senate seat. Please run!

Chaffetz was over 70% last election; he’s fine. I guess liberals can dream, though…

A Democrat challenger will not sway enough Republican voters to defeat Chaffetz in the general election. A successful challenge would need to come from within the Republican Party. A strong Democrat challenger can water down a little of his support; however.

Chaffetz’ race in 2018 will be closer than his 2016 win, but he’ll still garner more than 60% of the vote. And Republican primary voters/caucus attendees will still support him strongly.

Although many wouldn’t disagree with his comment regarding the choice between insurance and expensive cell phones, Chaffetz seems so out of touch on many issues. He seems more self-interested than most members of Congress.

Heaven forbid if Chaffetz starts tweeting Like Trump.

The people packing Chaffetz’s public meeting never voted for him, and those that did vote for him agree you might have to choose between your cell phone and insurance.

The conservative base will rally to Chaffetz’s cause.

White Mormon male from Provo – Are you serious? What the heck is wrong with you people, really? ARE YOU SERIOUS? It does not matter what he does or says, are you serious?

Utah voters have political battered spouse syndrome. They’ll vote for the worst, most awful choice – en masse – that’s presented to them by the GOP. They can’t help themselves. Electoral self-flagellation (both descriptives). “Will this politician be overwhelmingly awful and detrimental to the future of my children? Yes? Can I vote for him twice?”

No one will remember anything Chaffetz said in 2016 or 2017 once we are in 2018. The little people that everyone seems to forget love Jason. He will win re-election with 70% of the vote on a bad day.

Rep. Chaffetz will be just fine in his district. If he were running for Mayor of Salt Lake, it would be a different story. His base in his district like him just fine.

Chaffetz’s district is not going to elect a Democrat, and the people who vote in Republican conventions and primaries love him.

Any breathing human with the GOP nomination will beat the Democrats in Chaffetz’s district.

Chaffetz is overwhelmingly popular in his district. Just because some people in Cottonwood Heights don’t like him doesn’t mean he is vulnerable.

While vulnerable, unless a highly qualified candidate (not the attorney wanna be from Utah County) steps forward, Chaffetz will win.

Utah just voted for Trump. Why would they now turn their nose up at Chaffetz? Plus the Utah Legislature gerrymandering ended competitive federal elections in Utah.

Chaffetz’s only vulnerability comes from a Republican primary.