Our "Political Insiders" expect Mitt Romney to waltz to the GOP nomination if, as expected, he gets into the race for Utah's open U.S. Senate seat.

Romney has reportedly been preparing to run for Hatch's seat since last spring, but he has not yet made his intentions clear. Over the weekend it was reported that Romney texted longtime friend and supporter Kem Gardner that he is running for the seat.

When Romney finally pulls the trigger to run, our "Insider" panel doesn't expect him to have much competition for the GOP nomination. At least four Republican have already filed to run for the nomination, including St. George attorney Larry Myers. State Rep. State Rep. Dan McCay is also reportedly readying a run, but has not announced yet.

Even though there's a good chance Romney will be pushed into a primary election by a candidate who goes through the caucus/convention nominating system, our panel doesn't expect Romney to break much of a sweat for the GOP nomination.

- 89% of Republicans say Romney won't get a serious challenge for the GOP nomination.

- 87% of Democrats think Romney will cruise to the nomination.

- 67% of our readers say Romney won't get a serious challenge.

 

Selected reader comments:

Puhlease...the convention will be an embarrassing charade from the far right challenging Utah’s real favorite son (sorry Jon Huntsman), Mitt Romney. In Romney we Trust.

Others will run, but will not pose a serious challenge to Romney who has both the smarts and the money to gather signatures to get on the ballot and avoid the far right faction which may deem him too 'moderate'.

Jonathan Johnson could challenge Romney, but he won't.

Anyone who challenges Romney needs to have their head examined.

Romney will only be challenged by some far-right loons.

Any Republican who runs against Mitt is wasting his money just like any Democrat who runs against him.

I would like to see Mia Love. Not sure if Chris Herrod or Larry Meyers has interest. I don't think Mitt actually lives in Utah or reflects our interests. I also think he should have run on Democrat ticket as he seems too moderate.

Romney has this seat if he wants it.

Dan McCay if he decides to run. Also, depending on how long it takes Romney to announce, I can see a frustrated Congressman Stewart or Congresswoman Love throwing their hat's in the ring.

Dan McCay or someone similar could probably win at convention and force a primary. It won’t get further than that though.

Dan McCay, although "serious" is an overstatement. But I believe McKay will run and hope that outside PACs pummel Romney. Considering Romney's reputation here, though, the money will be wasted.

Others might file papers to declare their candidacy, but no one will put up a strong fight against Mitt.

Someone will challenge him, but not do very well during the primary race.

A few nobodies will get in and won't be able to make him commit to issues. Mitt will be a "campaign conservative" to get elected and will vote squish in the Senate. Too bad Utahns are so easily sedated.

The question wisely asks "serious challenge." If Romney's in, no one else has a chance.

The key word here is "serious." He will potentially get challengers from the far right at convention, but he will destroy any challenger in a primary or general election.

I would be interested in seeing a diehard trump supporter get in the race and make this a Trump vs. Romney race and put the Trump supporters in a quandary as to which way to go. I am an independent, but would love to see one our congressional delegation not be a patsy for Trump and stand up to him. We need some "spine" back there.