Will Tuesday’s Primaries Return One Political Figure to the National Spotlight? Will Tuesday’s Primaries Return One Political Figure to the National Spotlight? – NTK Network

Will Tuesday’s Primaries Return One Political Figure to the National Spotlight?

A former presidential candidate is on the ballot Tuesday.

By NTK Staff | 06.26.2018 @10:00am
Will Tuesday’s Primaries Return One Political Figure to the National Spotlight?

Some of Tuesday’s primaries are contested, and some are not. But one competition, featuring a clear frontrunner and an also-ran, may return a household name to the national spotlight in due time.

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007), two-time presidential candidate (2008, 2012), and one-time GOP presidential nominee (2012) is expected to win the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Utah on Tuesday.

There’s not much polling in the race, but a Salt Lake Tribune poll from two weeks ago had Romney leading his one serious primary candidate, Mike Kennedy, by 42 points (65 percent to 23 percent).

If Romney wins the GOP nomination Tuesday, he looks likely to coast to succeeding Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in the U.S. Senate in November. The last poll on the general election, from February, had him up on Democrat Jenny Wilson 60 percent to 14 percent.

And if Romney makes it to the U.S. Senate, he may join a rare group of Republican senators willing to criticize President Donald Trump from time to time.

Romney wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune this week:

If you elect me your senator, I will fight with vigor for the interests of our state and nation. I will endorse the president’s policies that support those interests. Hopefully, there will be few occasions where I will be compelled by conscience to criticize. But, as I have said throughout this campaign, I will call them like I see them. Last week, the president said that I’m a straight shooter; I will endeavor to be just so.

As a former presidential nominee and a Republican willing to criticize Trump, Romney would likely return to being a national figure in short time.

That group – GOP senators willing to criticize Trump – is dwindling. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) are retiring. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is battling fatal brain cancer. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), who has not hesitated to criticize the president on occasion, is around for 2019 and beyond, though, and he may gain an ally in Romney come January.

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