UtahPolicy.com has been told by various sources that U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is leaning against running for re-election in 2018, and will likely retire. The second part of the rumor is that Mitt Romney is very likely to seek Hatch's seat.
Of course, it can always be the case that Hatch could change his mind and seek re-election, UtahPolicy is told.
He clearly is waiting out the field – by not announcing his intentions, by not actually starting a campaign – he is keeping other legitimate GOP candidates from announcing, or starting a campaign. Some prospective candidates are becoming impatient and a little irritated that Hatch hasn't announced his plans.
UtahPolicy is hearing that Hatch will announce in the fall, perhaps as early as August, that he intends to retire and devote his efforts to the Hatch Foundation – which UtahPolicy.com has discussed previously.