But beyond Utah, Romney remains hated by many Trump loyalists. The hashtag NeverRomney quickly sprung up on Twitter in the hours after Hatch’s announcement. There also emerged a sense of resignation that little could be done to block his path to the Senate.
“The Republican base views Mitt Romney with the same disdain that they view Mitch McConnell,” said Andy Surabian, senior adviser to a pro-Trump super PAC allied with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. “I think the conservative movement will look to weaken him at every turn to ensure he never becomes anything more than a junior senator from Utah.”
That’s just fine for some Utah Republicans, who are concerned with the fate of the GOP under Trump’s leadership.