Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has taken a strong lead in the race for U.S. Senate in Utah, according to a new poll from[1]

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Urah, announced his plan to retire after seven terms in January. Romney, seen as the clear frontrunner, far outpaced his closest rivals, Democratic Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, Republican Rep. libertarian Craig Bowden and presumptive candidate Republican State Rep. Dan McCay, in the latest poll.

When respondents were asked who they would support for Senate:

  • 60 percent said Romney
  • 14 percent said Wilson
  • 3 percent said Bowden
  • 2 percent said McCay
  • 14 percent are undecided
  • 2 percent picked a different candidate

The poll also shows Romney is favored by women, Republicans, unaffiliated voters and even Democrats:

  • 75 percent of Republicans
  • 59 percent of independents
  • 32 percent of Democrats
  • 61 percent of women
  • 59 percent of men

"I’ve climbed several peaks in the Grand Tetons and know it takes courage to look up at a big tall challenge," Wilson told in an email. "I jumped into this race months ago because I love Utah and believe the people in my state are better served by someone who will champion their interests."

The poll was conducted by The Dan Jones & Associates among 609 registered voters from February 9-16, with a margin of error of 4 percent.

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