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Jud Burkett | The Spectrum U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), left, listens as one of the challengers for his senate seat, former Utah state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, right, answers a question during a debate Monday, April 16, 2012 on the campus of Dixie State College in St. George, Utah.
News roundup: Sarah Palin endorses Hatch on Fox News

Palin for Hatch. Study offers bad news for Romney's Mormon problem. SLTrib's new Romney page.

Happy Wednesday. Sen. Orrin Hatch snagged a nice endorsement last night when ex-Alaska Guv and former VP candidate Sarah Palin endorsed him on Fox News' Greta Van Susteren: "I want him to win. I join Sean Hannity and Mark Levin and other conservatives who would like to see Mr. Balanced Budget return to Washington. He's part of that one percent you hear about. Not the one percent that's mocked and criticized in the press lately but the one percent of national politicians who I believe should be reelected and sent to Congress because of his commitment to see a balanced budget in the United States of America." [Trib]

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Topping the news: Voters who are moderately acquainted with the Mormon faith are more likely to believe negative things about Romney and his church. [Trib]

-> Rep. Jim Matheson and GOP nominee Mia Love exchange verbal blows for the first time in front of the Utah Taxpayers Association. [Trib] [KCPW] [DNews]

-> The Taxpayers Association releases its annual scorecard. [UtahPolicy]

-> Once an enemy of the senator, Club For Growth's Chris Chocola now says he expects Hatch to win his primary -- and the group plans to stay out of the race. [Politico]

New today:My bad folks: I meant to introduce our new Romney section this morning but mischaracterized it. With the local ties and interest in Romney, we're covering the candidate in a unique way and from more angles than much of the national media, and we're presenting that coverage at www.sltrib.com/romney2012. This isn't an endorsement, just a landing spot for all the Romney-related coverage. The Salt Lake Tribune has you covered when it comes to news about the Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama election, and your loyal political writers have now devoted a page on our website for you to keep up to date on the latest news. Starting this morning, you can check out www.sltrib.com/romney2012 for all your needs on the presidential election front. Bookmark it, and check back often for updates.

Tweet of the day: From @tvheidihatch: "Congrats to @kutv2news' Rod Decker- He will be inducted into the *National Broadcasters Hall of Fame* today!"

In other news: The Washington Post's Karl Eskew hints that Hatch may not be in touch enough to run a modern campaign. The same language he used in the 70' is coming back to haunt him. [WaPost]

-> Hatch calls out Obama and Sen. Harry Reid over automatic tax hikes, claiming they are trying to sabotage the post-election season. [TheHill]

-> Peggy Stack hopes that Hatch's book, which is aimed at teaching outsiders the fundamentals of the LDS faith, will help stop the misinformation about the religion that is propelled in the media. [Trib]

-> Continuing his displeasure at Hatch for refusing to debate, Dan Liljenquist said he is willing to settle for a debate with a cardboard cut out and pre-recorded sound bites. [Trib] [StandardEx]

-> In an effort to stay neutral, Hatch matches his donation to AG candidate John Swallow with one for rival GOP candidate Sean Reyes. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly discusses how the Helper mayor wants to a more expensive alcohol vendor by his personal business, rather than a cheaper alternative near his business competition. [Trib]

-> SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon presents a wide array of Utahns as his picks for a committee to oversee the county's canyon areas. The County Council needs more time before it approves the group, though. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the GOP's outlook on foreign tax shelters. [Trib]

2012 watch: ABC's Jonathan Karl interviews congressional candidate Mia Love on the Capitol lawn during her recent visit to Washington and she says she's staying out of the Hatch-Liljenquist primary. [ABCNews]

-> Although he is out of the White House, former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's strategic mind and aggressive tactics will come in handy for Obama. [TheHill]

-> Romney sweeps Arkansas and Kentucky primaries. [Reuters] Obama's popularity in Arkansas and rest of the south even worse in 2012. A no-name Dem nominee receives a good portion of the primary vote. [WaPost]

-> With the economy being the country's No. 1 issue, voters are tied on whether Obama or Romney have the stuff to fix it. [CNN] [WaPost]

-> Bush-era State Secretary Colin Powell is still waiting, watching and listening before he makes an endorsement. [FOXNews] [Politico]

-> Wisconsin's upcoming gubernatorial recall vote could foreshadow how the swing state will affect the presidential race. [WaPost]

-> Romney is a sci-fi fan, at least according to some of the books he says he likes. [Politico]

-> The votes Obama loses over his gay marriage announcement is made by the votes he'd gain, essentially making little difference in the long-run, according to a new poll. [MSNBC]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz delivers the keynote speech at UVUs Business & Economic Forum in the morning, then tours the Sandia National Labs in Northern California in the afternoon, after which he attends a fundraiser for House Speaker John Boehner.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon meets with other county elected officials in the morning and then attends the County Council's forum on Diversity Affairs Hate Crime Education.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder sits down with members of The Salt Lake Tribune, attends the World Trade Center Utah ribbon cutting and makes and appearance at the Salt Lake County Republican Party candidate event.
  • President Barrack Obama delivers the commencement address to the United States Air Force Academy, then hits campaign events in Denver, Atherton, Calif. and Redwood City, Calif.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com.

-- Thomas Burr and Andreas Rivera

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/andreascrivera



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