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Despite tough talk, Chaffetz won't challenge Hatch

AP

Incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch (left), Jason Chaffetz (right)

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has been making lots of noise about challenging longtime incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch. And conventional wisdom was that Hatch, like Sen. Bob Bennett, would be in serious jeopardy.

“You don’t have to have 36 years of seniority to get things done in Washington,” Chaffetz said of Hatch two weeks ago. “Seniority doesn’t matter if you don’t vote right.”

Apparently amid poll numbers showing Hatch leading, Chaffetz, a former BYU place kicker, couldn't back up the tough talk and punted.

He will announce at 6:00 pm ET that he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2012, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.