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Utah 2nd District - Philpot vs. Matheson


Jim Matheson

Jim Matheson (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Morgan Philpot

Morgan Philpot (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Utah Snapshot

RCP Ranking:
2010 Key Races:
Governor | Senate

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2006: Senate | UT-1 | UT-2 | UT-3
2004: President | Gov | Sen | UT-1 | UT-2 | UT-3

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMatheson (D)Philpot (R)Spread
Final Results----50.546.1Matheson +4.4
Deseret News10/25 - 10/28456 LV5139Matheson +12
Mason-Dixon10/25 - 10/27400 LV4835Matheson +13
Deseret News10/11 - 10/14226 LV5731Matheson +26
UtahPolicy/Western Wats9/30 - 10/3200 RV4630Matheson +16

Previous Election Results

  2008: Matheson (D) 63%, Bee (R) 35%   2008: McCain (R) 58%, Obama (D) 40%
  2006: Matheson (D) 59%, Christensen (R) 37%   2004: Bush (R) 66%, Kerry (D) 31%
  2004: Matheson (D) 55%, Swallow (R) 43%   2000: Bush (R) 63%, Gore (D) 29%

Race Analysis

Like most western states, Utah’s is a heavily urban population, with most of its denizens living in Salt Lake City and its suburbs. The state’s three congressional districts divide up the Democratic-leaning city roughly evenly. The 2nd District – which previously took up most of central city, elected Republican Enid Greene Waldholtz to replace Democrat Karen Shepherd in 1994. Greene imploded under the weight of a scandal involving her husband and was replaced by Republican Merrill Cook. Cook, a munitions manufacturer, seemed to be as unstable as the product he sold, and lost a primary in 2000 to computer tycoon Derek Smith; Smith lost the general election to Democrat Jim Matheson, son of former Governor Scott Matheson.

Matheson has won the heavily Republican district by steadily-increasing margins. He has compiled a moderately conservative voting record in the House, and opposed the president’s health care bill. But a Democrat’s position in Utah is always tenuous; close observers will remember Democratic Representative Bill Orton, who was upset in 1996 to an unheralded opponent after President Clinton created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the district. Matheson’s opponent, former state Representative Morgan Philpot, wouldn’t normally be in a position to defeat Matheson, but this year, in this district, anything can happen.