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Utah 4th District - Love vs. Matheson


Mia Love

Mia Love (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

Jim Matheson

Jim Matheson (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Utah Snapshot

RCP Ranking: Toss Up
2012 Key Races:
President | Governor | Senate

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

Governor | Senate | UT-2
2008: President
2006: Senate | UT-1 | UT-2 | UT-3
2004: President | Gov | Sen | UT-1 | UT-2 | UT-3

Polling Data

PollDateSampleLove (R)Matheson (D)Spread
Final Results----48.548.8Matheson +0.3
Mason-Dixon10/29 - 10/31625 LV5240Love +12
Deseret News/KSL9/26 - 9/29414 RV4943Love +6
Deseret News/KSL6/15 - 6/21379 RV3853Matheson +15
Mason-Dixon4/9 - 4/11625 RV4245Matheson +3
Deseret News/KSL12/19 - 12/21341 RV3653Matheson +17

Race Analysis

Like most Western states, Utah's population is heavily urban, with most of its people living in Salt Lake City and its suburbs. The state's four congressional districts divide up the Democratic-leaning city roughly evenly. The old 2nd District -- which previously took up most of the 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 Gov. Scott Matheson.

Republicans tried to dislodge Matheson in 2002 by making his district heavily Republican, but he managed to hold on.  This time, they tried splitting up his old district and forcing him to introduce himself to new voters.  That could work, especially given the hype surrounding Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love.  Republicans would love to add the conservative African-American Mormon to their caucus, and are pulling out all of the stops to make it happen.  Initial polls were discouraging, but by September the race appeared to have closed up.  It is anyone's game at this point.