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Situational awareness - August 29, 2019

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City

Thanks for reading Utah's must-read daily political news rundown. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Support for Trump's re-election in Utah is only at 40%
  • The demographics of the Utah GOP are shifting.
  • Trump reportedly promised to pardon staffers who break the law in order to fast-track construction of his border wall


Days to the 2019 Utah municipal elections: 68 (11/5/2019)

Days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature: 151 (1/27/2020)

Days to the Utah presidential primaries: 187 (3/3/2020)

Days to the 2020 Utah primary elections: 300 (6/23/2020)

Days to the 2020 election: 432 (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/Logos/UTGOP_Logo_02.jpgAnalysis: Makeup of Utah Republican Party shifting
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The Republican voter in Utah is changing, it appears. But is the Utah Republican Party changing with them?
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_03.jpgTrump at 40% support in Utah ahead of 2020 vote; Trails Democrats Booker and Sanders, tied with Warren and Biden in head-to-head matchup
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 President Donald Trump President Donald Trump has a shockingly low ceiling of support in Republican-dominated Utah as he runs for re-election in 2020 according to a new Utah Political Trends survey from UtahPolicy.com and Y2 Analytics.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20190828_GOED_USTAR_UtahPolicyImage_MIP_080819_v1.jpgUtah's Medical Innovations Pathways Program
By GOED team
BioUtah is taking a lead role in developing Utah's life sciences workforce through the Medical Innovations Pathways Program.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Term_Limits_01.jpgPoll: 75% of Utahns support term limits for legislators
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Three-fourths of Utah voters like the idea of term limits for the governor and 104 part-time state legislators, a new UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics survey shows.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgAin't no way Democrats are gonna win up there - Bernick and Schott on politics
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney is preparing a replacement plan for Obamacare that would "give more flexibility to states." Does it have a chance of passing Congress?
images/1000px_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngUtahns less confident about economic future but more content with where they are
By Zions Bank
The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index (CAI) decreased 0.1 points to 113.1 in August. The year-over-year CAI ticked down slightly by 1.8 points. In comparison, the national Consumer Confidence Index decreased 0.7 points to 135.1 this month.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgUtah Foundation launches new series on how Utahns pay for their water
By Utah Foundation
Given Utah's position as both one of the driest and one of the fastest-growing states, getting water management right is critical.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_02.jpgRomney's Obamacare replacement would give more flexibility to states
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Sen. Mitt Romney Sen. Mitt Romney is working behind the scenes on a replacement to the Affordable Care Act, but few details have been forthcoming. Romney tells UtahPolicy.com his plan will help provide healthcare to those Americans who are still without insurance under the ACA.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune


Build the wall

Democrats are alarmed by reports that President Donald Trump has promised to pardon any aides who break the law to fast-track construction of his border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border [WaPo].

The winnowing

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand drops her presidential bid after spending more than $4 million on advertising [NYT].

Ten debating Democrats

10 Democrats qualify for the next televised presidential debate in September [AP].


Under a new rule from the Trump administration, the children of some US service members and government employees living abroad will not automatically be granted US citizenship. The rule seems primarily aimed at the children of naturalized citizens serving in the armed services who have not lived in the US for some time [CNN].

Trump vs. Fox News

President Donald Trump blasted Fox News on Twitter Thursday, accusing the cable news network of "heavily promoting Democrats." Trump's tantrum came after the channel interviewed a Democratic Party spokesperson [CNN Business].

  • Fox News stars pushed back at the president's demands for loyalty [Daily Beast].


Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson announced he would resign later this year due to health problems. The surprise resignation means Republicans will have to defend one more Senate seat in 2020 [Politico].


MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell apologized Thursday evening after reporting a thinly-sourced claim that Donald Trump had Russian co-signers on loans from Deutsche Bank [WaPo].


The Trump administration will announce Thursday they plan to loosen regulations on methane, a potent greenhouse gas [NYT].

For your radar

Congress will likely have to resort to a stopgap measure to keep the government open after October 1. The Senate has not marked up a single appropriations bill in subcommittee for the first time in decades [WaPo].


Policy News

Utah County Commissioners set to launch 'Your County, Your Voice' program
Utah County Commissioners Bill Lee, Nathan Ivie, and Tanner Ainge announced a new program intended to gather citizen feedback called, "Your County, Your Voice." The survey tools are intended to solicit input on a number of issues facing Utah County and to better understand concerns of county residents. 
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpg2500 jobs coming to Utah's 1st Congressional District
Rep. Rob Bishop, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, offered congratulatory remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony in Roy, UT following an announcement by Northrop Grumman of the construction of a brand new facility. The facility will serve as the headquarters for the company's Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program and create 2500 new jobs in northern Utah.
United Utah Party holds public hearings on term limit initiative
Public hearings on the UUP term limit initiative will be held between August 27 and August 31, 2019, at the designated locations listed below: 
New-generation diesel technologies to deliver greatest emission reductions from Utah's VW settlement spending
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) awarded $25.5 million to fund vehicle replacements in priority communities most in need of emission reductions across the state. These funds represent the majority of the $35 million allocated to Utah as part of the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust. Seven percent of the state's $35 million settlement from Volkswagen remain to be spent before October 2027. 
State of Utah continues partnership, innovation by awarding new contract to NIC's Utah Interactive
After a competitive bid process, the state of Utah awarded Utah Interactive a new enterprise contract to provide state digital government solutions.
Utah State University celebrates the Year of the Woman Telling Our Story: 1890-2020
Utah State University joins the nation and state in celebrating significant voting rights anniversaries in 2020. As the university honors these important milestones in the nation's history, and as part of those celebrations, Utah State University declares the 2019-20 school year as the "Year of the Woman."

More National Headlines


1963 - The Moscow-Washington hotline between the leaders of the U.S. and the Soviet Union goes into operation.

1967 - Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court.

1992 - The 11-day Ruby Ridge standoff ends with Randy Weaver surrendering to federal authorities.

Wise Words


"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran

Lighter Side

Trump Derangement

"If there's one thing Trump loves to brag about, it's the stock market. He talks about it constantly - and by talks about it, I of course mean he lies about it, because he lies about everything." - SETH MEYERS

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