Last Tuesday a federal court in Denver ruled Utah's dual-path system for putting candidates on the primary ballot was constitutional, meaning another loss in the Utah GOP's efforts to overturn SB54.

The legal fight against SB54, mostly pushed by a group of Republican party hardliners, has suffered setback after setback in the courts since the compromise that established Utah's two path system was passed by the legislature in 2014. Lawmakers came up with SB54 to head off a potential ballot initiative from Count My Vote that would have eliminated the caucuses as a nominating tool. 

Count My Vote is back this year with a ballot initiative to solidify the dual-track system to the ballot. Our polling shows 63% of Utahns support giving candidates two paths to the ballot.  

Opponents of the current nominating system have launched their own ballot initiative, dubbed Keep My Voice, which would repeal the ability for candidates to gather signatures to get on the ballot, leaving the original caucus/convention system as the only path to a party's nomination. Only 17% of Utahns support the KMV proposalKMVOnly 17% of Utahns support the KMV proposal according to our polling.

Our "Political Insiders" and readers overwhelmingly say opponents of Utah's hybrid system should take the hint and give up the fight.

  • 87% of the Republicans on our panel say their party should give up the ghost and drop the lawsuits. Only 13% want the party to appeal the lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court.

  • 84% of Democrats say it's time to drop the fight against SB54.

  • 83% of our readers say the GOP should drop their lawsuit against SB54.

 

Selected anonymous comments:

Unfortunately what I think the party SHOULD do and what the party WILL do are different things. They should stop. They will continue the lawsuit, and the rogue SCC members and Dave Bateman will continue their divisive, unproductive ways. Most of the 600,000 regular Republicans in Utah support the dual path to the ballot, but these crazies think they know best and are bent on destroying the party. Ugh. 

It's gone on long enough. I support the caucus system, but times have changed.

This issue has ripped the party apart, ended contributions by donors, sent Republican stalwarts looking for another party, left candidates not knowing how to get on a ballot, disgusted the general voting public, and left the state GOP bankrupt. Sounds like just the outcome the wingnuts are seeking. Why wouldn't they continue their lemming-like journey over the cliff?

They should drop the appeal, but the right-wing crazies in charge will never stop until it reaches the international courts in The Hague.

Turn out the light - Bateman, Wright, Herrod, Beckham, Peck - your 15 minutes of “fame” are over!

So done with this. Let’s move on.

Time to move on. The vast majority of Utah GOP wants dual track system to the primary ballot. GOP purists should stop trying to shove an outdated caucus system down the throats of voters who don’t want it.

Accept the reality of the situation. Now, focus on what you can do not what you can't. The poor caucus turnout should be a wakeup call. The majority citizens of Utah overwhelmingly do not support negative campaigns or to go to war over politics. Likewise, the CMV initiative did not increase voter turnout. Hmmm. So, GOP extremists, learn the serenity prayer and get back to party business....while you still have a party.

Continued pursuit of the lawsuit and the craziness surrounding it is destroying the party. I have a hard time understanding how those few that are pushing so hard on this can't see that.

Please move on! But, the SCC will probably still keep beating this dead horse.

Save Dave Bateman some serious cash and let’s move on. The anemic turnout on caucus night showed that the caucuses are not as beloved as the "Gang of 51" would have us believe.

How many times do you have to lose in court before you realize resistance is futile?

The signature route is here to stay, and it's for the best.

I'm a very strong caucus/convention supporter, and I think Count My Vote/SB54 is the worst thing to hit Utah politics in decades. Despite claims to the contrary, "Buy My Vote" is a more accurate description. That said, it's time to make a strategic retreat (it was time four years ago). If Bateman and the Keep My Voice crowd, which I support, were smart, they'd have poured $400,000 into getting grassroots candidates elected into the Utah legislature instead, and would have dismantled it from there. $400k would go VERY far that way and would have a lot more efficacy.

They won’t make the right decision...again. Let that irony set in. They want to make all the decisions about who is on the ballot yet they demonstrate horrible judgment at every turn. It’s time to send this outdated system to the ash heap of history and the power-hungry central committee with it.

It is the prerogative of the management of an organization to choose the method by which candidates who vie to represent it are put on a ballot for membership vote.

The case will never make it to the Supreme Court regardless of the money spent. Even dancing around the 10th circuit for longer has near zero chance of changing the result. An expensive lesson in statistic for anyone chasing a wild hare.

You've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. Are you listening Gang of 51?

Members of the State Central Committee don't have much in the way of common sense or a sense of reality, so they will probably keep fighting. I wish they could have been at my caucus, where everyone ripped on them. The smart thing to do is drop the fight and try to mend the party.

Tilting at these ill-conceived windmills bankrupted the party, which is solvent now only because it was rescued by a white knight who is driving the party even further from Utah's mainstream.

Move on! Acknowledge that you are clinging to an archaic system that has produced some of the worst legislators in Utah history.

Time to start acting like the dominant party with a big tent mentality instead of just focusing on the needs of 51 extremists!

Drop the lawsuit already. It is not only a waste of time/money/energy, but voters are finding all of this drama increasingly repulsive and want no part of it. They simply want their voices heard and represented. There was way too much time spent at caucus spent promoting Keep My Voice, an effort almost no one supported and led to contention in the conduct and words of attendees. If those behind this effort cannot or will not see that, then we should not be surprised when electorate engagement and involvement continues plummeting and going to the United Utah Party or elsewhere.

The absolute mania that the "Gang of 51" exhibits trying to flog this law (SB54) into oblivion is the stuff that Freud would like to try to understand. They need to drop it...let it go...just walk away. Or, there will be a lot of the "great unwashed" Republicans that drop them...let 'em go... or just walk out of the Utah GOP.

If they want to continue to increase their reputation as a laughingstock, they should appeal.

Keep pushing all the way to the Supreme Court!

Republicans should stop the nonsense legal action. There is room for all candidates to get on the ballot. Having political parties pick candidates that are too extreme, leaves out the majority of voters who live in the middle. Stop the madness!

Divisive for the party. Arrogant central committee's decision has alienated many voters, including lifelong Republicans (myself) as well as independents. The caucus/convention choices do not reflect the opinions of the majority of voters. Herbert and Curtis are examples of that!

Ever since Dave Bateman purchased the Republican Party, you can expect that he and Area 51 will continue this ludicrous money consuming lawsuit. At least I can rest assured that it is Dave's money being wasted and not mine. As they say, a fool and his money are soon parted.

The Utah GOP should drop the lawsuit, and quit bowing down to the extremist right-wing members of the party.