The campaign arm of Democrats in Congress is adding Rep. Mia Love's 4th CD to their list of targeted seats in 2018.
Before Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams announced he was jumping in the race to challenge Love, she was not on the list of 2018 targets from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Last week, that changed as the 4th CD was added to the list of targeted seats next year, bringing the total number of seats the DCCC is highlighting next year to 91. Democrats need to flip 25 seats next year to take control of the House.
The announcement from the DCCC means they plan to send money and resources to Utah to help McAdams' campaign against Love.
A memo from DCCC chairman Ray Lujan highlighted new polling data showing why Democrats think they have a shot in these new districts, including the one held by Love:
- The generic Congressional Ballot, which asks voters which party they would like to see control Congress, has shifted 16 points toward the Democrats from 2016.
- Only 35% of CD4 voters approve of President Trump's job performance according to the new Democratic polling. That could prove troublesome for Love as the same poll shows 47% in CD4 disapprove of Trump.
There is little doubt that the Congressional race in CD4 is competitive next year, but McAdams still has an uphill climb to unseat Love. A recent Salt Lake Tribune poll gave Love an 8-point lead over McAdams, 48-42%. Shortly after McAdams jumped into the race Inside Elections moved their rating of the race from "Likely Republican" to "Lean Republican," which is a significant shift toward the Democratic candidate.
Still, Love's campaign is not taking a challenge from McAdams lightly. Prior to him jumping in the race, several high-profile Utahns who are supporters of Love urged McAdams to think twice about running against her. Many of did so at the behest of the Love campaign.
Even before McAdams officially announced his congressional bid, Love's campaign started fundraising off the possibility, sending out a fundraising email linking McAdams to perennial Republican boogeyman Nancy Pelosi. Love has also added several heavy hitters to her fundraising operation, including former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.