Republican sources tell Utah Policy that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan plans to visit Utah later this year to hold a fundraiser for Love. No date for the visit has been set, but the Love campaign has confirmed Ryan plans to visit. The campaign declined comment for this story.
Ryan is a rock star in the conservative community and is a possible Vice President pick for Mitt Romney.
What effect would a visit by Ryan have on the campaign? That depends on a number of factors according to University of Utah professor Tim Chambless.
“A visit and endorsement by the House Budget Committee Chair would usually help a challenger. However, endorsements only have a 2-5% favorable impact – and only on highly undecided voters,” says Chambless. “A Ryan visit just prior to the November election could nudge some voters, especially those who are primarily concerned with budget deficits.”
Ryan previously held a fundraiser for Love in Washington, D.C. before the Utah GOP convention.
Ryan could help Love attract big bucks for her campaign. Jim Matheson has consistently had more money than his challengers have in the last few elections, giving him a sizeable advantage when it comes to campaign activities. Chambless says Matheson will likely have that advantage again, but it might narrow the gap some.
“Strategically, it really depends on a number of factors: perceptions of Utah’s major political players and the timing of the Ryan fundraising visit to Utah. Matheson is constantly raising funds. He will almost certainly have an advantage in campaign spending.”
That fundraising will come in handy. According to the latest FEC reports, Jim Matheson reported more than $970,000 in cash on hand, while Mia Love has just over $39,000.