Also, we asked whether negative advertising played a big role in the outcome of the John Swallow vs. Sean Reyes. Results and anonymous comments are after the jump.
Some anonymous comments:
"Interesting how the caucus was promoted in Utah far more than ever before, resulting in extraordinary attendance. Little mention, however, was made of the actual primary where the vote turnout was sparse. The high caucus turnout served to dilute the more conservative anti-Hatch faction, to Hatch's advantage. The low primary turnout may have also worked in his favor, as his campaign had a massive GOTV program, flawlessly executed."
"The answer is simple - Hatch's campaign had a better plan all along, and it includes several of these factors - name recognition was strong and built on, Hatch's campaign portrayed as a guy on the right, and the LDS Church pushing people to caucus definitely helped get more normal voters who identified with the Senator. Liljenquist's campaign relied on silly gimmicks (debating cardboard? puhlease...) and didn't do enough to disguise, frankly, their candidates rather 'abrupt' nature."
"By ousting Bennett, conservatives telegraphed their punch. Hatch had two years to react and prepare, much more than enough for so expert a politician."
"Now we'll find out if Hatch's return to his conservative roost was a sincere conversion, or merely a political ploy. In any case, well played Senator!"
"Money ruled. It not only paid for Hatch's endless and intelligence-insulting TV ads and printed literature, but also bought him the most effective campaign staff I've seen in a state political campaign."
"It's tough to beat an incumbent... It's sad, but that's the current state of American politics."
"Hatch's campaign was superior, focused and stayed on message. In addition: 1) The LDS Church not only encouraging people to attend caucus (they have done this before), but to cancel church meetings -- it eliminated excuses, 2) people in Utah didn't think and don't think today that Orrin Hatch is liberal nor do they dislike Hatch personally and finally 3) Hatch's opponents staffs were bush league at best."
"Hatch had the advantage of having two years to prepare. And what did Lily have campaign on? Very little: the Senator is too old and he won't debate me. Hardly enough to unseat an incumbent U.S. Senator."
"Money, Money, Money!"
"LDS push affected the convention. Name recognition affected the primary."
"The biggest factor was that Orrin Hatch was the better candidate and has served Utah and the USA tirelessly for decades. Thousands of people have benefited by his personal touch and efforts for them. Utahns love Orrin Hatch and he loves them."
"Hatch's campaign simply outworked, out-maneuvered, and out-strategized the Liljenquist campaign."
"Team Hatch was certainly on top of things to take advantage, but without repeated begging by the church to its members to show up to the convention, it would have been much closer."
"Old Orrin may not have made it without the help of the brethren pushing caucus attendance. If the same delegates from 2 years ago had any say, it would have been Liljenquist/Herrod going into that primary. Yikes!!"
"Hatch had the time since Cannon lost (to move to the right, raise money, and continue to build on 36 years of name recognition), he had the money, and I think the Church helped him - and I'm fairly certain he had a bit of influence on the Church to get more involved. Also, not mentioned is that Hatch has funded the State GOP for a long time. So he helped fund the GOP's efforts to turn people out...so it all looks like these various factors somehow miraculously came together...but really, it was Hatch pulling the strings in the background."
"Mike Lee winning also contributed to Hatch winning this time. Plus Holly Richardson ran a bad campaign and they had no money against a huge machine. A lose-lose-lose."
"Despite Liljenquist's repeated harping over the lack of debates, and the length of Hatch's time in office, he wasn't successful in showing the voters he was a viable replacement. He spent far too much time complaining and far too little time explaining why he should be their Senator."
"Upwards of $10 million is a pretty steep hurdle."
"In most races involving an incumbent it is not a contest between two people, but a judgement on the person in office -- Do we want to keep the office holder there or are we willing to replace that person with someone we are not sure how will perform in the office. In this case the voters overwhelmingly said, 'Yes, we like the job Orrin Hatch is doing and we want to keep him there for another term.' The biggest single factor in this campaign was the body of work of Senator Orrin Hatch and the confidence of his performance in the next term."
Some anonymous comments:
"The solidifying factor was the announcement of Sean's lawsuit the same day the 52/24 poll was released. That was unfortunate timing for Sean and helped those on the fence decide to vote for John Swallow en masse."
"In general, voters are not willing (or perhaps they don't have enough time) to do their own research on candidates, so they rely on advertising, including negative advertising, to sway their decision. We sigh and shake our fingers at the negative ads, but the message gets stored, and it influences us whether we like it or not."
"You forgot to include shallowness and stupidity of voters."
"These guys had no substance. Neither of them."
"Negative ads were a hug factor. Sean simply outhustled John, and the momentum was starting to shift. John tried to make himself a victim and it didn't work. So, he and his "consultatns" went negative. Reyes was a victim of the Shurtleff endorsed Swallow hate machine. Unfortunately for John, he will start his campaign with a lot of Republicans seriously considering a Democrat. Including this conservative Republican."
"Swallow ought to be ashamed of himself!!"
"The criminal depths to which some campaign managers lower themselves, does no service to anyone."
"John Swallow had the money, a bit of name recognition, and the state's Attorney General's Office at his disposal. Other than a few yard signs and the Salt Lake Tribune's endorsement, I didn't read or hear much about Sean Reyes. Besides the name 'Sean' sounds young and unseasoned."
"Swallow had better name recognition. The man has been running for everything, forever."
"There was negative campaigning on both sides, so it is hard to determine how it affected each candidate. There were things said and information disseminated on both sides that was inappropriate and negative."
"After watching what the Republicans did to each other in the primary, I'm disgusted - I'll vote for the Democrat."
"I actually voted Reyes because of the negative advertising. I don't think Swallow needed to do that because he was going to win anyways. Turned me off. Seemed to work for the majority of voters though."
"Swallow ran a dirty, despicable campaign. It paid off."
"Was not needed in this race. Hurt the overall impression of Swallow."
"Unfortunately, the side that did most of it won."
"Even without the negative ads, this race would have had the same results."
Respondents include -
Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Laura Arellano, Patrice Arent, Bette Arial,
Neil Ashdown, Bruce Baird, Tom Barberi, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Emily Bingham-Hollingshead, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Nanci Bockelie, Charles Bradley, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Joel Briscoe, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Dave Buhler, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Marty Carpenter, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Kim Coleman, Peter Corroon, Tim Cosgrove, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, Jake Dennis, Dan Deuel, Jeff Dixon, Brian Doughty, Carl Downing, Randy Dryer, Susan Duckworth, Donald Dunn, Alan Eastman, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Chase Everton, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Claire Francis, Ryan Frandsen, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Ernie Gamonal, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Sheryl Ginsberg, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Dan Hauser, Lynn Hemmingway, Deidre Henderson, Neal Hendrickson, Casey Hill, Lyle Hillyard, Kory Holdaway, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Greg Hughes, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Casey Jackson, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Jonathan Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Pat Jones, Kirk Jowers, Jeremy Keele, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Steve Kroes, Chris Kyler, Carter Livingston, Fred Lampropoulos, Clark Larsen, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Daniel McCay, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Maryann Martindale, Jason Mathis, Bob Mayhew, Karen Mayne, Bret Milburn, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Jeffery Morton, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Randy O'Hara, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Kelly Patterson, John Pearce, Helen Peters, Karen Peterson, Frank Pignanelli, Becky Pirente, Marie Poulson, Jason Powers, Tami Pyfer, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Carol Sapp, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Shauna Scott-Bellaccomo, Jay Seegmiller, Jennifer Seelig, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Brendan Smith, Brian Somers, Carol Spackman-Moss, Robert Spendlove, Barbara Stallone, Howard Stephenson, David Stringfellow, Mike Styler, Shinika Sykes, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Doug Thompson, Michael Waddoups, Laura Warburton, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Mark Wheatley, Larry Wiley, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Travis Wood, Thomas Wright, Crystal Young-Otterstrom
Results from the UtahPolicy.com/KSL Insider poll can be heard on KSL Radio every Friday and are published on Utah Policy.com every Monday.