So, what does the pitch look like in Utah heading into November?
Veteran Democratic lobbyist Frank Pignanelli thinks there are a couple of factors at play - Utah’s love for Mitt Romney and a large block of voters who haven’t hit the ballot box in a while.
“There was an affinity between Utah voters and Ronald Reagan in 1984. With Mitt Romney on the ticket, that affinity will be magnified exponentially this time around,” says Pignanelli. “I worked the 1984 and 1994 elections, which were both complete wipeouts for Democrats in Utah.”
Many within the Democratic party say, privately, that they are expecting the worst this time around. One went so far to say that the Democrats were “completely screwed,” given the twin dynamics of Romney and redistricting. Pignanelli won’t go that far, but he does say he worries some Democrats who aren’t expected to lose will probably get caught up in the Romney wave.
“Utah used to have one of the highest voter turnouts. Now it’s one of the lowest. The biggest challenge for Democrats is figuring out where all of those voters who are coming back to the polls for the first time in a long time will go after they vote for Romney.”
Pignanelli says both Jim Matheson and Ben McAdams are on the right track. It’s all about making Republicans comfortable voting for a Democrat.
“You just have to stake out positions that show you’re independent. McAdams is pointing out how many Republicans are supporting him because he’s a fiscal conservative and moderate on social issues. Matheson says he’s not beholden to the national party and doesn’t buy in to their full agenda. Both of them are letting Republicans know they’re not gonna do anything crazy if elected.”
Whatever happens in November, Pignanelli says Democrats have to make some gains outside of Salt Lake County. It’s going to be hard, but they can’t afford to become primarily centered Utah’s capitol as they are now.
“When I was in the Legislature, we had people from San Juan County and Utah County. It’s an important element. If you don’t have that diversity, you become more insular and less sensitive to what voters outside your district want. A lot of Democrats inside Salt Lake County are clueless as to what drives politics outside their little hamlet.”
I really think Mitt Romney has an authenticity problem. His flip-flop on ObamaCare this weekend is indicative of that.
As we know, Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act. But, it’s clear that Mitt Romney really doesn’t given his history with healthcare reform in Massachusetts. There’s no other explanation for the repeated changes in position from Romney and his campaign.
In fact, TPM’s Josh Marshall argues Romney thinks his reform in Massachusetts is “awesome.”
I interacted with Romney from time to time during the Olympics and have spoken with him a few times since then. Every time he came across as warm and smart. But, that’s not the Romney America sees.
He comes across as fake and tends to make voters uneasy. That’s a big problem with less than two months to go until the election.
I’m a bit of a literary nerd and one of my favorite authors is James Joyce. That’s why I was absolutely giddy to come across this story about Joyce last week.
According to this rare clip - Joyce is described as a “small, thin unathletic man.”
Here’s the awesome part. Apparently Joyce would go drinking with Ernest Hemmingway (awesome in and of itself) in Paris during the 1920’s. When things got out of control (as they probably did quite often because we are talking about Hemmingway, here), Joyce would jump behind Hemmingway and shout “Deal with him Hemmingway, deal with him!”
I think witnessing a fight involving James Joyce and Ernest Hemmingway would be indescribably incredible.
Inside little league football:
The Jordan Maroon Mity Mites walloped the Bingham Platinum team 27-7 this week. The touchdown by Bingham ended a 10-quarter streak of Jordan not giving up a score.
So far this season, Jordan has outscored their opponents by a combined score of 107-7.
Next up is the Brighton Orange team on Saturday.
“A politician has an axe to grind
With which he aims to chop off half your mind.” ~ Chris Naylor