Even though different groups were behind the commercials, two clear themes have emerged. Democratic groups don’t like the fact that Mia Love raised taxes while she was Mayor of Saratoga Springs, and Republican groups are hammering Jim Matheson for his votes in favor of the stimulus bill and ObamaCare.
With all of these outside groups bombarding the airwaves it’s quite possible the candidates could lose control of the narrative surrounding their own campaigns. After all, they’re not allowed to coordinate with these organizations. That has to be an absolutely terrifying thought.
Mia Love says she’s not really worried about the millions of dollars pouring into the race. “I’ve seen some of the attack ads against me and I can tell you people aren’t worried about the facts because they’re saying some things that are completely misleading and untrue.”
So, how do you cut through the clutter and get your own message across? Love says she needs to keep hammering the same message over and over - that she made tough choices for Saratoga Springs, and she’ll do the same if elected to Congress.
“I’ve done it before. I was elected with 60% of the vote because of the decisions we made and our city is better off for it. We have to make some tough choices to change the direction this country is headed. Utah is up to the task, and we want Washington to do the same.”
Love has been a fixture on the national circuit since she won the Republican nomination in the Spring. Her primetime speaking slot at the Republican national convention catapulted her into the spotlight.
Some Utah Republicans worry that she might be too enthralled with her growing celebrity and not focused enough on the task of running a winning campaign. Love says those concerns are completely unfounded.
“I didn’t go on that stage to have somebody else’s agenda. I went on that stage to represent Utah. I think that message did resonate. I need to make sure I’m representing Utah to Washington and not the other way around.”
One veteran Utah politico thinks this race is Love’s to lose, but she hasn’t spent enough time introducing herself to the voters in Utah’s 4th district. They tell me, absent that connection, voters may just opt for name recognition which means Jim Matheson.
They might be on to something there, but I think there’s something else at play. This is where the truckload of ads from outside groups come in. There are just so many commercials, Love and Matheson are in real danger of having these independent organizations define their campaigns for them. It could come down to “Mia Love raises taxes” vs. “Jim Matheson is for more government spending.” That could be a nightmare situation for a campaign as they struggle to get attention from voters.
Is Love afraid she might lose control of her message? Not really.
“There are going to be a lot of groups trying to divert attention away from Matheson’s votes in favor of the stimulus package, cash for clunkers his votes for and against ObamaCare. I’m just going to focus on what we’re going to do to get this country back on its feet.”
Some political veterans say they’re seeing signs of an anti-Mitt Romney bump in parts of Utah.
There is some evidence to support this. On Monday we told you about some internal polling numbers that put Jim Matheson’s favorability rating ahead of Mitt Romney’s in Salt Lake County. The more interesting number, in my opinion, was Romney’s unfavorable rating was higher than Mathesons at 33% to 24%.
One campaign worker said that makes some sense. Just as there’s more interest in the election from Mormon voters because of Romney’s presence on the ticket, there’s more interest from non-LDS voters who don’t support Romney. While the former probably outnumbers the latter by a healthy margin, it is something that might be worth paying attention to.
Inside little league football:
The Jordan Mity Mite Maroon team improved to 4-0 on the season as they thumped the Brighton Orange 27-14.
They’ve outscored their opponents 134-21 this season.
“For every summons to a shining city on the hill or a promise of change we can believe in, we are presented with hundreds of examples of mudslinging and appeals to mob mentality. Rudeness is recast as honesty, greed is presented as ambition, and lines in the sand blur and move.” ~ Nikki Stern