Mitt Romney gathered only 198,739 votes in Salt Lake County this year. While that’s better than the 176,692 John McCain received in 2008, it’s nearly 17,000 less than George W. Bush got in 2004.
Clearly Salt Lake County Republicans did not get their voters to the polls in the numbers many expected them to.
That allowed Rep. Jim Matheson to counter a walloping in Utah County by his Republican opponent Mia Love. Matheson won Salt Lake County by more than 15,000 votes, which allowed him to eke out a slim victory.
Ben McAdams didn’t need such help from from the Romney no-show, topping Republican Mark Crocket by nearly 33,000 votes.
Where the lack of Romney voters really hit home was in state legislative races. Democrats were able to hang on to Carol Spackman Moss’ seat where she got a tough challenge from Anne Marie Lampropolous. Democrat Janice Fisher was able to defeat Fred Cox in their combined District 30 seat.
Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis wasn’t shocked by the lower than expected numbers of Romney voters in Salt Lake County.
“Republicans were just too cocky. We simply worked harder than they did. There is an arrogance within the Utah Republican Party. They have overwhelming numbers which leads to this cockiness. We made thousands and thousands of phone calls, sent out thousands of mailers. We simply worked harder than they did.”
It’s fitting that Salt Lake County helped minimize the Democratic losses. There are now members of the legislature in the minority party from outside the County as Southern Utah Democrat Christine Watkins lost her re-election bid to Republican Jerry Anderson.