The rematch between Rep. Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens in the 4th Congressional District is sure to be one of the hottest contests in Utah this year.
In the 2014 election, Love barely squeaked by Owens despite a massive cash advantage and a district that was overwhelmingly Republican. This year, many political observers say Love is one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents. Many election forecasters have switched their ratings of the race to a toss-up after initially favoring Love to win.
We asked our “Political Insiders” and readers who they thought would win the rematch.
Republicans barely picked Love to win, 52-47%. The Democrats on our panel overwhelmingly expect Owens to knock off Love as do our readers who responded online.
Selected anonymous comments:
“We saw in the primary election (again) how much vote by mail affects turnout. Owens’ stronghold (Salt Lake County) is 100% vote by mail. Mia’s stronghold (Utah County) does not entirely vote by mail. This fact should not be overlooked. The Mia campaign’s #1 priority should be to register Republicans in Utah County to vote by mail. In my opinion, if they don’t do this, Mia will lose.”
“Owens is the same mold of Jim Matheson. Couple his policy positions and Love’s trouble during her first term and it results in the likely defeat of an incumbent.”
“Mia has not distinguished herself during her first term.”
“Most recent polls have Owens leading and given the unpopularity of Trump in Utah, I expect that to make up the difference Owens came up short last time.”
“Seems like a real contest, but it would be a statement against the manipulation of redistricting if Owens were to win!”
“In spite of the Salt Lake Tribune’s constant and best efforts to smear Congresswoman Love, she will emerge victoriously.”
“Love barely beat Owens last time, in a heavily Republican district, with Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket. Trump simply will do her too much damage, leading more than 800 Republicans to stay home instead of voting.”
“I think there will be some repercussions for the antics of the Republican Party.”
“It will be as close or closer than the last race. I think the power of the incumbency will help, and a lot of voters will stay home, and she can activate her base.”
“Love hasn’t done enough wrong to lose the race, and Owens won’t be able to overwhelmingly demonstrate he would be a better Congressman to win. The more Doug likens himself to his father, the more it will come back to bite him.”
“With the master Dave Hansen leading the way, what could possibly go wrong? Just ask Governor Jonathan Johnson.”
“Mia Love will win, but it will be much closer than it should have been, largely because Dave Hansen spent so much time on Jonathan Johnson’s slash and burn campaign.”
“The media is hoping and hyping for a battle royale, but this thing won’t go anywhere.”
“Mia barely won with Mitt atop the ticket; she is as good as done with Democrats in her district turning out to vote for Hillary and some Republicans staying home not to vote for Trump.”
“Mia was and is a weak candidate. Trump in the presidential race will significantly hurt down ticket candidates such as Mia.”