2016 Election Projections: Utah State House

Utah State Capitol 17We’re not expecting much movement this year in the partisan makeup of the Utah House. 

Republicans hold 63 of the 75 seats, leaving Democrats near an all-time low of just 12 seats. That might change a little, but not enough to dramatically shift the balance of power in the lower house of Utah’s Legislature.

Right now, there’s only one race that does not favor either party – the contest to replace retiring Rep. Johnny Anderson in House District 34, which we have rated as a “toss-up.” There, Democrat Karen Kwan is taking on Republican Macade Jensen.

There are some seats we’re watching that could feature close contests this year:

  • House 17 – Democrat Christine Steinquist could give incumbent Stewart Barlow a tough contest.
  • House 22 – Democrat Susan Duckworth is always considered “vulnerable,” but Republicans have failed to wrest this seat away from her.
  • House 30 – This was a close race in 2014, but Republican Mike Winder should win by a wider margin this year.
  • House 31 – Incumbent Republican Sophia DiCaro only won by 204 votes in 2014.
  • House 32 – Democrat Suzanne Harrison could make things uncomfortable for incumbent LaVar Christensen.
  • House 44 – This is a rematch of 2014 when Republican Bruce Cutler defeated Democrat Christine Passey by 53 votes.
  • House 49 – Another rematch from 2014.