‘Political Insiders’ Expect Democrats to Make Modest Gains in the Utah Legislature in 2016

Utah State Capitol 30Right now, Republicans hold supermajorities in the Utah House and Senate. Our “Political Insiders” don’t expect that to change much following the 2016 election.

We asked our select group of Utah Republicans and Democrats, along with our readers, if either party would pick up seats in the legislature in 2016. Most think Democrats will either pick up 1-2 seats, or things will remain the same after November.

Right now, Republicans outnumber Democrats 23-5 in the Utah Senate and 63-12 in the House. Those numbers represent near-historic lows for Utah’s minority party.


Selected anonymous comments:

“The Dems have at least a shot at some seats in the House. No shot in the Senate. It will another wasted session for educators, those who would be covered by Obamacare, people trying to live on minimum wage and anyone who isn’t wealthy enough to buy 20 minutes with the Governor.”

“For the good of the state and to save ourselves from more history lectures during the session, we all hope that Suzanne Harrison will beat LaVar Christensen.”

“The Utah Republican Party has been completely ineffective for the past couple years and unfortunately it will result in loses. The Republican Party is out of money to help candidates in a meaningful way. Rather than cannibalizing each other which appears to be the strategy of the state Republican leadership team, Republicans need to step up and help their candidates get elected.”

“Most incumbents should sail through the November election. Utah voters don’t seem to care much for change.”

“What will really matter is what types of Republicans replace retiring Republicans. Senator Osmond was imperfect, but he was replaced by a charter lobbyist in a legislative body of only 29 members. Just one politician with financial incentive causes a lot of damage, and we have a large number of them.”

“I expect Democrats to pick up more than five seats this election. I would actually be shocked if they managed to lose some seat since it’s actually almost impossible for them to lose any of the seats they currently hold since almost all of them are in heavily gerrymandered districts that are solidly Democratic.”

“Again, as usual, the balance of power in the Utah State Legislature will remain the same. One or two more Democrats in “the body” will not end the reign of error (or terror, you decide) by the present house and senate leadership The citizens of our state really need some relief from the totally one-sided approach to our states governance. As a Republican, I would like to see a greater voice from the other side of the isle, so to speak. I recognize that a number of the Democrat candidates are merely a place marker on the ballot so that the party can appear to still have viability, but we need more than ever the best of the Democrat thinkers to be a “check” to the Republican “imbalance” in state government.”

“People will not vote straight party this year.”

“Republicans are pretty much out of room to grow. Democrats have a few decent opportunities in House 34 and 54 if they don’t screw it up, which is a big if.”