Utah Democratic Chairman Peter Corroon says the phones at party headquarters have been ringing off the hook with people wanting to help.
“They’re angry,” says Corroon. “Too bad we don’t have any campaigns we can put them on.”
What are they angry about?
“I’ll give you one guess,” Corroon says with a laugh.
Donald Trump has been very good for Utah’s minority party, bringing a plethora of volunteers and donations.
“Donald Trump was an awakening for the average citizen that they need to be engaged,” says Corroon.
And the engagement they’ve seen is nearly unprecedented. Corroon says they recently held a candidate training that was sold out with more than 200 attendees. That’s highly unusual for Utah’s Democrats because similar events in previous years saw maybe a 10th as many.
That enthusiasm has translated to the election for party chair this year. Corroon is stepping down after one and one-half terms, acknowledging that the job should be full time. A record number of candidates have stepped up to take over for Corroon at the party convention in June. The nine who have decided to run for the party’s top spot are:
Corroon says the party has also seen an influx of donations since Trump took office. “Every once in a while we’ll get a large donation from someone we’ve never heard of,” he says.
Corroon says the challenge for the party will be maintaining this level of enthusiasm for the next two years ahead of the 2018 election.
“As long as Trump is in office,” says Corroon, “The enthusiasm will be there.”