Matheson’s Retirement Basically ‘Cedes Seat’ to Republicans

Jim Matheson’s retirement from Congress will almost certainly hand Utah’s 4th Congressional District seat to the GOP.

National Journal rates Matheson’s seat as the “most likely” to switch parties next year now that the Democrat is leaving office.

Nothing is certain in politics, but Matheson’s retirement basically cedes the seat to Republicans. Without his brandname, it’s very difficult to imagine a Democrat overcoming the party’s poor performance levels in this state and district. (President Obama just cleared 30 percent here in 2012, making it his 25th-worst district in the country.) Repeat GOP candidate Mia Love, who would be the first African-American Republican woman in Congress if she won, is now the biggest early favorite to become a House freshman in 2015, though Matheson’sdecision could spur some more GOP interest in the seat.