Situational awareness – December 27, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your loved ones.

Most Utahns support a ballot initiative to have the state accept full Medicaid expansion. Utah Republicans’ frustration with Sen. Orrin Hatch is boiling over. Love vs. McAdams is quickly becoming one of the biggest races to watch in 2018.

Tick tock:

  • 6 days until candidates can declare their intent to gather signatures for the 2018 election (1/2/2018)
  • 26 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 71 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 72 days until the filing period for candidates in the 2018 election opens (3/9/2018)
  • 78 days until the filing deadline for the 2018 elections (3/15/2018)
  • 83 days until the statewide caucus meetings for Utah Republicans and Democrats (3/20/2018)
  • 115 days until the Utah GOP State Convention (4/21/2018)
  • 122 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention (4/28/2018)
  • 181 days until the 2018 Primary Election (6/26/2018)
  • 314 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,042 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Utah headlines

Utahns favor Medicaid expansion

A new survey finds that nearly 6 in 10 Utahns support a proposed ballot initiative that would have the state accept full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act [Utah Policy].

Utah Republicans are tired of waiting for Sen. Orrin Hatch to make up his mind

Gov. Gary Herbert has reportedly mused that maybe he should jump into the U.S. Senate race next year. Don’t worry – that’s probably not going to happen. While that may be nothing more than frustration with Hatch’s “will he, won’t he” game, Herbert’s speculation demonstrates that there’s a possibility that Hatch could face a serious challenge next year [Utah Policy].

Love vs. McAdams one of the hottest races of 2018

We already knew Democrat Ben McAdams was going to give Republican Mia Love a run for her money in 2018, but the race in Utah’s 4th CD is quickly shaping up as one of the most important House races next year [Utah Policy].

Quick links

  • The war between the Salt Lake Tribune and Sen. Orrin Hatch is getting entertaining. After the Tribune published a blistering editorial calling for Hatch to retire, Hatch’s office dismissed the article as clickbait [The Hill].
  • The DABC says they set a new record for alcohol sales in the days leading up to Christmas [Fox 13].
  • Sen. Jani Iwamoto is bringing back her bill to charge customers 10-cents per paper or plastic bag at stores [Fox 13].
  • Two candidates have filed to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Dean Sanpei [Daily Herald].
  • Beer manufacturers warn they may no longer sell 3.2 beer in Utah because of the state’s liquor laws, which could leave some beer drinkers in the cold [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert wants to use more than $10 million in user fees to give Utah’s state parks a much-needed facelift next year [Deseret News].
  • Residents in Big Cottonwood Canyon are studying whether to incorporate as a town so local residents will be in charge of vital decisions [Tribune].

National headlines

  • President Donald Trump wants to craft a massive bi-partisan infrastructure spending plan in 2018, but the fact that it’s a mid-term election year may complicate matters [CNN].
  • President Trump spent part of the day after Christmas slamming Obamacare and the FBI’s handling of the Steele dossier on Twitter [Washington Post].
  • The Justice Department probe into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified emails may become a big hurdle for special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election [USA Today].
  • New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman may be the biggest obstacle to the Trump agenda. He has filed 100 legal challenges to Trump and Congressional Republicans in the last year [New York Times].
  • Florida Republican Rep. Francis Rooney said that the FBI and Justice Department should “purge” officials who are biased against President Donald Trump [USA Today].
  • The method to determine the winner of a tied legislative district in Virginia has been delayed. The Democrat who had a one-vote victory before a court allowed a disputed ballot has appealed that decision [Washington Post].
  • The Jackson Magnolia, a tree that has stood outside the White House since the 1800s, will be taken down this week because it is too damaged to remain where it is [CNN].
  • President Donald Trump is the first president to not host a state dinner during his first year in office [The Hill].
  • The Library of Congress will no longer archive every single message sent out on Twitter. The move from 140 to 280 characters is the primary reason [TechCrunch].
  • Erie, Pa had 34 inches of snow fall on the city Christmas Day. The city has seen 53 inches of snow over the past two days [CNN].