Mia Love’s campaign recently unveiled billboards equating Democrat Ben McAdams traditional Republican boogeyman Nancy Pelosi. Love’s effort to tie McAdams to Pelosi is right out of the Republican playbook. Politico’s Charlie Mathesian says there’s a very good reason Republicans try to tar their Democratic opponents with Pelosi. It works.
“It has been the go-to Republican strategy for years now. We see it cycle after cycle. Nancy Pelosi has become a sort of caricature, and the reason Republicans keep doing it is that it works,” he said. “It doesn’t work everywhere, but it works in lots of districts. I’ve been looking at campaign commercials across the map, district after district and the one common denominator is you see ads everywhere linking the Democrat to Nancy Pelosi. The only reason they do it is it works.”
UtahPolicy.com caught up with Mathesian, Senior Politics Editor for Politico and the co-host of Politico’s NerdCast podcast, at Politicon in Los Angeles. He says Love should be winning handily in an overwhelmingly Republican state like Utah, but President Trump is proving to be a drag in suburban districts across the country.
“One of the things we’re seeing across the country is any district with a suburban component, the president is really struggling. He gets stronger the further you get out from the metropolitan areas, but in the suburbs, his numbers are bad everywhere,” he said.
That holds, even in Utah. In UtahPolicy.com polling, 47% of Utahns approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 51% disapprove. However, in CD4, which has a large suburban portion, 62% disapprove of President Trump, including 54% who “strongly” disapprove.
So, what will happen on Election Night? Mathesian says we’ll have a good indication early on how the evening will shape up. He points to Republican Andy Barr’s race to hold on to his seat in Kentucky’s 6th District as a bellwether for November 6th.
“It’s a Lexington-based district that’s fairly conservative. Trump, I believe, won it by about 15-points. Mitt Romney won it really comfortably in 2012. In most election years, he should win fairly comfortably. But this year he’s in a neck-and-neck race that shouldn’t be as close as it is,” he said.
Mathesian says Kentucky’s polls close early in the evening, so by supper time, we may have a good idea whether Democrats are on their way to big gains, or Republicans are fending off an expected wave election.