How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – March 24, 2014

Our first batch of 2014 race ratings are out. Caucus attendance down from 2012, but still higher than average. Herbert signs hemp extract bill.



  • 32 days until the Utah State Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 92 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 225 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 308 days to the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature
  • 588 days to the 2015 elections
  • 653 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 959 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah political news highlights:

  • Here’s how we see the 2014 elections shaping up:
  • Attendance at Utah’s caucus meetings was down from 2012’s record numbers, but still higher than usual [Tribune].
  • National Democrats are excited about Utah’s pilot program allowing election day voter registration [Tribune].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert signs a bill allowing the use of a cannabis extract to treat seizures [Tribune].
  • Sen. Orrin Hatch pens an op-ed slamming the Affordable Care Act on the fourth anniversary of its passing [Deseret News].
  • The number of women who are retiring from the Utah Legislature this year could lead to a larger gender-gap on the Hill [Tribune].
  • The 2014 Utah Legislature by the numbers [Tribune].
  • Former Democratic Attorney General Paul Van Dam is challenging for a seat on the Washington County Commission [Southern Utah Independent].
  • Utah added more than 32,000 jobs last month [Tribune].
  • Drought conditions in southern Utah are worsening [Standard-Examiner].

On this day in history:

  • 1765 – Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide housing for British soldiers.
  • 1883 – Long-distance telephone service between Chicago and New York City was established.
  • 1955 – “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway.
  • 1989 – The Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
  • 1999 – NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia.
  • 2005 – The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from the parents of Terry Schiavo to have a feeding tube reinserted into the severely brain-damaged woman.
  • 2012 – Former Vice President Dick Cheney underwent a heart transplant.