The biggest lesson from election 2014? If Democrats are going to win, they have to dominate Salt Lake County.
When the final tally from the 4th Congressional District was unveiled Monday, Mia Love defeated Doug Owens by 7,511 votes. Owens simply didn't get enough votes in Salt Lake County, a Democratic stronghold, to overcome Love's domination in Utah County.
Owens beat Love by 2,116 votes in Salt Lake County. Love crushed Owens in Utah County by 7,266 votes. Even though Utah County made up a far smaller percentage of the electorate, Owens needed to win in Salt Lake County by a greater margin than he did on Election Night.
Consider what happened in 2012 when Jim Matheson squeaked by Mia Love by a scant 768 votes. Matheson dominated Salt Lake County, which blunted Love's overwhelming performance in Utah County.
Matheson won Salt Lake County by more than 15,000 votes, which was more than enough to make up for a poor performance in Utah County, which he lost by more than 12,000 votes.
Simply put, Owens did not have the kind of ground game and turnout operation he needed in Salt Lake County to blunt any Republican wave coming out of Utah County.