A federal judge denied the Utah GOP's request for a preliminary injunction to keep SB 54 from going into effect. Party leaders say if they don't make a number of changes, there's a possibility no Republicans will appear on the ballot in 2016.
Our "Political Insiders" and readers believe the Republican Party will make the needed changes in order to preserve their place on the ballot next year. 66% of Republicans, 58% of Democrats and 57% of our readers think the party will comply with the law.
If the Utah GOP wants to use the caucus system next year to nominate candidates for the primary election, they will have to comply with SB 54 to become a "qualified" political party. If they don't make the changes, they will have to become a "registered" party, meaning the only way candidates can make the ballot is through signature gathering.
Selected anonymous comments:
"Apparently the current party leadership is too dumb to know when they are beaten and are intent on a) wasting money and b) punishing people."
"The Democrats did it, no problem. The only thing stopping them is the urge of the right wing of the party to hold onto power."
"I think current leadership will not, but they will soon be replaced. In the meetings leading up to convention, this Utah County delegate has witnessed the grassroots clamoring for the leadership to make the necessary changes in order to qualify Republican candidates to be listed with the party on the ballot. Many are still upset with SB 54 but want to comply for the good of the party. I believe new state and county party leaders will find a way to comply with the law."
"They are too stupid and out of touch to do the right thing."
"Whatever happened to the idea of respecting 'the rule of law?'I always thought that was a conservative principle."
"If they continue to play 'chicken little' and do nothing we should get new leadership (versus no leadership)."
"Do they have a choice? They are looking more foolish every day."
"No, there is sadly no chance that the libertarian and ultra-conservative base will let the party comply. That whole 'obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law' stuff is meant for illegal immigrants and others, not them. This is the same group flouting gun laws, police officers writing tickets, etc. As a lifelong member of the GOP, I am disgusted."
"It is a terrible law meant to ensure that only rich and powerful can run for office. Unless you have the money or have the special interest groups that you are going to owe you will be unable to make a difference in this state. Curt Bramble should be drug out into the street and beaten over this bill."
"I really, really hope the party's leadership will wake up and recognize reality. I'm really, really scared they won't."
"They're not suicidal."
"They will probably drag things out until the last possible minute, but the changes will eventually be made."
"Going to the very edge of the cliff and then jumping over to make a point of principle seems to be in the DNA of the Republican party these days. From what I've seen of the zealotry of the Central Committee and it's members, I expect they will continue to resist SB 54 with passion. Unless they are bailed out by a court decision, they will go over the edge with their hands over their hearts, and there will be no certified Republican candidates on the 2016 ballot. And I'll start seriously looking for another party to join!"
"Since Count My Vote was all about Mike Lee anyway, and no one is going to run against him we should just toss SB 54."
"Like Alice in Alice in Wonderland, to the Utah Republican Party words/laws mean what they want them to mean when they want to know what they mean."
"It's not wise to play chicken with the election's golden ticket, aka a Republican nomination. One sure way to lose support as Party Chair is to jeopardize the one thing every Republican needs. As time ticks away, look for more and more incumbents to turn on Evans and push for him to get this simple thing done."
"It's unfortunate that party delegates weren't just a little more flexible a few years ago."
"I think the Utah GOP will continue to defy logic until it drives itself to irrelevance. Isn't this the party that previously was led by the likes of Mike Leavitt and Joe Cannon? This is MY party! How did we get such imbeciles running it now?"
"James Evans has completely left reality."
"James Evans' two-year bluff is about to be called. Not only will the party comply, James will look like a fool for pushing this silly agenda for as long and as hard as he did. He's supposed to be raising money, recruiting volunteers and supporting elected officials. Instead, he has burned all the donors, driven away the general public and put the elections of all Republicans in Utah in jeopardy."
"Just like the dinosaurs, they will continue to refuse changing–hopefully it will lead to the same consequence, extinction."
"The Republican state central committee will not budge, but the delegates at the state convention will override them and certify the party for the dual-track system under SB 54."