On Saturday, Utah Republicans and Democrats will vote on their nominees for this November’s election.
Two of the most hotly contested races are the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial nominations. Jonathan Johnson is challenging incumbent Gary Herbert for the GOP nomination while Vaughn Cook and Mike Weinholtz are vying for the Democratic nod.
Herbert has already secured a spot on the Republican primary ballot by gathering signatures while Johnson needs to obtain at least 40% of the delegate vote at the convention to advance to the primary election. Herbert cannot be eliminated at the convention. If either Cook or Weinholtz get 60% of the delegate vote, they will secure the nomination. Otherwise, they’ll be headed to a primary in June.
Our “Political Insiders” and readers mostly expect both contests to go to a primary in June.
On the Republican side, our GOP insiders say Johnson will win enough support to force a primary with Herbert while the Democrats on our panel say Herbert will get 60% of more to end Johnson’s candidacy.
If our “insiders” and readers are to be believed, Cook and Weinholtz will both also advance to a primary election.
Selected anonymous comments:
“Now that Jonathan Johnson has hitched his wagon to Robyn Bagley, I sure hope he doesn’t even get 40% at the convention. It is an interesting juxtaposition that Gary Herbert has selected honorable, service-driven individuals like Greg Bell and Spencer Cox while Jonathan Johnson selects someone like Robyn Bagley. It shows a lot about their different character.”
“Governor Herbert’s campaign has dropped the ball. They are off message, aren’t garnering grassroots support and lack organization. Whoever told them billboards where a good idea for the weeks leading up to Convention should be fired. As a supporter of Governor Herbert, I am frustrated and disappointed by the poorly organized campaign. That’s why there’s no doubt in my mind that Johnson will force a primary. The Governor will decimate Johnson, but it will take time, money and energy.”
“There’s a pretty reasonable chance Johnson gets more votes that Herbert at the convention. One has to assume that’s why he chose the LG candidate he did.”
“I would bet the ranch Johnson forces a primary.”
“I can’t believe Johnson picked the Ann Coulter of Utah education politics as his running mate. I’m disappointed.”
“Jonathan Johnson will have begged enough delegates to vote for him that he’ll get into a primary – which is ironic because he has been blasting the whole primary process. Once in the primary, he’ll spend a lot of money only to lose when Utahns realize he is an anti-government, Ron Paul libertarian and not a Ronald Reagan Republican.”
“Primary elections in both races. The way things ought to be.”
“If the nomination threshold were 70% as it should be, then we would definitely have a Republican primary. As it stands at 60%, I think there is an outside chance that Herbert gets 60% and avoids a primary. I think most Republicans would prefer that because Johnson and his toxic Lt. Governor pick have no chance in a primary–none. The ultra-Libertarian wing of the party will beat Herbert up, and he will still pull 65% of the primary vote.”
“If Johnson gets’s 40% plus I think it is evidence the delegates are out of touch with the greater electorate. Herbert wins the Primary in a landslide.”
“A statewide Democratic primary for a race they don’t stand a chance of winning… Should make for good theater as both men attempt to out ‘Bernie’ the other guy.”
“Johnson has been trying slowly and surely for a long time, and he will get barely more than 40% and then lose the primary. Weinholtz is the serious candidate and will swamp Cook in the convention. The general election will be closer than anyone thinks.”
“Herbert will just miss 60% because of the ultra-extreme delegates spawned by the caucuses. He will go to a primary, where the general public will overwhelmingly send him to the general election.”
“Johnson will surprise everyone and will get 55-60% of the delegate vote.”
“Johnson will probably get enough support to advance to a primary with Herbert, where he will be crushed by Herbert’s popularity and money. Weinholtz will easily win against Cook as Cook has miscalculated what the Democrats want this year. Cook should have asked circa 2010 Peter Corroon how helpful picking a Republican for LG is for your chances.”