Love’s House Seat Moves Closer to Democratic Column

Democrats feel emboldened by a new Salt Lake Tribune/Hinckley Institute poll showing challenger Doug Owens up by 6 points over freshman Rep. Mia Love.

Reports The Hill:

The GOP-leaning seat has been on Democrats’ radar since Owens lost to Love by about 4,000 votes in 2014 in a year when Republicans made major gains in Congress.


The unpredictable presidential cycle and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s unpopularity in Utah make it even more favorable for House Democrats in their uphill battle for the majority.


Love, a rising star in the Republican Party and the first black female Republican in Congress, goes into the rematch with better name recognition and  about $300,000 more than Owens has on hand.


But the Democratic lawyer is a strong recruit who already has a campaign against Love under his belt and has proved to be a better fundraiser this cycle than last, when he raised less than $1 million to Love’s $5.3 million. Still, Love has raised nearly $2.4 million since the beginning of 2015, and Owens has raised roughly $1.1 million since July 2015.


His family also has a history of serving in Congress: His father, Wayne Owens, represented Utah in the House from 1987 to 1993.


“Doug is running a top-notch campaign,” said former Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), who defeated Love in 2012 by just 768 votes and whose seat Love won when he retired in 2014. “Having been around the track once, he’s a stronger candidate this time in all respects.


“I don’t think [Love’s] really secured the district as incumbents often do,” he added.