One of the most hotly anticipated election matchups in 2018 is in Utah's 4th CD between Republican incumbent Mia Love and Democrat Ben McAdams.
As you might expect, our "Political Insiders" are divided along partisan lines over who they expect to win the midterm election.
70% of the Republicans on our panel said they think Love will win in November, while 81% of the Democrats who responded picked McAdams.
Our readers, however, are decidedly behind McAdams, with 73% picking the Democrat to prevail in November.
Selected anonymous comments:
Love wins and Doug Owens Jr....I mean Ben McAdams tries again in 2 years.
Ben picked the wrong year to run. If he had run for Congress in 2016, he would have won. If he runs in 2020, he wins. But running in a non-presidential year will dampen the Democratic turnout, which will result in a close loss for Ben.
It’s Mia’s race to lose.
I hope Ben McAdams wins. He can work with Republicans and Democrats. He gets things done, and Mia Love has done little if anything in Congress except to fundraise for herself.
Mia has done enough good to win and has not done enough bad to lose. The Mitt Romney yacht should lift all Republican ships -- including Mia's.
Mia's success will depend on running up the score in the SW part of Salt Lake County. She's incredibly vulnerable.
Moderate LDS Republicans who hate Trump swing the election for McAdams.
Ben is a stronger candidate; Mia Love will get the Mitt Romney bump. But she’ll also be hurt by Trump’s presidency.
I’m going with Mia since she is the incumbent. It’ll depend on who makes the fewest mistakes. Close, hotly contested race.
Mia hasn't accomplished anything during her two terms, and her constituents know it. Ben is a likable moderate who has proven his ability to get things done across party lines at the Utah legislature and Salt Lake County. Voters want competent, ethical leaders who care more about solving problems than about posturing or grandstanding. The many ethical challenges of Pres. Trump, as the head of the Republican Party, also helps Ben in this race because Republicans will be less excited to turn out and vote.
Mitt Romney’s coattails will stretch long and hard to pull Mia in for the victory.
Mia is a great fundraiser and is the incumbent, and the district is pretty Republican, and she should be able to win. That said Ben will be a formidable candidate and will raise enough money to compete and is pretty well liked. For him to win, he has to have a lot of crossover Republican or Republican-leaning votes, and I don't think he can pick up enough of those due to the liberal views of the national democratic party. I think any anti trump votes will be canceled out by those who can't stomach the national Democratic Party. This is Mia's to lose and she won't unless she makes some serious mistakes in the campaign.
Close, but the matchup of someone who has accomplished a lot with an incumbent who has accomplished little should go to the challenger.
I'm choosing Mia for my prediction. She's been up against tough opponents before and come out on top. Incumbency also helps. The fact that Mitt Romney will (probably) be on the ballot should help to support Republican turnout in an otherwise mopey year. I expect this race to be tough, though, and the result should be close. I wouldn't be too surprised if Ben won.
McAdams doesn’t even live in the district. And he’s got a problem being so ... fake. He’s like the Democratic version of Spencer Cox. All tweetership. No leadership.
This will be a close race especially since the Utah GOP is too distracted by infighting over SB54 even to notice that Mia Love has a challenger this cycle. It's doubtful the state party lifts a finger to help Mia fight off Ben McAdams, and if they do, it'll be half-hearted and ineffectual.
Mia's in a tight spot.....it will be very close. She'll overplay the cultural warrior card (abortion), and it will backfire on her.
It’s not a great year to be a Republican and Love is vulnerable. If McAdams can give Utahns the impression that he will stand for truth and righteousness rather than protect Trump or allow him to fire the special counsel, he can overcome the concerns that usually keep Republicans or Utah Independents from voting for a moderate Democrat.
It will be close either way, but I suspect Ms. Love's lack of charisma coupled with a historically loathed president from her party will prove too much for her to overcome.
Mia Love avoids constituents, supports Trump, votes against the environment and takes money from the NRA in exchange for extreme anti-gun reform policy. No thanks. Ben McAdams will be the winner.
Ben is running on name recognition alone. I tried to get him to state his position on healthcare at the convention, but he dismissed me. Why vote Republican-lite in a red state when you can go full Republican?
Mia Love lost in 2012 when she had everything in her favor. I can't imagine her staying power is strong enough this year when everything seems to be against her.
As Ben McAdams said in his speech at the Democratic convention, Mia Love has been an absentee representative. She hasn't accomplished anything notable in Washington and has avoided meeting publicly with her constituents in Utah.
Love wins IF the UTGOP remembers that its primary role is to get Republicans elected, and not tilting at windmills. If the SCC rhetoric continues to escalate, look for Congressman McAdams.
I’m a Republican that will be voting for the Democrat this year because of what our Republican party has become. Note: The party of Trump.
I am a Republican in the 4th district, but I am supporting Ben McAdams. I don't like Trump and wish our congressional delegation would challenge him when he says/does ridiculous things. I also don't like the way Rep Love has inferred that McAdams is pro-abortion when he has clearly stated that he is not. I think there are a lot of other Republicans like me, which is why I think McAdams will win.
Ben McAdams will be exposed as the leftist he really is.
Even many of those who know McAdams aren't aware that he has a legislative record from his days in the State Senate. Once that record gets out, he's toast.
Ben McAdams is like John Ossoff: Young, Male, Democrat, quite articulate, living outside the district, and an eventual loser. Mia will pull through.
Ben sought to understand the plight of some of his constituents first hand, living their experience with them...Mia Love has yet to talk to more than a couple of her constituents, let alone listen...
Mia Love might be a disappointment, but a politician with a D in front of their name sure as hell isn't the antidote to this disappointment.
Ben McAdams is a far superior candidate (and one of the best local Dems have put forward in years!). It may be close, but McAdams will pull off an upset.
I like Ben McAdams ability to work across the aisle and make himself available to his constituents. Mia Love has shown herself to be primarily partisan and will not hold open town halls. I'm glad that Mia Love has finally decided to align herself with the climate lobby. However, Ben McAdams did not need to be convinced about the science of climate change or the importance of our environment over the fossil fuel industry. He embodies many more of my values, such as expanded Medicaid and human rights.
Either one is a terrible pick.
Mia Love doesn't excite Republican conservatives or moderates. And Romney on the ballot won't help with the conservative turnout and many moderates will vote Democrat down ballot, like Matheson and McAdams in 2012.
Ben McAdams ought to win..."ought" meaning having to take Mia Love's crazy allegations about his own "liberality" increases his credibility. Mia Love's tired rhetoric still leaves me asking, "Can Republicans and Democrats sit down and calmly discuss the issues?" Ben does not strike me as a Bernie Sanders in the wings either. I'm a Republican and would vote for McAdams if I could.
Here are the facts: Mia has lost this district to a moderate Democrat before. Mia is getting a lot of flak from Republican supporters for her refusal to meet with constituents other than in small groups. There was also a disastrous meeting in D.C. where she didn't help a group of local elected officials much on an issue, in fact, she was widely reported to be the least knowledgeable and helpful of the entire Utah delegation, and these elected officials are starting to talk. She is taking in a ton of money from outside Utah (especially firearms related), and from some interesting groups. Her past legacy as a mayor in Saratoga Springs (and let's be honest, she was lackluster at best and left the place without having made any significant, lasting, improvements) is tarnished and fading. Her theatrics and negativity at the State Republican Convention turned off several prospective donors and some party loyalists. Mia Love is not someone residents, elected officials, or others can count on. I am joining many of the Republicans who will vote for anybody but Mia.
Mia Love has been great to work with. I enjoy listening to her speak. And I enjoy the fact that she seems comfortable considering both sides of an issue before taking a position.
McAdams benefits from a successful stint as county mayor and from the fact that Love has never been the best candidate. He would win even if there weren't a blue wave coming.
Off-cycle year favors Republicans generally. Trump backlash might increase Democrat turnout marginally, but Romney at the top of the ballot will counteract this. Moreover, population growth in Republican areas of the district (southwest SL Co & Utah Co) will counteract increased Democrat turnout. It will be close; but, Mia will still win.
Love will get a stiff challenge from McAdams, but she will pull out the win thanks to increased voter interest in the Mitt Romney U.S. Senate race and higher turnout from vote-by-mail.
I'm a lifelong Republican who respects McAdams. If Mia doesn't stop calling him a baby killing Pelosi-lover, I'm going to send him a check.
It will be close, but Mia's Republican label pulls her through.
The Utah media wants this to be a race, just as they wanted the Love-Owens race to be, but at the end of the day, Rep. Love will win by 10.
Expect gaffes from Love. And then Ben squeaks out a win.
Ben is more of a centrist and so may garner those extra few votes. I hope people in Utah aren't so thrilled with the complete support of Trump as Mia has demonstrated.
Ben McAdams will finally be exposed for the profound fraud that he is and it's going to be SO satisfying. The Utah GOP will owe Congresswoman Love big time for single-handedly taking out the entire Democratic bench in Utah.