Last week, Republican Mia Love blamed the attitude of the GOP toward racial and ethnic minority groups for their troubles, saying the party and President Trump have failed to build real relationships with those groups.

Love blistered her own party and President Trump last week after she lost her re-election bid to Democrat Ben McAdams by a scant 694 votes. She claimed the party has a “transactional” relationship with minority voters, saying they were not willing to take them “into their homes and hearts.”

According to our “Political Insiders,” that may or may not be true, depending on what partisan lens you’re using.

The Republicans in our group strongly disagree with Love. 83% of that group say she is off base. Our readers also think Love is wrong, with 59% disagreeing with her assessment.

The Democrats on our panel mostly agree with Love as 67% think the GOP does not appeal to those groups.

Republicans lost 40 House seats nationwide in the 2018 midterms, along with several governor’s mansions and hundreds of state legislative seats. But, the GOP was able to expand their majority in the U.S. Senate by two seats.

 

Selected anonymous comments:

Rep Love lost her race because she didn't stay in touch with her constituents. Not having town halls, limiting access to talk with her and not communicating. And, what did she do for Utah?

Mia's scorched earth policy, including playing the race card, was ridiculous. Race had nothing to do with her loss; she went negative first, she refused to engage with her constituents, she hid from the voters - race was the last thing on anyone's mind.

There is still a lot of racial animosity in Utah. It's the reason she lost against Matheson when the vote was so close. Too many people will always vote for the white Mormon Male candidate even if that candidate is the worst of the two options. Being a white Mormon male is the most important thing in this state. I have no doubt you can be a white Mormon male abortion doctor and still get elected over a woman any day of the week. Mia's elections were a fluke and the white Mormon male no matter what his positions are will continue to win races due to racial and religious bigotry in this state plain and simple!

No, and yes. As a minority, I understand where she is coming from and have felt the belittling and at times hatred from some within the Party. It's hard being a strong-willed woman in the Republican Party. I believe we strong women are seen as a threat and not as an asset...as we should be.

Mia lost her race because a significant percentage of independent and moderate Republican voters are unhappy with Trump and his policies. Make no mistake—Trump was on the ballot in Utah.

Are you kidding me? When a conservative, Mormon, black, woman candidate loses, it is not about racism. It is about incompetence as a Member of Congress and as a candidate.

Not in Utah because we have so few minorities relatively. I think its a true sentiment nationwide, but she lost because Democrats were motivated enough to overcome the natural Republican advantage. And she was a do-nothing representative.

The larger part is the Trump effect. Who in their right mind wants to associate themselves with the party of Trump?

The irony is that Love was elected because she is a woman and a minority. She had precious little else to recommend her. I'd like to think that the party eschews the identity politics so prevalent today, and which have utterly corrupted the Democratic Party. For the most part, I think it does. Love apparently doesn't think it should. No wonder she didn't excite the base.

She simply wasn’t a good representative. Although there is truth to what she said about Republicans not embracing minorities as Democrats do, she was not accessible to her constituents, didn’t accomplish much, and didn’t articulate her positions well.

Mia lost because the Republican party has stopped appealing to all citizens as they spend far too much time fighting among themselves. If we could stop fighting within our party, we could start focusing on issues that matter.

Appealing to minorities is an issue for Republicans, but the Love-McAdams race had so many more issues that affected it more.

Mia lost because she never set up a strong congressional office nor did she articulate a clear vision or strategy—an elevator speech, if you will—for why she is/was uniquely qualified to represent Utah in Congress. She’s well liked—that isn’t the problem—but not loved and that enthusiasm gap, coupled with a strong and charismatic Democratic challenger in a strong year for Democrats, meant she lost by a whisker. Regardless, the Republican Party’s appeal (or lack of appeal) to minorities had little or nothing to do with it. That doesn’t mean Republicans couldn’t do better in that regard. Rather, it’s hard to point to that as the reason she lost.

I most certainly believe she is correct.

What she said in her speech was true that Republicans should allow minorities into their hearts and homes and if they do so, there's an enormous potential benefit. The best line was: "[M]inority communities need to ask themselves a question also: ...What is the cost of staying with the Democrat party that perpetually delivers exactly what you need to stay exactly where you are? To make poverty tolerable instead of temporary? People who judge their success by how many people they can put into poverty programs instead of how many people they can get out of them?" As to whether it may have cost her the race, the answer is that the race was close enough that anything may have cost her the race (including the Utah County Clerk not opening enough polling places - I lay this loss squarely at his feet). A slightly better performance among minorities likely would have tipped the race in her favor.

She lost because of pot and free health care citizen initiatives were on the ballot. She lost because Utah County wasn't prepared for long lines on election day. She lost because the Republican Party is more concerned about lawsuits over SB54 than winning elections.

Love lost because she refused to engage with her constituents in any meaningful way. The GOP could use some diversity training, though.

I do not think that is why she lost the race, but I do believe the UTGOP doesn't engage with minorities as much as they should, especially on social issues.

Mia lost a race she should have won because she didn’t communicate effectively to her constituents what she was doing. Many of the same voters who cast a ballot for her before simply didn’t see a good reason to vote for her again. And where there were new voters, voters who only came to the polls to support Prop 2, she simply didn’t make the case that they should support her.

The Republican platform and behavior are tilted more and more toward the 1%, less and less toward the rest of us. Increasingly, Trump's blue-collar base is finding out that they have been played for fools. The GOP is in trouble and will continue to lose ground unless the Dems go completely off the deep end (not impossible!)

Utahns do not like negative campaigns and will often vote against the negative candidate. If both sides go negative, it appears the one throwing the most mud wins. I don't believe anyone voted against Rep. Love because of her color. The fact that she was perceived not to hold town halls hurt her.

She lost because she is out of touch with her constituents and also because she thought that being a Republican was all she needed to be elected in Red state Utah.

Absolutely! The GOP needs to do more to reach out to individuals and groups whose beliefs align with the party but who just haven’t been invited to participate.

I didn't think it had to do with the GOP and minorities. It had to do with voter turnout (when voters come out, they usually go Democratic), as well as the national state of the Republican party and their kowtow to the current POTUS. Utah does not like Trump. Full stop.

Mia's decision not to hold town hall meetings cost her the election. She gave people the feeling that she did not care about their concerns and was only interested in keeping her seat in Congress.

Love lost solely because she ran a dismal campaign.

The relationship between the Republican Party and ethnic minorities is a very complex issue. Rep. Love may be right. However; I think that some Democrats and Republicans use racial relations for their own ends, that is, actual "use" of either the "concept" of race and ethnicity or manipulate people of race to get what they want, power and influence. I'm afraid that the RNC and the DNC see "voters" rather than "people" and that concerns me. I feel that both sides of the aisle will "other" anyone or any group that will threaten their power and influence. All this trickle down to state and local politics as well. Democrats use scare tactics, and Republicans make empty promises. Sure, there are ethnic differences (even within races), but we are all humans with needs, dreams and a vision of what we want to be. That is sadly forgotten by both parties. The political parties seem to only champion their own pathway to power. People are their currency. The people's needs are whatever they want them to be.

I think she lost because she didn't reach out to her constituents. After she was elected, she became untouchable. Constituents wanted to meet with her, and she was never available. Didn't reach out to her constituents at all. I don't think she realized that this was a public office that would take up most of her time. Instead, she did work the tough issues in Washington like the Venezuela issue, and then I am assuming she reserved the rest of her time for her family and children which is understandable. Rob Bishop would spend his evenings in Washington during the week calling constituents to see if they had any concerns he should be looking into. He would return calls from Constituents who had called his office and actually talk to them in person. I understand that Mia didn't respond to very many if any of her constituents calls unless they were urgent like the Venezuela issue.

I don't think this can be made into a partisan issue.

There could be some truth to the statement about the GOP, but this is not why she lost the race. It was poorly run from the start - way too negative about her opponent instead of what she has done and plans to do if re-elected.

Love lost because she was a weak candidate and not personable. She needed to toot her own horn and make sure people knew what she was doing back in Washington. She was afraid of her constituents.

She lost primarily because Utah County had the lowest turnout in the state presumably, apathy. The biggest complaint I received is her constituent outreach was poor, and the voters felt she only reached out to them when she wanted their vote.

I think she lost because her record did not warrant another term.

The race was ugly, and I voted for her, but she shouldn't blame her loss on being a female or the race card.

As a former Republican (and never a Democrat) I think it's easy to see that the Republican party doesn't appeal to any racial or ethnic minorities on any significant scale. The Democrats talk a good line and thus appeal to such minorities, though if one carefully examines their actions -- and understands economics -- Democrats really don't do much of what they claim to do for minorities.

Prop. 2 and high voter turn out in SL county was the reason, followed by Utah County day-of issues at the ballot locations, and lack of ground game by Mia - in that order.

Mia is attempting to ignore that she exemplified one of the worst-run campaigns many Utahns have ever seen. Mia's abysmal debate performance, unmitigated corruption, disregard for the law, and constant absence is what ultimately produced such a magnificent loss. She's little more than a partisan hack who will never cease disregarding scientific consensus on fetal development and climate change, among myriad other things, rendering her the perfect fit for a primetime slot on Fox News. UT-04 is an over 80% white R+13~20 district and was gerrymandered specifically to deliver extremist conservatives a win. She's correct that the GOP has problems with minorities. However, Utah is much less affected by that, generally. She's the LDS darling who had this district delivered to her on a silver platter. The reality is that her shortcomings produced the biggest partisan upset in 2018 House Races. Her district is 50% registered Republicans; ergo there's simply no one to blame but herself on this matter.

The racist attitudes and policies of the national Republican party certainly haven't made Republican candidates appeal more to minority voters. In particular, Donald Trump is obviously racist, yet Republicans in Congress persist in defending him, hoping people won't notice how horrible he is.

Love lost her race because of her record during her two terms in Congress. Nothing more, nothing less.

Love lost because she deserved to lose.

I don't believe that it's an issue of appealing to them, many racial and ethnic minorities have conservative political views. The problem, even in Utah, is that there are a fair number of vocal Republicans who espouse racial views that drive racial and ethnic minorities away from the Party.

She lost her race because she did nothing positive for her constituency. The tax "cut?" PLEASE. People are not stupid enough to think that the tax cut was anything but a giveaway to the uber rich. Also, voting dozens of times to take peoples' healthcare away turns out to be a negative. Huh. Who would have imagined? Bye bye Mia, go start a Fox News talk show with Chaffetz. You deserve each other.

Representative Love lost because she was the weaker candidate. One would hope she will eventually understand that not everything about her depends on the color of her skin.

I heard from people in her District that both she and her staff did not help constituents with issues, they had to go to other representatives to get help. That's one thing that usually helps incumbents, but if you do it wrong, it hurts She also had an F grade from Conservative Review. The race card is so worn out I roll my eyes when any politician uses it. Did she really get elected twice by a bunch of racists? She comes off as a whiney loser who doesn't reflect on her contributions to her loss.

Republicans care about their rich friends. They don't care about minorities. I think there is some truth in this statement, but this isn't why she lost. Taking personal responsibility is apparently difficult for her as well.

The Republican party didn't loose in Utah. Mia Love lost. She is right though... The Republican party doesn't appeal to minorities, gender, racial or ethnic.

President Donald Trump performed better among African American and Latino voters in 2016 than Senator-elect Mitt Romney did in 2012. Furthermore, if you look at GOP Governors around the country, particularly Florida Governor and Senator-elect Rick Scott, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and Former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval - each of them was elected based on the support of voters in minority communities. And who can forget Colorado Senator Cory Gardner - it simply would have been impossible for him to win in a blue state like Colorado without the strong support of Latino voters. There's no question that the GOP has stepped up its minority outreach efforts - the only question is whether Congresswoman Mia Love and her campaign worked hard enough this election cycle. In a race where the winning margin came down to less than 1,000 votes - one has to think that Mia could have easily won had her campaign actually made an effort.

The broader GOP embrace of Trump/nationalism/minorities-are--foreign-enemies hurt Love somewhat because it affects those who will listen to the party overall. Her own positions are much more relevant in her specific case. She embraced and voted with Trump and released a mealy-mouth statement of mild offense when he called her parents' native country of Haiti a s***hole. She was a poor leader legislatively and morally. She only played the "race card" and dared stand up to the president when she lost and was personally insulted by Trump.

Indirectly, yes. Racist sentiments in the Republican party enabled Donald Trump to claim the party nomination and presidency, which led to a backlash that turned moderate and swing voters toward McAdams. If Republicans were less racist, Donald Trump wouldn't have been their nominee and wouldn't now be president, and Love would have easily claimed reelection.