Democratic Optimism in Utah

You don't become a party leader by saying that your party is going to lose. In that context, I present a statement from the ...
by | June 23, 2009

You don't become a party leader by saying that your party is going to lose. In that context, I present a statement from the head of the Utah Democratic Party.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland struck a confident tone Saturday after being re-elected to a second term, predicting a Democrat will win the statehouse in 2010.

"I'm not sure which one it was, but I think our next governor was in this building today," Holland said.

It was a clear reference to Rep. Jim Matheson and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon who spent much of their time at the Utah Democratic Convention at Murray High School tiptoeing around questions of whether they would run for governor in 2010. But neither ruled it out.

Corroon and Matheson are impressive candidates. Matheson's father was the last Democrat to be elected governor of the state. Still, I'm skeptical.

Everyone knows that Utah is very Republican, but I was surprised when Ballot Access News reported recently on just how few Democrats there are in the state:

The Utah state elections office has released a registration tally. The results: Republican 589,326; Democratic 132,011; Libertarian 3,181; Constitution 2,203; independent and other, 772,997.

The percentages are: Republican 39.30%; Democratic 8.80%; Libertarian .21%; Constitution .15%; independent and other 51.54%.

...

If Utah had Pennsylvania's election law, the Democratic Party would not be on the ballot, and all of its nominees for public office would need a petition to appear on the general election ballot. Pennsylvania treats all parties that have less than 15% of the registration as though they were not qualified, for purposes of appearing on the ballot. Thanks to Frank Fluckinger for the new Utah data.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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