Depending on who you ask, Mia Love is either: about to decide whether she wants to either: enter into a rematch with Jim Matheson for UT-04; or has already decided to run again. I suspect that it’s the latter. Hiring “former state GOP Chairman Dave Hansen, who was widely heralded last year for successfully managing the re-election campaign of Sen. Orrin Hatch” is pretty diagnostic. For that matter, so is this:
…that is, in fact, the speech of somebody planning to run again.
As to whether she’ll win this time… good question. UT-04 is about as Democratic as it gets in Utah (R+14); Democrat Jim Matheson won the 2012 election, 48.8%/48.5% , in a state where Republican Mitt Romney got 73% of the vote. This can’t be ignored; whether it’s more important than the detail that Matheson normally has this sort of squeaker result in mid-term elections remains to be seen. Truth be told – and I’m as guilty as anybody else about this – but there’s a too-casual assumption that if a candidate loses an election once then he or she probably won’t win the next time, either. Sometimes it’s true; but sometimes the first campaign simply tells the candidate what he or she needs to do better next time.
Bottom line is, if Mia Love brings in the money and can take proper advantage of Hansen’s connections with the Utah GOP, she’s going to be too dangerous for Matheson to ignore. Certainly the DCCC is already freaking out about the race; Matheson is on their firewall list. As well he should be, given the last election results…