Rising Republican star Mia Love leads six-term Democrat Jim Matheson 52 to 40 percent in their Utah House race, according to a new poll from The Salt Lake Tribune
That’s quite a change from the last few polls, which showed a neck-and-neck race, something both campaigns had predicted as well.
The coalition of Democrats, independents, moderate Republicans, and women who supported Matheson in past elections is failing to back him this time around, according to The Tribune Poll. Only 9 percent of Republicans favor him.
Love may be benefiting from Mitt Romney’s popularity, says Brad Coker, managing director at Mason-Dixon, which conducted the poll. “Romney is winning [Utah] by such a big margin, and Republican voters are coming out because of Romney,” he said. “It’s just not a good year to be a Democrat in Utah.”
Love has turned into a darling of the national GOP. If she is elected, Love would become the first black Republican woman in Congress and the first black representative from Utah.
“I am encouraged by the momentum my campaign continues to gain which validates to me that Utahans are ready for a change in Washington,” Love said of the results. “I know we have a lot of work left to do and know that every vote, voter and volunteer will make the difference on Tuesday.”
To be sure, Matheson says a survey from his own polling firm shows him with a 2-point lead in Utah’s 4th District. “This is a call to action, because this is a close race and we’re in a position to win,” he told The Tribune.
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