Utah is a true Republican stronghold with President Trump beating his Democratic rivals in 2016 by 18 points and in 2020 by 21 points. In 2022, Evan McMullin, the 2016 presidential candidate is running as an independent candidate in an attempt to unseat Republican Senator Mike Lee. Lee does have the endorsement of President Donald Trump. This unusual Senate race, it’s not so much about the Evan McMullin versus Trump endorsed Mike Lee, but it is about how many of the Republican's still believe the 2016 version of candidate Trump painted by the media vs 4 year president Trump. Evan McMullin's strategy is that runs up his support from Democrats, independents and anti-Trump Republicans in a Red Republican state.
so what are the 5 things that the data points out for us in this 2022 Utah Senate Race
1. Mike Lee's Popularity within the Republican Party
Mike Lee easily won his primary over 6 other Republican candidate with a 31% margin the runner up beating her 123K votes to his 259K in every one of the 29 Utah counties. In the biggest county of Salt Lake, Utah, he managed to beat Becky Edwards who like Evan McMullin and Mitt Romney is a mormon and almost of similar politican position as them, by 9 points. In the next 5 largest counties, Mike Lee beats Beck Edwards by double digits margins. In the county of Utah,Utah, Mike Lee beat her by 25 points, in Davis by 21 points, in Washington by 53 points, in Weber by 29 points and in Cache by 29 points too. In majority of the smaller counties he was able to maintain a double digit lead ranging from 70% to 50%, which is commanding.
Questions to the Reader...
Q. Is this a strong support for Mike Lee among the Republican party voters or not?
Q. How many of Ms.Edwards & Ally Insom would vote for Mr. McMullin?
In 2016, Mike Lee defeated the Democrat challenger Misty Snow by a 31 points, with 760K votes which possibly is smaller victory compared his 2022 (29 point victor) if you consider he was competing within the Republican party among 5 other candidates. Mike Lee outperformed most populous 6 counties, beating Ms. Snow in double digits in all, like in Salt Lake by 13 points, Utah by 70 points, Davis by 54 points, Washington by 63 points, Cache by 59 points. In majority of the other counties, his win ranged between 10 points to 80 points.
Questions to the reader:
Q. Could this be the reason, there was no Democrat primary in Utah this election or was McMullin was always on the ticket from the beginning?
Q. How many of Ms. Snow voters, provided they are still the same strength, are going to come in and vote for McMullin?
Q. With the difference between the Democrat and Republican party so vast, how many of the Republican's would cross vote to side with the Democrat's plan?
Statewide Election match up Evan McMullin Vs. Mike Lee
In his 2016 Presidential General Elections, Evan McMullin got 243K in his votes in Utah, which 1/3 of what Mike Lee got 2016 senate race. In the top 6 populous counties Mike Lee outperformed Evan McMullin by a huge number of votes. In Salt Lake City, Mike Lee got 220K votes to 80K for McMullins, in Utah 164K to 60K, Davis 102K to 40K, Weber 55K to 16K, Washington 40K to 6K, Cache 35K to 13K. [Check out the pages for the 2016 presidential race and 2016 senate race analysis links for additional details.]
Assuming, that every one of these 2016 voters have not changed their position, McMullin's 243K + Ms. Snows 301K votes, gets him to 545K votes which is still 215K votes behind provided again, our assumption that these numbers remain extactly the same which is highly unlikely.
Another assumption could be that McMullin keeps his 243K and adds Ms. Edwards 123K, Insom's 35K, Ms.Snows 301K votes to a total of 702K which is still short of 60K votes. Even if we give the 310K Ms.Clinton got, it brings him closer, but still short.
Questions the readers needs to ask ...
Q. Where will this vote difference come from?
Q. Which group is enthusiastic to show up for McMullin?
Q. How many of Ms. Becky Edwards, Ms. Ally Insom in addition to the 2016 Democrat votes would switch for McMullin?
Q. If the vote numbers reduce to Sen. Romney's election level, how will these numbers reduce?
Senator Mike Lee Vs. Senator Mitt Romney Vs Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney
Mike Lee got 100K more votes than Mitt Romney (660K) , however, take into account, his election was a Midterm election. Sen Romney beat his Democrat rival Jenny Wilson (329K) by 32 points. In the most populated counties, Mike's 220K vs Mitt's 207 in Salt Lake, 102K to 86K in Davis, 55K to 50K. In the other counties, Mitt Romney, won most of the counties, but with smaller marhins than Mike Lee. Mike Lee's 259K senate primary performance is better than Romney's 2012 207K presidential primry performance.
Comparing Mitt Romney'2012 presidential run, may be moot because he did compete for the Senate elections in 2018. However, Mitt Romney's got the same number of votes as Mike in 2016 and almost all the same margins, if not more in some cases in the top counties in the populated counties. However, Mitt Romney campaigned and supported Ms. Liz Cheney in Wyoming, who lost her primary by 40 points.
Questions to the reader needs to ask..
Q. Is there a big gaps in Mike Lee's support compared to Mitt Romney in Utah?
Q. How much of Mitt Romney's support does Mike Lee and in which county?
Q. How much would Mitt Romney's support help McMullin, seeing that Ms.Cheney lost in Wyoming?
Q. If Mike Lee's Senate primary performance is better than Romney's Presidential Primary perfomance, should he really be worried?
President Trump endorsement for Mike Lee
President Trump went from 515K votes in 2016 to 865K in 2020, that is a 350K votes gain in the state which means, he got all of McMullin's 243K voters to vote for him in 2020, brining him past the 740K of Mitt Romney's 2012 run. President Trump added another 125K more voters on top. This 350K voters are the additional even with all the poor media coverage he received for 4 years of his presidency and constant disparging remarks from Senator Romney. President Trump gained votes in 2020 in every county specially in populous county, where almost doubled his gains in them. Salt Lake went from 138K in 2016 to 230K in 2020, in Utah from 102K to 192K , in Davis from 62K to 104K, in Weber from40K to 65K. In every other county, he expanded the votes by sizeable numbers.
President Trump's 2020 primary which as inconsequential race, still had 302K voters, which is almost 100K more than 2012 Mitt Romney run and more than Mike Lee's 2022 primary.
In the 2022 Republican primary, 415K voters showed up at the polls which shows great level of enthusiasm on the Republican side and majority of that to the Trump endorsed candidate.
Questions the reader needs to ask...
Q. If President Trump, made such big gains in the most populous counties, Where are McMullin's votes going to come from?
Q. Did President Trump convert all of McMullin's voters 2016 to his voters, are they the 200K gain for the Democrats in 2020?
Q. How many of President Trump's 2020 votes of 835K will switch to McMullin?
Q. With such huge Republican enthusiasm factor, majority going for Sen. Mike Lee, Should he really be worried about the loss in a deep red state. Is there anything else missing in the analysis?
There is a a lot of data that supports that Mike Lee could win his election. However, TFN would like for the audience to figure it out for themselves based on the links to maps, condensed analysis to see if there is something there is something more that need to be evaluated.
Only Nov 8th, post election day when the results will be out to see how closely did the past results play out in the 2022 Utah senate election.