5 Reasons Mia Love Lost Utah Congressional Race
Mia Love’s hopes of becoming the first black Republican congresswoman were dashed on Election Day.
To say that Mia Love is an anomaly would be an understatement. She’s black, Mormon and Republican. Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, Love sought to make history on Election Day 2012 by becoming the first black Republican congresswoman. In the end, however, Love lost the seat in Utah’s 4th Congressional District to Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson by a margin of 48.1 percent to 49.3 percent. So how did Love manage to lose the race when she had overwhelming GOP support? She was even featured at the GOP convention in August. Here are five reasons Love failed to edge out her competition.
All Style No Substance: Love had the backing of the who’s who of the Republican Party. U.S. Sen. John McCain, U.S. Rep. and GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner, Condoleezza Rice and Ann Romney each endorsed her. Add in her appearances on Fox News, CNN and NBC, and the amount of star power Love had amassed is clear. However, some Utahans questioned if Love was nothing more than an “it-girl” who had little substance behind her campaign.
Disorganized Campaign: Brigham Young University political science professor Quin Monson told Utah paper the Deseret News in August that Love’s campaign was disorganized. In fact, from April to August, Love switched campaign managers several times, the Deseret News reported.
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Reminiscent of Sarah Palin: Voters told the Utah Pulse business website that Love reminded them of former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential contender Sarah Palin. One remarked, “She was a mild version of Sarah Palin; an empty suit who couldn’t go off script from her simplistic, partisan messages. If she did go off script she sounded uninformed, contradictory, and dare I say, unintelligent.” Another told the Pulse: “Mia Love was hugely extreme and poorly informed -- a deadly combination. “
Formidable Opponent: The incumbent in the race, Jim Matheson, was difficult to beat. A fellow Mormon, he’d served for six terms in office when Love challenged him. Moreover, Matheson is the son of beloved former Utah governor Scott M. Matheson, now deceased. He’s a political legacy in the state.
Extreme Views: While Love’s opponent is widely viewed as a moderate, Love made headlines for her extreme views. She supported ending the federal school lunch program, student loans and citizenship to the children of immigrants born in the United States, according to Mother Jones magazine.