Thursday, September 06, 2012

Utah Governor Race

Race of the Day

Utah Governor

September 6, 2012
61 Days Until Election Day

Status: Republican Incumbent
2008 Presidential Result: Red State (West)

Outlook: Safe Republican

In November, Utah will certainly be Mitt Romney's strongest state, and an already very red state will only look redder in down ballot races.

Incumbent Republican Governor Gary Herbert and his Lt. Governor Greg Bell will be seeking their first full term. Very soon after the 2008 election, Republican Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. resigned his position in order to become Barack Obama's main man in Beijing and his Lt. Governor, Herbert took over. This brought about the need for a 2010 special election in which the acting incumbents won easily, and now, they have to face the voters again.

For a while, another sure term looked a bit more questionable for Herbert, as there had been an example of an incumbent U.S. Senator being defeated by a conservative dominated party convention, under Utah's somewhat unique primary qualifying election laws. The Governor took nothing for granted though at the April convention, capturing the nomination on the second ballot over the one remaining contender, after knocking off several others in the first round. A primary was not needed and Herbert and Bell moved on to face the Democrats.

Democrat did not even have a convention battle for the top slot on their statewide ticket. Their nominee is businessman Peter Cooke, a retired Army Reserve Major General. His running mate is attorney Vincent Rampton, whose father had been Governor in the '60s and '70s. Cooke looks like a credible candidate, but despite the lack of polling, it looks like a nearly impossible task to knock off a Republican incumbent statewide in Utah, especially this year with the nation's first ever Mormon Presidential nominee leading their ticket.

Herbert campaign link:

2012 Gubernatorial races predicted thus far: 2 D, 6 R
Predicted Gubernatorial totals thus far: 14 D, 1 I, 32 R