10 Problems with Utah Democrats.

download(Updated note: I would like to say that I find this to be an issue with Democrats in the Salt Lake County and not from other counties. Democrats in other counties seem to actually want to move the party forward.)

Back in July, I was looking for a political job, particularly in Utah. I used to be the national committeeman for the Young Democrats of Utah and loved Democratic politics in the state because it was vibrant and productive, even in the face of steep challenges. I was so impressed with Democrats in Utah, I wrote an article about the party six years ago and recommended that the Florida Democratic Party could learn from Utah Democrats.

However, as I returned to Utah, a lot has changed, and the party structure is an absolute nightmare. To me, the glue that held the party together for so many years was the amazing Todd Taylor, the person who I respect the most in Utah Democratic politics, both past and present. But it seems like the party has gone downhill, really downhill, since his death. Therefore, I have jotted down some of the issues that I noticed in the Utah Democratic Party.

I don’t write this to make enemies, but instead to show the problems in the party. And honestly, I think it is hard for people to look in the mirror and notice their own problems, which is why it is time for someone from the outside to examine to problem through a different lens.

Problem #1: Personal rivalries are killing Utah Democrats. Continue reading “10 Problems with Utah Democrats.”


What if Wednesday: Will Mitt Romney drive the vote in Utah for 2018?

ct-donald-trump-secretary-of-state-mitt-romney-20161129(Note: This article is an analysis about Salt Lake County. Statewide analysis coming soon).

All of the talk around politics today is about how 2018 is going to be another wave year for Democrats. Reminiscing about 2006, Democrats look poised to possibly take back the US House and Senate after a disastrous presidential election two years earlier. Of course, Donald Trump is diving the discussion, and we have already seen Democrats in Virginia doing what was considered the impossible, which is competing for the leadership of the House of Delegates. So, yes, it looks good for Democrats.

But this is Utah. And Mitt Romney is looking to run for US Senate.

With that being said, could that change the game? In 2012, Mitt Romney received 58.26% of the vote in Salt Lake County. One might think that is record breaking, but George W. Bush received 59.57% in 2004 against John Kerry. In 1996, Bob Dole won 45.51%, George W. Bush in 2000 won 55.84%. In 2008, John McCain won 48.09%, which was the first time that a Democrat, Barack Obama with his 48.17%, won Salt Lake County since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. So will there be a “Romney Coattails Effect” in 2018?  Continue reading “What if Wednesday: Will Mitt Romney drive the vote in Utah for 2018?”

Is voter registration the key for Salt Lake County Democrats?

Over the last few election cycles, there has been a gradual change when it comes to the way Salt Lake County has voted. It has gone from solidly supporting Mitt Romney in 2012 to supporting Hillary Clinton last year. However, the last two elections were probably anomalies, with Romney heading the ticket in 2012, and right-of-center Evan McMullin, a Utah Mormon, leading an independent challenge in 2016. Hopefully, 2020 will bring a return to some sense of normality to presidential elections in Utah.

With that, Democrats still have an uphill battle when it comes to making Salt Lake County solid blue, but there is a path to long-term success.

One way that Democrats can grow their numbers in Salt Lake County is by doing a major voter registration push. In municipalities where Hillary Clinton performed well, the percentage of the voting age population (according to the U.S. Census estimates for 2016) who are actually registered to vote is lower compared to the rest of the county. In Salt Lake City, where Clinton received 66% of the vote, only 60% of the voting age population (VAP) is registered to vote. If the percentage of VAP was registered at 70%, this would add around 15,000 new voters, with about 10,000 of those voters favoring the Democratic candidate. And since Salt Lake City’s turnout rate (85.64%) is actually the third highest among county municipalities (behind Holladay and Draper), there is a strong likelihood of these new voters turning out.



Continue reading “Is voter registration the key for Salt Lake County Democrats?”

Welcome to Elections Utah

Utah-flag-lowHello everyone,

My name is Dave Trotter and welcome to my blog, Elections Utah. As the title suggests, this blog will examine elections within the State of Utah. I will be looking at stories that are impacting elections in the state, but mostly be examining the numbers and geography behind politics in Utah.

This site is not going to be flashy, but instead informative. I am just starting it off now, and it will eventually evolve over time. As of right now, getting stories on the site is the highest priority.

As some of you already know, this blog will look at things from a Democratic Party perspective of Utah politics. So yes, there will be a Democratic bias. However, as someone who identifies as a moderate Democrat, I will probably not be discussing ideology, unless we have some data that can discuss ideology. Also, in the case of partisanship, I will try to remain as unbiased as possible.

This blog is just one part of Sigma Strategies, LLC, which is a campaign consulting company that consults on all aspects of political campaigns. Please visit our website here.

Again, thanks for your time and I hope you enjoy this site. Any criticism is welcomed.


Dave Trotter