Among the many disappointments which came with the elections of 2012, one of the real heartbreak moments for many observers was Mia Love’s race in Utah’s 4th congressional district. After seemingly coming out of nowhere in January of that year, Love surged in both popularity and national profile, even getting a speaking slot at the RNC in Tampa. But even with all of the attention and energy surrounding her candidacy, she came up a single point short of her opponent, Congressman Jim Matheson.
But that story looks like it’s not quite over. With more than twenty months until voters next go to the polls, it looks like Love has gotten up, dusted herself off and is ready to take another run at it.
In preparation for a bid, Love has hired former state GOP Chairman Dave Hansen, who was widely heralded last year for successfully managing the re-election campaign of Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Love and Hansen sat down with CQ Roll Call for an interview Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where she was scheduled to speak.
“We are looking at it very seriously,” Love said. “We are trying to get people engaged and going, and let them know that we have to start early so that we are not starting from behind.”
Love is reaching out to donors now, some 20 months before the election, and putting in place a campaign team far earlier than last cycle. Love didn’t formally enter the wide, 4th District Republican field until January 2012. She shocked Republicans by emerging from the April state party convention with the nomination in hand.
“Getting that message out takes a lot of effort, a lot of funds, so we want to make sure that we are defining ourselves before the opposition does,” Love said.
Second acts in politics are far from impossible, but they’re not as common as they were back in the day. So would Ms. Love stand a better chance the second time around? Over at The American Thinker, Rick Moran thinks she’s got a pretty good shot.
I think she’s going to make it this time. She’s got experience, she’ll have plenty of money, and Hansen is a savvy operator who knows the district. Combine that with a lower mid-term turnout, and Ms. Love has an excellent chance of breaking through.
Rick’s point about turnout is absolutely valid in general terms, though we can’t do a one for one comparison here in the currently cut 4th district. It’s a brand new one which was created after the 2010 census. (Utah previously had 3.) But turnout does tend to be lower in the midterms across the nation and the more energized, reliable voter base usually prevails. The Cook Report currently lists the 4th at an R+14 which should bode well for her.