The Politics of Utah

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Role in National Elections

Utah is one of the most Republican-leaning state in America. In seven of the last eight elections, Utah has given the Republican party its greatest margin of victory. The state has not voted for any Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

State – Level Politics

Utah has two Republican Senators, Orrin Hatch and Robert Bennett. In 2006, Hatch was re-elected by a 2-1 margin. Utah also has a Republican Governor, who won election in 2004 by a 17 percent margin. Utah has 2 Republicans in the House of Representatives and one Democrat. Republicans also control both chambers of the state legislature by strong margins.

The only prominent Democrat in the state is the mayor of Salt Lake City, the biggest city in Utah. Rocky Anderson, who was elected in 2004 by a slim 4 percent margin, is a liberal Democrat who often attends anti-war rallies and supports impeaching President Bush.

Impact of the Mormon Church on Politics

The majority of the resident of Utah are Mormons and although they are mainly social conservatives, the Church of Latter-Day Saints has tried to reach a political equilibrium. In the 1890’s the Church tried to convince their almost exclusively Democratic members that being a Republican was morally acceptable. When the situation reversed itself around 100 years later, many church officials have made the same plea on behalf of Democrats. One example they could point to is Democratic Senate Majority Harry Reid, who is a Mormon.

Possible Role in D.C. Representation

A current bill in Congress would allow the District of Columbia to have Federal Representation, but in order to maintain political balance, would allow Utah to have one extra seat as a political compromise.


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