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Undecideds run high in Utah Senate primary

Former Congressional candidate Tim Bridgewater holds a nine-point lead over businessman Mike Lee heading into Tuesday's Utah Senate Republican primary, according to a poll released over the weekend.

Bridgewater leads Lee 42 percent to 33 percent in the Desert News/KSL-TV poll, which surveyed 581 "highly likely" Republican primary voters and has a margin of error of 4 percent.

The most telling number in the poll, though, is that one in four primary voters remain undecided, an unusually high number that speaks to the difficulty voters could be having differentiating between the two candidates -- or even knowing who they are.

While the 3,500 -- or so -- attendees of last month's state convention were the most active voters in the state, there is a far broader (and less active/well informed) electorate in the primary. Roughly 10 percent of registered voters -- or 140,000 people -- are expected to turn out.

In that broader primary electorate, neither Lee, a former general counsel to former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., or Bridgewater who has lost two races for the 2nd district Republican nomination over the past decade, are well known -- making it tough for less engaged voters to differentiate between the two.

With similarly conservative stances on the issues, the biggest gap between Bridgewater and Lee is in the organizations lining up behind the two men.

Bridgewater is backed by Sen. Bob Bennett (R) who was ousted in his bid for renomination at the state convention. It remains to be seen whether the senator, who was ousted in part for his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2008, will be more of an asset or a liability in the race.

Bridgewater has also been endorsed by Cherilyn Eagar, another former rival for the Republican nod, and has enjoyed more local establishment support.

Lee, meanwhile, has won the backing of national tea party organizations including FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express; he's also been endorsed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a leader among conservatives nationally. DeMint's endorsement, which came after the second convention ballot that eliminated Bennett, didn't sway the third ballot results as Bridgewater led 57 percent to 42 percent. (It takes 60 percent for a candidate to avoid a primary.)

Interestingly, the Club for Growth, which played a major role in defeating Bennett has stayed out of the primary race entirely.

Local tea party groups, too, have largely avoided getting involved, citing the fact that both candidates are on their side on the issues.

The winner will be a safe bet to replace Bennett. Restaurant owner Sam Granato (D) is the Democratic nominee, but the Beehive State has not had a Democratic senator since 1976.

-- Felicia Sonmez

By The Fix  |  June 21, 2010; 12:59 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Are liberals falling out of love with Obama?



Shut the &*!@ up!

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: yahoo999 | June 22, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I think the whole nation is gradually coming to the consensus that Obama should be put on trial and thrown in jail.

This thing with Kyl - if true - is illegal.

Ironically, it is the same thing Blago is on trial for right now. You would think that Obama would learn from Blago, Ha !

Well - the country still deserves a special prosecutor for the Obama-Valerie Jarrett- Blago combo with the union official scandal.

The Sestak Scandal.

The Obama-Romanoff Scandal.

And all that adds up to a RICO conviction.

PLUS Blago is walking around a little too confident in his trial - one has to wonder if he is holding back some juicy information on Obama -

It would make sense that Blago would be trying to offer to keep this information silent - in exchange for getting out of the charges against him.

So, if Blago believes that he is NOT getting this deal, he just might decide to reveal this information.

See Blago is holding onto this info because he needs it - to get off - and he is trying to bargain with it -

Otherwise, if Blago feels as though that plan will not work, he just might spill the beans.

But there is just too much stuff going on with Blago - Rahm - Obama - Tony Rezko - come on folks -

This story is not over.

I think the London odds on seeing Obama in an orange jumpsuit at the end of all this is 50-50 right now.



Posted by: 37thand0street | June 22, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

It is important for the people to hear about, and critically evaluate, Bridgewater’s record and past actions, and pointing these out is the very essence of a true, issues-based (pork, unfunded mandates, big government intrusion) campaign, to know the proclivities and past actions of those who are being considered for high office. Bridgewater talks the talk well, but there is substantial evidence that he does not truly walk the walk. In pointing this out, Mike Lee is not “going negative”, but is acting in the best interests of the democratic process. On the other hand, the fiercely anti-Lee campaigns of Bennett and Bridgewater have “gone negative” by taking words out of context, mischaracterizing Mike’s work as an attorney, and twisting the facts to their own advantage.

While Mike Lee’s work as an attorney, including his one case with EnergySolutions, has been to fight for less government intrusion on our constitutional rights, Bridgewater’s business is feasting off government pork and “stimulus” money. Lawyers are "small businessmen" involved in the usual business activities of personnel management, making payroll, etc.; can Bridgewater be classified as a true “fiscal conservative” or even a true "businessman" if his “business” is feeding off government pork? Senator Bennett did not make it out of convention this year, largely because of his affinity for earmarks and big-spending Washington pork. Isn’t Bridgewater just a younger Bennett? Doesn’t Bennett now support Bridgewater because he conforms more closely to Bennett’s establishment, neo-con views, and big-government tax & spend ways?

We need a true fiscal conservative and constitutional expert in Washington to help us deal with our current economic and constitutional crises. Mike Lee has the background, experience and character best suited to helping us take back our country.

Posted by: uvbogden | June 21, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Unless that news organization changed its name recently it is called the "Deseret News".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 21, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse


that is slander - yet - you feel perfectly comfortable copy-and-pasting your material all over the place.

you should be banned. You probably have more posts than I do.


Posted by: 37thand0street | June 21, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris, when will you take the racist spammer 37 off this board? Are you going to wait until he's driven away everyone else? Because you are quite close to that point now.

Posted by: drindl | June 21, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Bob Sanderson

The TRUTH is the extremists are dominating the democratic party

I don't hear you talking about that.

YOUR side wants to:

- triple our electicity bills

- run gasoline to $7.00 a gallon

- Run the budget deficit over a trillion dollars for Obama's entire term

- Waste the stimulus money on special interest groups

- Run the Health Care Agencies like the Minerals Management Service.

Your biggest problem is the Obama administration is incompetent - and it WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DO AS MUCH DAMAGE AS YOU ARE AIMING TO.




Posted by: 37thand0street | June 21, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I didnd't realize Chicago was in Utah.

Posted by: drindl | June 21, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

There were 52 people shot in Chicago - just this weekend

8 of those died.

And you want to shut down a discussion about that???

What are the democrats doing about inner-city violence ????

I have seen a bunch of bloggers on this site saying they are concerned about right-wing violence - I think Bob Sanderson just mentioned that.

HOWEVER - I don't hear ANY of the democrats talking about the innercity violence - which is REAL as opposed to the imaginerary fear-mongering of people like Bob Sanderson.


And I am right.


Seriously, the damage to these lives is more important than the far left wing agenda which the democrats are obsessed with.

You really have to get your priorities straight.

YES it is true - the far left wing agenda of the democrats is MORALLY BANKRUPT AS WELL AS FINANCIALLY UNSOUND.




Posted by: 37thand0street | June 21, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Please change the name of this blog to THE POLL.


Posted by: mariewilson11 | June 21, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

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