Decision 2012: Mia Love, Jim Matheson trust voters to make right choice in 4th Congressional District
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — After months of campaigning, debating and cutting commercials in one of the highest profile races in Utah, Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love and Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, agree on one thing — their trust in Utah voters.
"I think Utah is awake," Love said. "I think a lot of people know the truth."
"I trust the voters," Matheson said. "If they look at the key differences between me and my opponent, I think things are going to work out just fine tonight."
The latest Deseret News/Dan Jones poll, released Sunday, shows Love and Matheson locked in a tight race for Utah's 4th Congressional District seat. According to the poll, 42 percent of registered voters in the district said they will definitely vote for Love compared to 38 percent who said they would definitely vote for Matheson. Leaners boost Love's support to 48 percent compared to Matheson's 43 percent, while 6 percent remain undecided.
Love was untroubled by the controversy after The Salt Lake Tribune announced mistakes in data interpretation in polls surrounding the 4th Congressional District race, saying her campaign has internal polls to give them accurate information.
"Every single credible poll has us up, so that's a really good thing against someone who's been in Congress for a while," Love said.
Matheson, likewise, is untroubled by outside polls, saying his campaign has its own pollster who shows him up by two in the latest numbers. Even so, he said, he expects the race to be tight.
Both candidates, talking to KSL-TV on election night, said recent campaign ads and tactics have raised misconceptions among voters that they'd like to address, with Love focusing on education and Saratoga Springs crime, and Matheson on his purported support for "Obamacare."
Throughout the campaign, Love has been accused of wanting to cut special education funding and to cut all college student loans. The reality, she said, is that she's trying to come up with solutions that get money out of Washington and into classrooms.
"It's important to come up with solutions and make sure that we're representing Utah to Washington and not the other way around," Love said.
If people really believed the ads, they'd think Saratoga Springs was riddled with crime, Love said, while reality suggests you'd have a better chance of getting run over by an antelope than getting mugged in Saratoga Springs.
Matheson said he thinks it's unfortunate that Love and her supporters tried to tie him to the president's health care overhaul by saying that he supported it, "when in fact, I never did."
"The bottom line is, I always opposed the bill from the outset, and I always voted against it," Matheson said.
Matheson said he understands why the opposition tried to tie him to the health care bill, but that doing so is unfair. He also said that campaign misinformation questions his own personal character, which has bothered him during the race.