Colin E Braley, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah speaks in Salt Lake City.

A recent letter argued that "since a vote for Matheson brings the House one vote closer to Pelosi," fiscal conservatives from both parties ought to "vote for Love" ("Voting vicariously," Readers' Forum, Oct. 9).

I admire the author's willingness to thoughtfully consider voting for candidates outside of his party affiliation and wish more Utahns would do the same. But I respectfully question the relevance of his argument. The consensus among political analysts is that 56 of the 435 House races this election cycle are competitive, distributed among the following categories: "toss up" (25), "lean Republican" (19) and "lean Democrat" (12).

Consequently, in order for Republicans to lose their majority, they will have to lose all 12 "lean Democrat" races, all 25 "toss up" races and more than half (10) of the 19 "lean Republican" races. Such an outcome would be historically unprecedented and is expected by virtually nobody.

Since, in reality, a vote for Jim Matheson is not a vote for Nancy Pelosi, those of us who would otherwise be unwilling to compromise the Republican majority by voting for a Democrat may justifiably liberate ourselves from the bondage of the author's irrelevant argument and, contrary to his claim, appropriately make this election about Matheson vs. Love.

Brad Barth

Salt Lake City