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Utah House: Love 49, Matheson 43

11:43 AM, Oct 2, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Republican House candidate Mia Love of Utah leads her opponent, Democratic congressman Jim Matheson, by six points, according to a new poll from the Deseret News and KSL-TV. Love has 49 percent support in Utah's new Fourth Congressional District, while Matheson has 43 percent support. Here's more from the News:

"She is really coming on," pollster Dan Jones said.

A Deseret News/KSL poll that Jones conducted in June had Matheson leading Love 53 percent to 38 percent.

The pollster pointed to several reasons for the 21-point swing including Love's emerging name recognition, celebrity, national GOP money and new congressional district boundaries that favor Republicans.

Love's "star quality" is paying off but so is her party affiliation, Jones said.

"If those who drew the districts want Utah to remain as a one-party state, they've done a darn good job of it because all four congressional districts are extremely Republican," he said. "The districts have been gerrymandered for the Republican Party, it appears to me."

The poll is probably a more realistic reflection of the close race than a recent internal poll released by the Love campaign, which showed the Republican ahead by 15 points. Love, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, is a rising star who was given a plum speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in August. But Matheson, Utah's only Democrat in Congress, remains popular due to his relatively moderate-to-conservative record during his six terms in the House. His popularity and name recognition have kept the race close.

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