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Analyst says votes in Salt Lake County will decide winner in Ben McAdams, Mia Love race

Posted at 9:33 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 00:30:51-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- As of late Tuesday, the race for Congress between Republican incumbent Mia Love and her Democrat challenger Ben McAdams was down to 1,229 votes, McAdams holding the slight advantage.

“For those of that were hoping today was the day when we would have some clarity, it did not come. This is going to stay close to the very end,” said Jason Perry, the Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.

Sanpete, Juab, Utah and Salt Lake counties all have voters that make up congressional district 4. Sanpete and Juab counties are done counting votes. However, Utah County has between 20,000 and 27,000 ballots to process. Still, not all of those ballots are in Congressional District 4 and some are provisional that may be thrown out. Others have just yet to be counted. Mia Love has been winning roughly 75 percent of the vote in Utah County.

“No one that really understands the process here and the state of Utah is going to call this one,” said Perry.

The outstanding ballots are making it difficult for anyone to claim victory. In Salt Lake County, there are 45,849 ballots to be counted and 16,353 provisional ballots to verify. McAdams has been winning roughly 54 percent of the vote in Salt Lake County, but again, not all of the outstanding ballots are in congressional district 4.

“Really the battleground is in Salt Lake County,” said Perry.

Though Love is winning big in Utah County, the Hinckley Institute of Politics believes the race will really be won or lost in Salt Lake County. Ben McAdams is the Mayor of Salt Lake County and voter turnout was high, estimated to be over 75 percent. However, there may be a path for Love to claim victory.

“What she has to do is get 47 to 49 percent of every remaining vote in Salt Lake County. That’s what she needs to do to win this. She got 50 percent on Friday, she got 48 percent today,” said Perry.