SALT LAKE CITY — Lt. Governor Spencer Cox clearly has a strong advantage in the race for Utah Governor, but the result is far from certain.
Jason Perry, Executive Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, says two key questions will determine the outcome between Cox and former Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.
“Just as important as the number [of remaining ballots] is the where those ballots are coming from and that's what we don't know right now,” Perry said.
Huntsman’s hope is that most of the remaining ballots are in Salt Lake County, where he dominates and where there are likely to be more former Democratic and Independent voters who changed their registration to vote in the primary.
“If what remains to be counted are largely that group…if those break for Jon Huntsman then that could have a big impact as well,” Perry said.
Another factor in the race, Davis and Weber Counties did not update numbers on Wednesday afternoon. Weber, in particular, recorded a smaller percentage of votes on election night than any of Utah’s other four largest counties. If residents there voted in comparable numbers to those elsewhere, they could also make a difference, because initial results there favored Huntsman.
In other words, there are ways for Huntsman to pull ahead, but everything has to go his way to overcome the buffer built up by Cox.