Happy Hour News: Primary Results plus prescient analysis and November predictions.---
For those of you who missed my live blog last night or the multiple news reports (D-News here, Daily Herald here, Trib website is down, so no link) this morning about the primary results, here is a quick rundown with some deeply insightful and sober analysis by yours truly:
- Mike Lee defeated Tim Bridgewater in a close race. While a lot of people hung this on Salt Lake County's failure to deliver a decisive victory for Bridgewater, the number that stood out to me was Lee's dominance in Washington County, almost 2-to-1. That gave him an early lead that he never relinquished. Now, he faces Sam Granato. I expect an extremely tight election in November between the two, and right now, the Lee vs. Granato race is simply too close to call.
- Matheson's defeat of Wright was resounding, 68-32. That was how it was supposed to go, but really, Matheson should have never been in a primary to begin with. While she may have lost big Tuesday night, Wright and her supporters certainly sent a message to the Democratic establishment that they are not happy about the old "Republican-light" approach taken by too many Democratic candidates and elected officials. Which, of course, they will listen to and in 2012, all Democratic candidates will be approved by the Citizens' Candidate committee.
- On a more local scale, two races of particular import to City Weekly readers were the House District 25 race between Joel Briscoe and Anthony Kaye and the Salt Lake County Council race between Arlyn Bradshaw and Cal Noyce. Briscoe and Bradshaw won, although Briscoe was close until the end. It's very likely that Briscoe will win in November and replace Rep. Christine Johnson, D-Salt Lake, unless Republican Rick Raile announces that he is actually a lesbian. Bradshaw will face a tougher challenge against Republican Steve Harmsen, who has won an at-large race for the council and is a long-time politician. However, Harmsen is pretty conservative and may find a tougher time in the Salt Lake City-only district than he did in a county-wide district.
- Other races around the state saw multiple Republican legislators survive challenges from within the party, including Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, Rep. Becky Edwards, R-Bountiful, Rep. Merylnn Newbold, R-South Jordan, and Rep. Curt Webb, R-Logan. Some of those incumbents faced candidates backed by the Patrick Henry Caucus, so their victories demonstrate that while the caucus members (a conservative lot, to say the least) make a lot of noise -- and awesome videos -- they are not quite the power-brokers they hoped. Watch for that trend to play out during leadership elections at the Legislature, as well. Which is too bad, because quite frankly, the Legislature would become a rip-roaring good time (in a demolition derby kind-of-way) if Rep. Carl Wimmer & Co. were running the show in the House.