It’s simple.Â I’ve seen Claudia Wright campaigning and met her friends and she’s great, but she isn’t going to best Morgan Philpot in November.Â Jim Matheson will.
Folks who think a Democrat without name recognition and with no intention of getting her hands dirty raising at least half a million dollars can be competitive in the Second district in a Republican year just don’t understand what R+20 means.Â An R+20 district is one where a generic Republican can expect to do 20 points better than the national average in a general election.Â The Second district is not a swing district like it was before the 2001 redistricting;Â it’s strong Republican.
I won’t tell you that Jim Matheson is a closet liberal doing his best in red territory.Â If you really listen to him, it’s obvious he’s far too smart and detailed in his convictions in favor of the neoliberal Washington Consensus to be faking it.Â But he does good things for us on transit funding , nuclear testing, nuclear waste transport and cleanup, public lands conservation, keeping a Utah voice in the Democratic majority, and other local issues.
The only reason you should hope for Matheson to lose is if you think you’d be better off with a Republican working hard with big money special interests to divide your community, pave your open space, taint your air and water, impoverish your kids’ school, give your taxes to bankers, send your job overseas, and carry out the rest of the Republican platform.
I imagine there are a few Democrats who really think that.Â If you’re a citizen of Washington County who loves your bucolic rural small town way of life, you might like having a Republican.Â Certainly you would be better off with a representative ranting about the font on the President’s birth certificate than a smart and effective congressman working to drive multi-billion dollar water project subsidies so that developers could pound your county into the next Vegas megalopolis.Â But that is the only argument you can make.Â It’s not enough that Claudia Wright would be better.Â You have to argue that you would actually be better off locally with a bad congressman than one whom you sometimes disagree with.