This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Utah's 4th Congressional District contest has tightened some, but Rep. Mia Love still has a lead over Doug Owens and her financial advantage is staggering.
The Owens campaign released internal survey results on Monday showing him down by 10 percentage points with just three weeks to Election Day. The Democrat was behind by 18 points in a mid-September Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute poll.
The Owens poll, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, found Love at 50 percent, Owens at 40 percent and Collin Simonsen, the Constitution Party candidate, at 6 percent.
"We've shown significant movement in the last two weeks," said Taylor Morgan, Owens' campaign spokesman. "We feel very good about us closing late in this race."
He pointed out Owens was at roughly the same spot at this stage of the 2014 race, which he lost to Love by 5 percentage points. But this time, there's a presidential contest and mail-in ballots, factors which should boost turnout. Morgan believes that will help the Democrat.
Love's campaign strategist, Dave Hansen, said his candidate's internal polling has her with a lead larger than 10 points.
"They are trying to show it as closer than it is," Hansen said, although he agreed the race "has tightened somewhat."
He added: "We still feel good about where we are."
Part of the incumbent's confidence comes from the campaign financial reports, due last weekend, which showed Love with a big advantage. In the past three months, she spent $1.7 million, much of it on TV ads, and she still has nearly $1.2 million available. Owens spent $1 million in recent weeks and had $344,100 available at the beginning of the month.
Their rematch is by far the costliest race in the state, largely because it is the most competitive. Over the course of the entire race, Love has spent $3.7 million to Owens' $1.6 million. And outside groups are planning to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV ads in the final weeks of the race.
Utah's other three congressional races are wandering in relative funding deserts especially the challengers.
In the 3rd Congressional District, GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz outraised Democrat Steve Tryon by a 30-to-one margin $1.25 million to a mere $42,100.
In the 1st Congressional District, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, leads Democrat Peter Clemens in fundraising by nearly a 9-to-one margin, $852,400 to $98,600.
Things are a little closer in the 2nd Congressional District, but only because Democrat Charlene Albarran has spent more than $400,000 of her own money in the race. Still, GOP Rep. Chris Stewart has outraised her $791,500 to $468,500.
The challengers in Districts 1, 2 and 3 raised no money at all from political action committees. The incumbents in those races raised a combined $1.73 million from PACs. Love and Owens both received hefty donations from PACs tied to members of Congress, businesses and, in Owens' case, labor organizations.
Much of the money going to incumbents also is coming from out of state.
Bishop has received only 4.1 percent of his itemized donations from donors with Utah addresses, while 79.5 percent of Clemens' contributions came from Utah residents.
Stewart received 24.8 percent of his donations from Utah, while 73.4 percent of Albarran's came from in-state donors (not counting the money she provided herself).
And 13 percent of Chaffetz's donations came from Utah, while 61.9 percent of Tryon's did.
Similarly, in the 4th District, Owens raised 68.9 percent of his money in the state, while Love, one of the most prolific fundraisers in the U.S. House, raised only 7.7 percent from fellow Utahns.
The internal Owens poll showed that the Democrat performed better among older voters and moderates, while Love had the advantage with those younger than 50 and with LDS voters.
The Owens poll took place Oct. 11 through 13 and included 500 likely voters. It had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.