Utah Democratic Party Has a Lot More Cash On Hand Than Their Republican Counterparts

Jul 11, 2014

The latest state financial disclosure reports show that the Utah Democratic Party has a lot more money than the Utah GOP. That difference could mean something for the upcoming election.

This year the Utah Democratic Party has accepted $282 thousand into their state account compared to the $213 thousand the Utah Republican Party has received. Of that money the Democrats still have $203 thousand dollars on hand while the Republicans only have $18 thousand.

Tim Chambless  is with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. He says that kind of difference could at least have an influence on some of the more competitive races.

“You have to have money to be able to generate a successful campaign to get out the vote, get your voters out, to also be seen as viable in the eyes of the voting public," Chambless says. "Money is essential.”

Utah Democratic Party Executive Director Matt Lyons says trying to get people out to vote, especially in the 4th congressional district race between Republican Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens, is what they will spend most of their money on.

“If we can get a voter registered and out to vote it makes a difference for everybody," he says. "And it can make a big difference, especially when you’re looking at elections like the 4th congressional district that was won and lost by 700 votes. You know, if we’re able to get to our goal of 20 thousand new voters, and a lot of them coming from the 4th congressional district, that means that that margin isn’t going to be 700 votes it’s going to be 10 thousand votes.”

But Chambless also warns that disclosure reports are like looking in the rear view mirror and don’t indicate much about what will happen in the future. He also says statewide political parties don’t really have the influence they once had.

“Increasingly what we’ve seen is that candidates will have the primary role to raise money for their own campaigns and that each election, we almost have to look at each election as case by case, candidate by candidate,” he says.

The next disclosure reports are due by September 2.