In the race for U.S. Senate, Utah voters have primary election money on Lee

Jun 21, 2022, 10:55 AM | Updated: Jun 28, 2022, 9:48 am
A ballot is pictured. The GOP primary election day is June 28, 2022....
The primary elections happen on June 28. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images.

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SALT LAKE CITY– Will Utah voters put their votes where their money is? It’s a question being asked as the Utah primary election nears. 

In April, Democrats announced their support for an independent candidate, Evan McMullin, instead of backing a candidate from their own party. The June 28 primary determines who will face McMullin in November.

According to the Federal Election Commission, financial contributions to Sen. Mike Lee’s campaign to hold onto his senate seat surpass his GOP challengers, Becky Edwards and Ally Isom, by millions of dollars.

And Leah Murray, a Weber State political science professor, said that Edwards and Isom don’t seem to be pulling in the donors needed to take the win in the general election. 

“The money of people who are not sure but who really don’t like Mike Lee, that money is going to Evan McMullin,” Murray noted that’s a roundabout way of voters indicating they want McMullin to take on Lee in the general election.

Political strategist Taylor Morgan said that’s not lost on McMullin’s team.  McMullin’s financial donations have also surpassed those of Edwards’ and Isoms’.

“There’s a reason he’s [McMullin] running in November as an independent rather than try to challenge Mike Lee in a Republican primary,” said Morgan.

Morgan said the GOP race on June 28 will be shaped largely by turnout. If more unaffiliated voters choose to join the Republican party by voting in person on election day, a more moderate candidate like Edwards may fair better.

Only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in the Utah primary election next week. For more information on the election visit vote.utah.gov.

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In the race for U.S. Senate, Utah voters have primary election money on Lee