SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Mayor Ben McAdams began Tuesday leading the 4th Congressional District race by 4,906 votes, but after counties reported new tallies his lead over Rep. Mia Love was down to 1,229. With tens of thousands of ballots left to count in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, it’s unclear who will be victorious.
Jason Perry, the Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, said this was exactly what Rep. Love needed to keep her hopes alive.
“Mia Love has some reason to be optimistic,” said Perry. “She needs 48 to 49 of all remaining Salt Lake County votes if she’s going to win this thing.”
Both Sanpete and Juab Counties have finished counting all of their ballots, so the remaining votes will come from Salt Lake County and Utah County.
So far, Mayor McAdams has been receiving about 55 percent of the vote from Salt Lake County while Rep. Love has been getting around 75 percent of the votes in Utah County.
Utah County only has just over 27,000 votes left to count. About 18,000 of those are provisional. In Salt Lake County, there are 45,849 left to tally not including the 16,353 provisional ballots still needing to be processed. That’s why it could still be a big lead to overcome.
“The math is still not that easy for her, but there is a view of victory today,” said Perry.
The majority of provisional ballots were cast by those registering and voting on Election Day which was allowed statewide for the first time. County clerks still have to verify their information before counting it. Perry says that could be the biggest unknown.
“I think it’s just going to come down to the provisional ballots because we just don’t know who those people are, or what motivated them to show up,” said Perry.
In a statement, Mia Love’s campaign manager Dave Hansen said:
“The numbers are moving in the right direction and we are diligently watching for additional results.”
Mayor Ben McAdams Campaign Manager Andrew Roberts said:
“The mayor’s lead continues to hold and we remain optimistic about the final tally. We will continue watching results as they come in.”
The canvassing period ends on November 20, and that’s when all election results must be certified by the county.