Like father like son may be the new motto of the Mitt Romney household. It appears quite possible that Mitt Romney’s 32 year-old son Josh Romney will run for congress to challenge Democrat incumbent Jim Matheson in Utah’s 2nd congressional district, which includes Salt Lake City and all of eastern and southern Utah.
I am no expert on Utah politics, but all indications are that Jim Matheson is a fairly popular and successful congressman. Matheson first won election in 2000, beating Derek Smith by 15% and most recently won re-election with is largest margin yet, a 22%, 59-37 drubbing of LaVar Christienson.
Heading into this election cycle, Democrats most likely felt that this was a safe seat that they should easily hold on to, especially in this election cycle when Republicans are so down. However, Utah’s 2nd (The Fightin’ 2nd) voted overwhelmingly for President Bush in 2004 and this is what is the cause of worry for Matheson should Josh Romney decide to run.
Mitt Romney is extremely popular in Utah, he won the the Utah primary with 90% of the vote. Most of the Mormon voters in the state feel that Mitt and his religion were unfairly treated in the primary and would likely feel some sort of vindication being able to vote for a Romney, any Romney, in 2008.
This election would likely be a blowout for Matheson if Josh does not decide to run. But if Josh runs and his family (especially his Dad) come to Utah and campaigns on his behalf, Matheson will be sweating it and very worried. If the national GOP is smart and they are interested in limiting the blood to be shed this November, they need to invest in Josh and get him to run. This is the only way for the GOP to pick up this seat, a seat they likely didn’t think would be possible a year ago.