Our first election is over. Our candidate won 9 percent of the vote. Is that a good showing or not so good? What is the definition of success short of winning? Party supporters will define the future. If we decide the 12,000 or so votes Jim received are a foundation for growth, then we will go ahead and work for a larger share of the vote, more supporters, and eventual victory at the polls.
One of the most astute political consultants in the state, Frank Pignanelli, called that percentage "a fairly large slice" of the electorate. Bryan Schott had said a couple of months ago that he would be shocked if Jim Bennett got more than 5 percent of the vote. A couple of weeks ago he said that if our candidate got 10 percent of the vote, we would have some relevance in Utah elections. Is there a lot of difference between nine and ten percent?
A media consultant today told me he was surprised Jim did this well. He noted that Jim had done better than any third party candidate. He thought Jim's performance had given us a window of opportunity to further the goals of the party.
These are all assessments that have legitimacy. However, basically, it is the party supporters who define the future. If we decide the 12,000 or so votes Jim received are a foundation for growth, then we will go ahead and work for a larger share of the vote, more supporters, and eventual victory at the polls to put into policy the principles and issue positions we support.
I do not believe voters so much rejected us as they did not know what to make of us, if they even knew who we were. Most voters still do not know much about who we are and what we stand for. And yet, 12,000 of them in one part of the state were willing to give us a try!
We are now looking for candidates for 2018. Please feel free to nominate people you think would be good candidates. Send the names directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include where they live, whether you know them personally, as well as an explanation as to why you think they would be a good candidate.
It is unlikely that the long-time politicians are going to run on our ticket. They are not risk-takers who want to join a new movement at the ground floor. We welcome them if they do, but that is fine if they don't.
Who I expect to come forward are those who have always wanted to run but could not make it through the extremist-advantaged processes of the Republicans and the Democrats, or would not even want to try. I expect that our candidates will be those who simply want to serve their communities and the state and don't like the partisan hoops they must jump through in the caucus/convention system.
Thanks for your work to build the United Utah Party. Help us bring good people back into government!