Republican Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), who is running to defeat Democrat incumbent Jim Matheson in Utah’s 4th congressional district, is leading the race 51% to 36%, according to internal polling released by Love’s campaign on Tuesday.
Love’s polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, said, “this heavily Republican district is coming home,” and the race has taken a 28-point swing. In July, the polling outfit said its poll showed Matheson with a 13-point lead over Love.
Matheson has resorted to questioning how Love’s parents, who emigrated to American from Haiti, received their citizenship papers to defeat the black female Republican rising star.
“Sadly, Jim Matheson has turned to false attacks on my community and my family. Now is the time for Jim Matheson to stop his negative campaign,” Love said in a statement.
A Matheson spokesperson told the Salt Lake Tribune that the poll was “a totally biased internal poll” and releasing the poll was “an attempt to get control of her flailing campaign.”
Matheson, who voted against Obamacare, still has strong support in this district. But Love may benefit in November because a record number of Mormons are expected to turnout in Utah to vote for Mitt Romney for president. And these voters could give Love the boost she to beat Matheson and send her to Washington.
The poll found that Mitt Romney led Barack Obama in the district by nearly 50 points (73-25).