The Slatest

Democratic Challenger McAdams Declared Winner in Race Against Mia Love, Flipping the Conservative Utah District

A temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sits actress the street from a polling center for the midterm elections on November 6, 2018 in Provo, Utah.
A temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sits actress the street from a polling center for the midterm elections on November 6, 2018 in Provo, Utah.
George Frey/Getty Images

The Associated Press declared Democrat Ben McAdams the winner by less than 700 votes in his race against two-term Republican Rep. Mia Love, narrowly flipping Utah’s 4th Congressional District. The win makes McAdams, the former mayor of Salt Lake County, the only Democrat in Utah’s congressional delegation and knocks from office the first and only black Republican woman in Congress.

McAdams’ narrowest of wins was particularly impressive given that fewer than 15 percent of the voters in Utah’s 4th district are registered Democrats; Love had coasted to reelection in 2016 by 13 points. But despite being a Republican stronghold, Donald Trump’s style and substance is not popular in the state whose politics is shaped by the Mormon Church and even more unpopular in the 4th district. McAdams was well-known to voters from his term as mayor of Salt Lake County, which makes up 85 percent of the congressional district.

McAdams’ 0.258 percent margin of victory—50.129 percent to 49.871 percent—was razor thin, but just outside the .25 percent threshold that would have enabled Love to call for a recount. State election officials are expected to certify the results next Monday.