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Mia Love's campaign uses Owens poll for its own fundraising

Published July 31, 2014 5:56 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Republican Mia Love's campaign immediately dismissed a poll recently released by her rival, Democrat Doug Owens, showing him within 9 percentage points in their campaign for Utah's open 4th Congressional District seat.

Then, on Thursday, her campaign sent a fundraising email with the subject line: "Emergency Action Needed."

"I need your immediate help. On Monday, my opponent released a poll showing that he is only down by 9 points. Democrats have no plans to just hand this seat over, and they are fighting hard to keep it."

The email includes four links asking for any potential donation to her "emergency action fund."

Love's fundraising attempt followed Owens' own email blast sent Tuesday, the day after he released the poll to news reporters. His message had the subject "Within Striking Distance!!!"

The next day the Utah Democratic Party doubled down, with Matt Lyon, the party's executive director, sending a message saying:

"Yeah yeah, Love's campaign manager, Dave Hansen, keeps saying that his numbers are different. Then why not release them?!?!?"

Anyone who has given to a candidate is likely to be barraged by such emails, which include increasingly alarming language to try to break through the chatter and get some attention. This may explain how the Love campaign can reject Owens poll and then immediately send out a message declaring an emergency.

University of Utah political scientist Matthew Burbank said when Owens released his poll that campaigns usually release internal survey results largely for political reasons — namely to boost fundraising. His comment was aimed at the Democratic candidate, but Love's campaign obviously decided it could also use the survey, too.

mcanham@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mattcanham