How can Love survive? [updated]

In his press conference following the midterm elections last week, President Trump unloaded on Utah Fourth District Rep. Mia Love. Trump scolded or mocked her, saying that that Love “gave me no love.” He added: “And she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.”

Trump’s comments implied a cause and effect relationship between Love’s lack of enthusiasm for Trump and the difficulties she faced in her district. This has the causal relationship reversed. Love’s difficulties show what a drag Trump is in certain districts.

He is not popular in Love’s district. Indeed, he is not popular in Utah. Love has prudently declined to express undying loyalty to Trump. Trump all but gloated over the apparent failure of her reelection bid. In doing so, Trump showed himself in this case to be a small man. It’s not a good look and it’s not smart either.

Trump’s obituary for Love was in any event premature. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Love jumped ahead of her Democratic challenger by 419 votes yesterday afternoon after updates from Utah and Salt Lake counties. It is the first lead Love has held since election night and it may not last; thousands of provisional ballots remain uncounted. Yet Cook Political Report House editor Dave Wasserman thinks Love may prevail after all (tweet below).

UPDATE: In what appears to be the final tally, I am sorry to say, Love lost.

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