This week we asked our political insiders to make their predictions for 2011. They were split on whether Rep. Jason Chaffetz will challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch or decide to stay in the House of Representatives. Quite a few respondents say that Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker will cruise to re-election.
Redistricting is on the minds of many , as some say the Legislature will be able to create four balanced Congressional districts, while others predict the Republican controlled process will go too far in trying to create districts favorable to the GOP.
Orrin Hatch drops out of the race for Senate -- retires gracefully without seeking a seventh term.
That the season of remapping districts in Utah is upon us.
4th Congressional Seat will be Southern Salt Lake Valley-centric.
Jason Chaffetz announces he is running for the U.S. Senate seat.
A mess in the Utah Legislature as factions of the Republican Party fight each other, as the House and Senate don't see eye-to-eye, and as the Legislature and Governor Herbert have different legislative priorities.
Gov. Herbert is investigated by Legislature. Tea Party turns against him. Chaffetz announces he is going to run for Governor. Huntsman remains in China. Becker re-elected. Rocky announces "last" press conference. Corroon runs for Congress. Chris Buttars and Becky Lockhart elope to Wendover.
Redistricting and a new House seat will keep the Utah political pot boiling; I predict that (lawmakers) will screw it up as usual.
Gary Herbert will get back to his roots and Utah will continue to lead the nation. The feds will not listen to the election results and will continue to push us back towards another recession but the citizens will show resiliency and continue to call for the revamping of Washington D.C.
Fair and balanced redistricting with 4 competitive legislative districts.
Utah will awake and know the value of a two party system…in my dreams.
Governor Herbert will do a great job leading the state. The legislature will adopt a sensible budget. A lot of folks will think about (running for) Utah's new Fourth Seat in Congress.
My prediction is that Utah becomes even more far-right in its politics than it is now.
Republican wingnuttery runs rampant, getting national media attention for it's wackiness; setting the stage for the GOP's receiving international criticism for the corrupt and self-serving gerrymandering to come.
Easy: The Legislature does something stupid with the budget. Several stupid "message" bills waste time. An immigration bill passes but not like Arizona's. (Salt Lake Mayor Ralph) Becker wins re-election easily.
Legislative session will generally be smooth. Dave Clark will be missed as Speaker greatly. A balanced immigration bill will pass. Gov. Herbert will shine, as Gov. and Utah will be nationally acclaimed for its fiscal responsibility. Educational funding will increase. Jason Chaffetz will tease, but ultimately, not run against Sen. Hatch because of heightened House responsibilities. Mike Lee will become a superstar frosh Senator. And my fervent hopes for an improved 2011 will all be fulfilled!
Utah's additional congressional seat will result in a district carved out in Salt Lake County that will be conceded to the Democratic Party.
Ten people file to run for the 4th Congressional District. Another ten file to run against Hatch if Chaffetz does not.
Gay marriage will grow, marijuana decriminalized, Republicans will do nothing, Democrats will not grow a spine, liquor licenses will increase, Sarah Palin will continue to be a national joke, tea party will fade
Gold standard for Utah, Arizona-Like Immigration Law, Deductions for Corporations giving scholarships to Students to Go to Private School (aka Private School Vouchers), Browning as the Official State Gun, Gerrymandered Congressional Districts (aka Utah redistricting)....
Rocky Anderson runs for Mayor again but Ralph Becker wins.
The new Republican Utah House legislative leadership will be involved in a scandal such that the Speaker will be a one term Speaker. (Salt Lake County) Mayor Peter Corroon will announce he is through with politics and will not seek a future office.
Jason Chaffetz will announce that he will challenge Hatch in 2012. Utah will set a new standard for immigration policy by passing a bill that includes a guest worker program, assimilation and enforcement.
The Obama administration will work with Republicans now that he has to. There will be an even greater swing toward States' rights to balance the federal agenda. The economy will continue to strengthen but at a snails pace. Utah will balance its budget and continue to lead the nation in fiscal conservatism.
Utah's legislative leadership battles between the House and the Senate for the award for the most incompetent.
The contention between the Governor and the legislature will be greater this year than in most past years. There will be greater pressure on the state to do more because of the stalemate that will grow even more severe in congress. A new challenger for Sen. Hatch will come on the scene.
The rise of the Libertarians as a viable alternative to the GOP, combined with redistricting, dooms Utah Democrats to become a third party.
No legislative scandals.
Governor Herbert will emerge as a national figure for education reform and the Utah Legislature will support education in an unprecedented way.
The public finally realizes that the Tea Party isn't proposing any solutions and decides to start listening to more moderate voices; the Republican Party goes too far in redistricting and alienates many Utah voters.
Utah will continue to tax too much, spend too much, and depend on the federal dole too much.
All Utah voters well be eternally grateful that there are no partisan elections during the year.
Republican legislature tries to create four Republican congressional districts. Chaffetz announces he will stay in the House. Ralph Becker cruises to re-election. Gridlock and chaos in Washington. Obama regains popularity. Tea Party abandons GOP and starts third party.
His natural allies get so frustrated with Gov. Herbert's pandering to moderate elements that recruitment efforts are made for a credible challenger.
The "good news" is the economy of Utah will improve adding new revenues to the State's coffers. The "bad news" is the food fight for those new dollars will be one of the ugliest in years.
Chaffetz decides not to run for Senate, Philpot moves to be in a more favorable district, and a record number of folks jockey to run for federal office. Tea party stays active; Mike Lee sticks close to Jim DeMint for a few months, then starts to show more moderate colors.
Republicans across the nation send us into a depression and blame it all on Pres. Obama.