Sen. Mike Lee may have played second fiddle to Ted Cruz in the national media, but Utah Republicans noticed—and didn't appreciate—his role in the government shutdown.
Ted Cruz sidekick Mike Lee may be in trouble in his home state of Utah. It's not just that Lee's net favorable rating has dropped 20 points
, either. Utah's Republican establishment is Not Very Happy with his role in the government shutdown, among other pieces of extremist intransigence. They're so unhappy, in fact, that they may try to abolish the practice of nominating candidates at a convention, a system that puts control in the hands of a few dedicated activists and led to Lee's nomination in 2010, seeking to replace it with a primary election.
If you want a good sign of how extremist Lee is, look no further than the people who are now opposing him. Dan Liljenquist, a former state senator who primaried Sen. Orrin Hatch from the right in 2012, says "I’m struggling to see" what Utah gained from the shutdown, and "An all-or-nothing approach makes people uncomfortable here." It cannot be emphasized enough that that guy primaried Orrin Hatch from the right.
Or take Fred Lampropoulos, chief executive of a medical device company. As in, a company that would have benefited from Lee's crusade to repeal the medical device tax. He says, "Tactics and strategy are very important. You’ve got to pick your fights." And he thinks Lee's fight to hand him bigger profits went too far. The head of a bank founded by Brigham Young, who raised money for Lee in 2010, referred to "growing frustrations" and said, "You have to make things work. . . . You’ve got to be practical." Which Lee is decidedly not.
Mike Lee: Too hard-right and extreme for Utah Republicans. That's saying something.