Utah is a conservative state, a Republican stronghold.
Initially, Lee broke the shoot yourself in the foot history of Tea Party fanatics. He bested a sitting GOP Senator in the primary and was able, due to the lopsided party dominance, win in the General Election.
Now the citizens of Utah are angry about the shutdown in Washington, D.C. that was extremely costly, unpopular, accomplished nothing and had no endgame.
Like a dog with a bone, Lee keeps returning to the tactic of defunding Obamacare. To reiterate, this is the law that will expand health coverage to millions of Americans.
Traditional Republicans and the uber-wealthy who fund campaigns had made it very clear they were against the shutdown. Obviously, politics is about money.
A bank president who had been a fundraiser for Lee three years ago, A. Scott Anderson, expressed his views:
“I think people admire [Lee] for sticking to his guns and principles, but I think there are growing frustrations,” Anderson said. “If things are to happen, you can’t just stick to your principles. You have to make things work. . . . You’ve got to be practical.”
A Brigham Young University poll found that Lee’s popularity has plummeted. His approval rating dropped from 50% to 40% and currently more than half of those surveyed disapprove of his performance.
Utah was especially hard hit by the shutdown. The federal government is the largest employer in the state and tourism suffered significantly.
Many prominent leaders are disowning Lee even though he remains popular in the Tea Party crowd.
Lee has several years until he has to run for re-election. Time will tell if the bitterness and anger that the people of Utah have against their Senator will abate or intensify.
Watch a report on the story from The Young Turks in the video below: