SALT LAKE CITY — The race between Republican incumbent Rep. Mia Love and her Democratic challenger, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, may still be too close to call in Utah, but President Donald Trump said Wednesday it's over.
At a Wednesday morning White House news conference, Trump called out by name several Republican candidates who distanced themselves from him during the midterm campaign, including Love.
"You had some that decided, 'Let’s stay away. Let’s stay away.' They did very poorly. I’m not sure that I should be happy or sad but I feel just fine about it," the president said.
When he got to Love on his list, Trump said, "Mia Love. I saw Mia Love. She called me all the time to help with a hostage situation," a reference to Utahn Josh Holt, who was released earlier this year from a Venezuelan prison.
"But Mia Love gave me no love," he said. "She lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia."
However, many more ballots remain to be counted in Salt Lake and Utah counties, and both campaigns still see a path to victory. The latest statewide results posted Tuesday night show McAdams up 51 percent to 49 percent for Love.
Love's campaign spokeswoman, Sasha Clark, issued a statement even before the president's news conference ended, saying, "There are still tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted. Nothing has changed."
A Republican insider said Tuesday that Love was hurt by not accepting help from Trump because the conservative voters she's counting on to push her over the top do back the president, despite his relative unpopularity in a GOP-dominated state.
More information will be posted throughout the day.