If the new boundaries look anything like the map the state legislature drew up in 2006 (it almost certainly will not) then here’s my predictions for 2012:
1st Congressional District
Rob Bishop’s district will become more conservative than it already was before the redistricting. Bishop will again face no opposition for the Republican nomination (although I think a good conservative opponent could give him a run for his money, given Bishop’s billions of dollars of earmark requests for his campaign donors). Bishop will then cruise to another victory.
2nd Congressional District
Jim Matheson’s district is significantly smaller geographically on this map. It almost looks like the Republicans are ceding the seat to the Democrats, while securing the other 3 districts for Republicans. If this ends up being the boundaries, look for Matheson to face another tough primary battle and then go on to win in the general election in a not-as-close-as-last-time race against the Republican candidate.
3rd Congressional District
Assuming incumbent Jason Chaffetz challenges Hatch’s Senate seat, the 3rd District will be an open seat. Look for some newcomers to emerge as candidates for the Republican nomination. 2010 Senate candidate Tim Bridgewater, who currently resides in Provo, might enter the race as well. If Tim runs, it will be a very close race between him and Morgan Philpot. Philpot will need to improve his campaign organization if he wants to win. I think Morgan will be a much better candidate his second time around and will win the nomination in a very close race and will easily win the general election.
4th Congressional District
The race for Utah’s newest Congressional district could prove to be an interesting one. I expect State rep and Patrick Henry Caucus co-founder Carl Wimmer to make a run for the Republican nomination. I also think 2010 candidate Neil Walter will throw his hat in the ring. There will be others as well, but Carl Wimmer will win the nomination in a very close race and then go on to victory in the general election.