Gov. Gary Herbert picked up ten challengers in the 2016 election after Utah's candidate filing period ended last week, but our "Political Insiders" expect him to win another term in office this year.
Nearly 3/4 of the Republicans and Democrats on our panel say Herbert will win this year as do more than 80% of our readers.
Jonathan Johnson is challenging Herbert for the GOP nomination this year, but our panel doesn't give him much of a chance. Only 20% of the Republicans and 11% of our readers say Johnson will occupy the governor's mansion next year. Not surprisingly, none of the Democrats we queried picked Johnson to win.
19% of Democrats said Mike Weinholtz, a Democrat, will win this year while 8% of Democrats chose Vaughn Cook, also a Democrat. Neither men got a single vote from Republicans.
Selected anonymous comments:
"There is no way that Governor Herbert won't be reelected. He is one of the most popular governors in the country."
"You don't turn around a ship that is headed in the right direction."
"The only realistic chance is Johnson, and while he has hired some big guns, I'm just not seeing any traction in the trenches. In fact, some conservatives who have spent time with him have become disillusioned. It is easy to talk a big game when you've not held office."
"I wish for Johnson, but I'm not delusional---it'll be Herbert."
"Governor Herbert is doing a great job, and he seems to get better every year. There's not a single reason to change horses at this point."
"Herbert wins this one, and I think Jonathan Johnson has hurt himself by trying to attack Herbert too much. Johnson seems too desperate."
"Governor Herbert has done a good job of steering the ship of state through some pretty rocky times; he deserves another term in office."
"Herbert will win in a landslide. Superdell Schanze just adds some fun."
"Gary Herbert is generally doing a good job of being responsive to the public. I don't agree with every position he takes, but he is reasonable and approachable. Johnson is trying to frame his far right Libertarianism as something it is not."
"As much as I would like it not to be Gary Herbert, I'm pretty sure it's going to be Gary Herbert."
"Gov. Herbert is the best man for the job at this time...Period! 'Nuf said. End of story."
"Johnson will make Herbert squirm a bit."
"I think Gary wins. But I wish I had another choice."
"Gov. Herbert has a high approval rating for a reason. Everyone else is just running to position themselves for something else."
"He has done a good job and has improved with experience. My issues are air quality and the environment, and while he's not perfect, and a D might be better, he has been pretty good, and has excellent advisors who he's promoted from time to time."
"If the press weren't so hell bent on protecting Herbert we would actually have debates, discuss his failure of leadership with Healthy Utah, internet sales tax, Syrian immigrants, etc. An amazing job by the media protecting this amiable manager. Herbert is the establishment, and they are protecting him at all costs."
"Gary has high approval ratings and a donor list he can tap into for almost unlimited funds. While he is not my choice for Governor barring any scandals he will easily win again."
"Two terms is enough. Herbert thinks he's a king."
"It will be Gary Herbert. He'll be re-elected--not because he's done anything great but because he hasn't messed anything up. There are better-qualified candidates, but the GOP delegates will maintain the status quo."