Nearly two-thirds of all Utahns support the Count My Vote citizen initiative petition, with its dual pathway for candidates to get on their party’s primary ballot, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey finds:
- 63 percent of all Utahns “strongly” or “somewhat” support the CMV petition.
- 19 percent oppose it.
- And 17 percent don’t know.
The whole issue of SB54, the 2014 compromise law that ended the CMV petition that year, flared up in recent weeks.
A minority of the 180-member Utah State Republican Party passed a bylaw several weeks ago that clearly violates SB54 and the party’s Qualified Political Party status.
However, lawmakers failed to pass a solution to the problem in their 2018 general session, which ended a week ago today.
GOP Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, the state’s official election officer, says he will just ignore the bylaw change, and will consider the state GOP a Qualified Political party for this year’s elections – and will put any GOP candidate that qualifies under SB54 on the late-June closed Republican Party primary ballot.
Various lawsuits are clearly coming.
But Cox feels he is in a strong legal position to certify candidates to the ballot under current law.
Meanwhile, state GOP chairman Rob Anderson this week issued a statement saying as party chair he will uphold state law – an indication that he, too, will ignore the Central Committee’s illegal vote of several weeks ago.
Jones finds in a recent survey that all demographic groups – even Republicans and those who told Jones they are “very conservative” politically -- support Count My Vote, a clear defeat for the right-wing Central Committee members who come hell or high water continue to oppose SB54 – upheld now by the Utah Supreme Court and two federal court decisions.
Some of the demographic poll numbers:
- 58 percent of Utah Republicans support the dual-pathway to the ballot and the new CMV petition.
- 23 percent of Republicans oppose it, with 17 percent undecided.
- Political independents support Count My Vote, 66-14 percent.
- Democrats really like it, 77-12 percent.
- Those who told Jones they are “very conservative” politically like the petition, 54-27 percent.
- The “somewhat conservatives” approve of the CMV, 65-21 percent.
- “Moderates” support it, 66-15 percent.
- Those who said they are “somewhat liberal” approve of it, 67- 16 percent.
- While those who self-identified as “very liberal” approve of the Count My Vote initiative, 77-6 percent.
As they do every election year, leaders of the Mormon Church issued a recent statement of partisan neutrality.
But the statement, made after the Jones poll was conducted, is interesting for this reason:
The Mormon leaders, while encouraging faithful members to get involved politically, and attend the caucus meetings March 20, specifically mentioned the “legal” pathways to the ballot for candidates, saying it was state law.
In short, the church leaders DID NOT claim – as the radical Central Committee members do – that the current SB54 law is illegal, or even troublesome.
The leaders support the law – as their statement says – just another backhanded blow to the Central Committee radicals who have basically bankrupted the state GOP by spending upwards of $400,000 on failed lawsuits.
Jones polled 609 adults from Feb. 9-16. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.