Bishop Holds Vast Lead Over Clemens in Utah’s 1st Congressional District

Rob BishopU.S. Rep. Rob Bishop is well on his way to his 8th term this November, a new UtahPolicy poll shows.

Bishop, a former Utah House speaker and current chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, gets 54 percent of the vote in his 1st Congressional District, finds pollster Dan Jones & Associates in a new survey of Bishop’s northern Utah constituents.

Democrat Peter Clemens gets 24 percent of the vote (about the percent of Democrats in the 1st District), while Libertarian Craig Bowden has 5 percent, as does independent Chadwick Fairbanks III.

Twelve percent of 1st District voters are still undecided, finds Jones.


The 1st District takes in northern Utah and parts of eastern/northern Utah. It is a very Republican district, not held by a Democrat since the late 1970s.

Bishop has carried the district in his re-elections since 2002 with around 60 percent of the vote.

While Utahns, like the rest of the nation, have little love for Congress as a whole (giving it low job approval ratings), they like their own U.S. House and Senate members.

Still, Bishop gets little support from Democrats in his district. Jones finds:

  • Only 3 percent of 1st District Democrats support Bishop.
  • 80 percent of Democrats prefer Clemens.

But Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 2-to-1 in the district, and they like Bishop.

  • 84 percent of Republicans support Bishop, only 3 percent prefer the Democrat.

Political independents (they don’t belong to any political party) favor Bishop, 36-29 percent over Clemens, while Libertarian Bowden gets 7 percent support to Fairbanks’ 12 percent.

Bishop has squared off against Democratic President Barack Obama over the Bears Ears national monument proposal in southeastern Utah.

Bishop has his Public Lands Initiative, which, among other things, would set aside a much smaller area of the Bears Ears land and make it a “conservation” area, managed by the state and local officials.

While no decision has yet been announced, Obama is considering taking 1.9 million acres of Bears Ears and making it a national monument, a move much opposed by Utah’s GOP political leadership.

A previous Jones poll shows Utahns don’t support a national monument at Bears Ears.

In his latest head-to-head 1st District contest, Jones polled 209 district voters from July 18 to Aug. 4. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 6.78 percent.