Rep. Chris Stewart appears safe in his bid for another term in Washington.
A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds Stewart with a commanding 29-point lead over Democratic challenger Charlene Albarran.
Stewart leads Albarran 56-27%. Constitution Party nominee Paul McCoallum gets 4%. 12% are undecided.
Stewart’s campaign heralded the results as vindication of his job performance since he was first elected in 2012.
“We are very pleased with the results,” said Stewart’s campaign manager, Tim Robison. “I think the numbers are a direct reflection of the great work we have accomplished in CD-2. Congressman Stewart’s primary focus is working hard for Utah, and this poll is a direct correlation of his efforts.”
Charlene Albarran’s campaign declined to comment on the survey.
Despite his strong poll numbers, Albarran has donated more than $350,000 of her money to her campaign compared to other members of Utah’s congressional delegation. According to a January UtahPolicy.com survey, 49% of 2nd District residents approve of his job performance, but 32% said they had no opinion. Other members of Utah’s delegation had job approval ratings of 66% or higher.
Still, Stewart is above 50% with less than three months to go before the election, which is known as the “re-elect zone,” meaning he’s an odds-on favorite to win another term in Washington.
Stewart’s Democratic opponent, Charlene Albarran has been struggling to raise money and to connect with voters in Utah’s 2nd District.
She has been running advertising, mostly billboards, since before she officially filed for the office. But, given her 27% standing in our poll, they don’t seem to be having much of an impact on the race. In fact, Albarran is about the same as Democrat Luz Robles (now Escamilla) was when she lost to Stewart in 2014 by 28 points. Stewart also won the 2nd District by 28 points over Jay Seegmiller in 2012.
Albarran also hails from Park City, which is not within the boundaries of Utah’s 2nd District. Just days before the filing deadline, Albarran rented an apartment in downtown Salt Lake City, conveniently within the borders of the district, despite owning a multi-million home in Park City. That may be a problem given a March UtahPolicy.com survey that found 93% of Utahns think a Congressional candidate should live within the district they represent.
If there is an opening for Albarran to make some noise against Stewart, it’s probably among independent voters. Stewart only has a 10-point lead over Albarran among this group in the 2nd District 39-29%. Nearly a third of independent voters (31%) are undecided. Stewart has Republican voters locked up by a 91-1% margin while Albarran dominates among Democrats 85-5%.
The Dan Jones & Associates poll was conducted among 202 likely voters in Utah’s 2nd District from July 18 – August 4, 2016, with a margin of error +/- 6.89%.