Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz has not been able to tap into the anti-Donald Trump feelings in Utah this year, and it’s clear GOP Gov. Gary Herbert will win another four-year term come Nov. 8, the latest UtahPolicy poll finds.
Herbert has led all contenders this election season, and the new poll by Dan Jones & Associates finds nothing has really changed.
Jones finds in a survey finished just days ago:
Herbert gets 64 percent of the vote.
Weinholtz has only 25 percent support.
Libertarian Brian Kamerath is at 3 percent.
Superdell Schanze has 1 percent.
L.S. Brown has 2 percent.
And 5 percent remain undecided.
Herbert’s real challenge in 2016 was inside the Utah Republican Party, where Overstock.com executive Jonathan Johnson got most of the state delegate convention votes, only to fall heavily to Herbert in the June 28primary.
A number of political pundits believed Weinholtz, an articulate millionaire who could put his own money into his race, would do better against Herbert than he has.
But the governor has held strong – and it appears he will be one of only three men in the state’s history to win three gubernatorial elections.
Any Democrat needs to win his own party big-time and carry the independent vote overwhelmingly to have a shot at a statewide office.
Weinholtz falls short in both accounts, Jones’ new poll shows:
12 percent of Democrats said they are going to vote for Herbert, not their party’s nominee.
And Herbert wins among political independents, 51-31 percent.
Weinholtz would need more like 70 percent, or even 80 percent, of the independent vote to come close to the GOP nominee.
Trump, of course, is doing very poorly in Republican-dominate Utah.
The latest UPD/Jones poll shows Trump up only by one percentage point over independent candidate Evan McMullin, with Democrat Hillary Clinton finishing third.
A strong Democratic presidential candidate may have helped Weinholtz some. But Clinton clearly is not that candidate this year in Utah.
Weinholtz’s 25 percent is about the baseline hardcore Democratic strength in Utah these days.
For more than 50 years Utah’s governors – whether Republican or Democratic – have been active or nominally Mormons.
Herbert is an active Mormon, and Weinholtz is not LDS.
Jones finds that among active Mormons Herbert has 82 percent support compared to Weinholtz’s 10 percent support.
Jones polled 818 likely voters from Oct. 12-20. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.43 percent.