Poll: Who is the most popular politico in Utah? Would you believe Mitt Romney?

Mitt RomneySo, among Utah’s leading officeholders who has the highest favorable rating?

Ok, trick question.

The guy at the top is not even an officeholder – 2012 GOP presidential candidate, adopted favorite son, and former Utah Winter Olympic savior Mitt Romney has an enormous favorable rating of 71 percent, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.

In fact, only 25 percent of Utahns don’t like Romney – and you can probably guess who those folks are – mostly Democrats.

Romney lost to Democrat Barack Obama in 2012 but carried Utah easily with 73 percent of the vote.

And Romney was an early critic of President Donald Trump – calling him all kinds of names in a speech at the University of Utah.

Trump didn’t do well in Utah, by GOP presidential standards. But he still won the state with 45 percent of the vote.

Trump toyed with Romney over the secretary of state appointment, meeting with him several times, the pair even going out to dinner to eat frog legs together.

But Trump didn’t pick Romney – probably never consider him seriously, and Romney has been quiet about Trump since.

In any case, Romney is beloved in Utah – where he become a resident recently and where his son Josh, a businessman, continues to be mentioned as a possible candidate for some top Utah office.

Clearly, if Mitt Romney decided to run for something in Utah (U.S. Senate would likely be the only office he would care for), he would be a formidable candidate, the survey by Dan Jones & Associates shows.

Jones finds:

  • Overall, Romney has an impressive 71-25 percent approval rating (favorable over unfavorable).
  • 3 percent of Utahns have heard of Romney, but have no opinion of him.
  • And 0 percent have never heard of Romney. Folks, that’s what we in the political business call good name I.D.
  • Utah Republicans like Romney, 83-15 percent.
  • Political independents like him, 71-23 percent.
  • Democrats like him, 45-52 percent.

So while most Utah Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, 45 percent have a favorable opinion – that is a wonderful number coming from the opposition party members.

Those who classified themselves as “very conservative” politically have a 74-25 percent favorable opinion of him.

Romney was the first Mormon to get the presidential nomination of a major political party in U.S. history.

And those who told Jones they are “very active” in the LDS faith are crazy about him.

Romney has an 88-10 favorable rating from active Mormons.

So, how does Romney’s 71-25 percent rating compare with some other leading Utahns’ ratings?

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, stands at 46-47 percent.
  • Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is at 51-33 percent.
  • President Donald Trump, 47-49 percent.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert is at 63-29 percent.
  • And former Gov. Jon Huntsman is at 64-25 percent.

Jones polled 614 adults from Dec. 8-12. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.95 percent.