Hatch, Lee both get positive approval ratings from Utahns

Since announcing he was going to retire this year, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch has rebounded ever so slightly in his job approval rating, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.

But Hatch is still less popular than U.S. Sen. Mike Lee overall, and especially among those who say they are “very conservative” politically, finds pollster Dan Jones & Associates.

Hatch was suffering the worst job approval ratings of his 42-year Senate career last year, as rumors spread that the 83-year-old Hatch would retire in 2018 – but as Hatch also keep Utahns waiting, and waiting, for his announcement.

In the new survey, Jones finds:

  • 51 percent of Utahns approve of the job Hatch is doing.
  • 44 disapprove, and 6 don’t know.
  • 55 percent approve of the job Lee is doing.
  • 35 percent disapprove, and 10 percent don’t know.

The men are about the same among their own party Republicans:

  • Hatch is 76-18 percent approval.
  • Lee is 78-12 percent approval.

Democrats don’t like either man:

  • 83-14 percent disapproval for Hatch.
  • 83-13 percent disapproval for Lee.

But there is an interesting difference between the two men by political independents – who don’t belong to any party:

  • Hatch gets a 60-35 percent disapproval.
  • While Lee receives a 47-42 percent approval rating.


Hatch has had problems from Utah’s archconservative base for some years. Before he announced he would retire, his approval ratings among those who told Jones they were “very conservative” dragged well behind Lee’s.

But now:

  • Hatch has a 73-22 percent approval rating among “very conservatives.”
  • Lee’s is better, 84-8 percent.

Then things right themselves between the two men:

  • Among the “somewhat conservatives” Hatch is 72-23 percent; Lee is 71-26 percent approval.
  • The “moderates,” Hatch is 46-46 percent; Lee is 50-39 percent.

The liberals don’t have much use for either man:

  • Among the “somewhat liberal” Utahns, Hatch is 81-15 percent disapproval; Lee is 72-17 percent.
  • Those who say they are “very liberal,” Hatch is 88-8 percent to Lee’s 87-9 percent.

The poll was taken BEFORE Lee was mentioned as a possible U.S. Supreme Court nominee by GOP President Donald Trump.

Jones polled 615 adults from May 15-25. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.