Trump is toxic in Utah’s 4th District, and that could be a deciding factor in Love/McAdams race

It could be a smart move by Ben McAdams if he started running TV ads showing Rep. Mia Love with President Donald Trump – and a woman’s voice-over saying how bad Trump is for 4th District voters.

That would be a radical risk in any other U.S. House district race in Utah – but polling for by Dan Jones & Associates shows a real vulnerability for Love when it comes to Trump.

UtahPolicy’s new poll shows Love ahead of McAdams in the tight 4th District race by just 3 percentage points, 49-46 percent.

With the poll’s margin of error, it’s a statistical tie.

But what’s not even close is how voters in the 4th District feel about Trump – the leader of Love’s Republican Party.

Jones finds that 62 percent of voters in the 4th District DISAPPROVE of the job Trump is doing as president.

— Only 38 percent of voters in Love’s seat approve of Trump.

But here is the killer number:

— 54 percent of 4th District voters “strongly disapprove” of the president. That’s over half of all the voters in the 4th District.

Back in May, Jones found in another survey that Trump’s rating in the 4th District was 37-60 percent – or 60 percent disapprove of the president.

Back then, the “strongly disapprove” rating was 44 percent.

So since then, Trump’s “strongly disapprove” rating has grown by 10 percentage points in the 4th District.

Now, we already know that Utah women dislike Trump more than do men.

It follows that 4th District women voters dislike the president even more than do male voters – thus the idea that McAdams, the Salt Lake County Democratic mayor, could appeal to women voters in any anti-Trump TV ad.

It’s already clear that Love, the two-term incumbent, isn’t going to be campaigning with the president this year. That would be nuts.

But considering how toxic Trump is in the 4th District, she may even want to stay away from big-name GOP House members, as well.

In his new poll, Jones finds that in the 4th District only 38 percent approve of the job the Republicans in Congress are doing.

A large 66 percent – two-thirds – of 4th District voters DISAPPROVE of the job Republicans are doing in running both houses of Congress.

And Love wants to stand next to the GOP speaker of the House or other House Republicans to gain votes in the 4th District? Speaker Paul Ryan held a fundraiser for Love in Utah this past summer, but did not attend any campaign events.

It used to be, when Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson was running for re-election in Utah, he ran on his own – had nothing to do with D.C. Democrats or Democratic presidents didn’t even go to the Democratic National Convention every four years.

But to see a Republican U.S. House incumbent in Utah step away from national GOP politicians – and her party’s own president – well, that is a new re-election tactic in these parts.

Stay tuned; we could see some alternative universe campaigning in the 4th District before Nov. 6.

Editors note: The above story contains some demographic breakouts in Jones’ new poll that only apply to the 4th District.

Stories about how those demographics play across Utah will come in future analyses.