Dabakis releases poll showing he would be a strong candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor

Sen. Jim Dabakis says he will make a decision about whether to launch a run for Salt Lake City Mayor on Tuesday. Ahead of that announcement, he released results of a poll that suggests he may jump into the race.

The survey, conducted by Lighthouse Research, showed Dabakis wins a plurality of voters (27%) in Salt Lake City among all possible candidates in the race. Dabakis also wins a head-to-head matchup over current Mayor Jackie Biskupski 42-31%, with 27% undecided.

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The results show Dabakis is well-placed to finish in the top two of Salt Lake City’s nonpartisan primary election next year, which would be enough to advance him to the general election.

The poll also showed Dabakis had the highest favorable rating of all the declared and rumored candidates for the race so far. 

  • Dabakis had a 68% favorable and 10% unfavorable, giving him a net positive of +58.
  • Biskupski was 54% favorable and 34% unfavorable, which is a +20 net positive.
  • Salt Lake City Councilman Stan Penfold had a 51% favorable and 9% unfavorable, which is a +42 net positive result. But, 40% of those surveyed had no opinion
  • Businessman David Ibarra was at 52% favorable and 8% unfavorable, which is a net positive of +44. 40% had no opinion.
  • Former State Senator Ross Romero scored a 59% favorable and 8% unfavorable rating, which is a net positive of +51. But, 33% said they did not have an opinion.

The results suggest Penfold, Ibarra and Romero are struggling with name recognition. Both Penfold and Ibarra have declared as candidates in the race. Romero is still rumored at this time.

The poll was conducted among 400 likely Salt Lake City voters, but the release from Dabakis did not disclose polling methodology or the survey’s margin of error.