Poll: Most Utahns can’t name their legislators

Utah Capitol 15

OK kids, here’s a civics question: Can you name either your Utah House member or your Utah Senate member?

That’s right, every Utahn has one of each – whether you like it or not.

UtahPolicy.com finds in a new survey that most Utahns can’t name either one – House or Senate.

Even though many of you voted for both just last Nov. 8.

Here are the numbers in the Dan Jones & Associates poll:

— 51 percent they could not name either their representative or senator.

— 44 percent said they could name one or both.

— 6 percent didn’t know.

20190211 Name Legislators Poll

Now, the poll assumes those questioned would A) tell the truth about whether they knew the names or not, and B) that they didn’t get the names wrong – like they thought the senator they recalled was really their senator, not someone else’s.

DJA didn’t actually ask the respondent to say a particular name – since we weren’t going to check where the respondent lived and then try to match that up with the actual House and Senate member for that area.

We’re going on the honor system here.

Still, if 44 percent of Utahns really could properly name either their House or Senate member or both, that would be pretty good – especially considering there are 75 House members and 29 senators.

Of course, political egos being what they are, likely most legislators would prefer to believe their constituents – friends and neighbors – would know their names.

There are about 35,000 people in each House district, about 95,000 in each Senate district.

The demographic breakouts in the new survey hold some interesting results:

— Younger folks are more ignorant of their legislators than older folks – 18-24 year olds, 57 percent said they can’t name their lawmakers, those over 65, 49 percent said they can’t name them.

— Republicans claim to be smarter on this than Democrats and independents – 49 percent of Republicans said they can’t name one or both, 52 percent of Democrats said they can’t pick a name, while 53 percent of independents said they can’t name their legislator.

How about “very” conservative Utahns compared to “very” liberal Utahns?

— 55 percent of “very” conservative folks said – Nope – they can’t name either representative or senator.

— But 57 percent of “very” liberal Utahns said they are clueless – who is their legislator, anyway?

Now, maybe it’s ego compared to education, but:

— Only 32 percent of those who said they graduated from high school, but have no advanced degree, said they could name one or both of their legislators.

— But 56 percent of those who said they hold post-college degrees – like a lawyer or CPA – said they could name one or both of their legislators.

But can they really?

DJA polled 882 voters from Jan. 3-15. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.