McAdams has the highest approval rating of Utah’s members of Congress, while Romney gets the highest disapproval


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Even though he’s only been in office for six months, Rep. Ben McAdams has the highest approval rating of any member of Congress from Utah. Sen. Mitt Romney, who was also first elected last year, has the highest disapproval marks from Utah voters.

A new Utah Political Trends survey from and Y2 Analytics finds 43% of voters in Utah’s 4th Congressional District approve of the way McAdams is handling his job, while 22% disapprove. The rest of Utah’s congressional delegation gets mixed reviews from voters in the state.

Utahns also say they mostly disapprove of the job both Republicans and Democrats are doing in Congress, and they’re not sold on the Utah Legislature, either.

The overall results are in the below chart.

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Editor’s note: In previous polls, we did not offer respondents a “neither approve nor disapprove” choice. We feel this is a better reflection of public sentiment.

McAdams has the highest overall approval of any member of Congress at 43%. He also enjoys the highest net approval rating at +22. McAdams will need to keep the opinons about his job performance high heading into 2020 as he’s likely one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress, winning the heavily Republican district by just underr 700 votes in 2018.

“Rep. McAdams is doing well because he seems to have cultivated an image as a bipartisan member of Congress,” says poll analyist Kelly Patterson of Y2 Analytics. “He enjoys approval from both sides of the aisle.”

Not surprisingly, McAdams does get strong support from Democrats, but enough independent and Republican voters approve of him to keep his overall approval rating high. About a quarter of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents approve of McAdams job performance. The only exception is self-described “strong” Republicans who put their overall approval of McAdams at just 18%.

Sen. Mitt Romney’s approval is essentially flat with 38% of Utahns saying they approve of the job he’s doing and 40% disapproving. That’s surprisinging given he was elected just six months ago with 63% of the vote. 

“Sen. Romney finds himself in a somewhat awkward situation,” says Patterson. “He will not be generally liked by Democrats, and he will not necessarily be liked by those Republicans who give President Trump high marks.”

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Rep. Chris Stewart has the lowest overall approval of any member of Congress. Only a quarter of his constituents (26%) say they approve of his job performance, while a third (33%) say they disapprove. 21% said they felt neutral about the job he’s doing while 20% said they didn’t know. 

The relatively high number of voters in the 2nd District who had no opinion about Stewart or didn’t know him suggests he may struggling with his name ID even though he’s in his 4th term in Washington. Patterson says that may not be the case.

“This is not out of the ordinary because representatives are tied to particular districts in the state and rarely receive the kind of coverage that boosts name recognition except among the most active citizens,” he said.

Rep. Rob Bishop, who is considering running for another term in Congress rather than retiring next year, gets nearly equal positive and negative approval ratings from constituents. 

Nearly a third of Rep. John Curtis’ constituents said they didn’t know the congressman who has been in office since winning the special election to replace Jason Chaffetz in 2017. Among those who know of him, 31% approve of his job performance and 19% disapprove.

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Utahns don’t much like the way either party is handling themselves in Congress. 55% of Utahns disapprove of Republicans in Congress and 57% say they disapprove of Democrats in Congress. 

Lawmakers on Utah’s Capitol Hill do a little better than their counterparts in Washington, with 33% approving and 45% disapproving. Patterson says that’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to state governments.

“People in general dislike legislatures because they dislike politics,” he said. “Legislatures are the sorts of institutions that continually remind people of what they do not like about politics.”

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