Poll analysis: Who are voters who supported losing candidates in the Salt Lake City mayoral primary supporting now?


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More than 37,000 votes were cast in the August Salt Lake City mayoral primary election. Just over 20,000 of those votes went to candidates other than Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla. Those votes have to go somewhere, but where?

A recent Utah Political Trends poll from UtahPolicy.com and Y2 Analytics shows the majority of those voters are likely shifting their allegiances toward frontrunner Erin Mendenhall, which suggests they either find her to be ideologically similar to their first-choice candidate, or at least viewed as the next-best choice.

Mendenhall leads Escamilla by double digits according to a recent UtahPolicy.com/Y2 Analytics survey.

QBALLOT1 by Primary Vote

Our polling shows Both Mendenhall and Escamilla are doing a good job of retaining those voters who cast a ballot for them in the primary. 79% of Mendenhall’s voters say they’re sticking with the primary winner and 78% of Escamilla’s voters are still on board with her. Only 13% of Escamilla’s voters plan to switch over to Mendenhall, while 10% of those who cast a ballot for Mendenhall plan to vote for Escamilla, which is essentially a wash.

Third place finisher Jim Dabakis decided not to endorse a candidate in the general election. Instead, he offered an un-endorsement by saying he could not vote for Mendenhall because of her involvement in the development of the inland port. That negative endorsement seems to not be working as more than half of Dabakis’ primary voters are shifting their votes to Mendenhall, while just 24% say they support Escamilla. 24% said they didn’t know.

David Garbett, who finished in fourth place in the primary election, was the first primary candidate to publicly endorse one of his primary opponents, throwing his support behind Escamilla. That endorsement did not carry much weight apparently as 58% of his voters are getting behind Mendenhall. Only 21% of those who cast a ballot for him are supporting Escamilla.

Backers of Stan Penfold, the fifth-place finisher in August, are moving toward Mendenhall, as are those who voted for David Ibarra and Richard Goldberger. Supporters of Rainer Huck are getting behind Escamilla ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Mendenhall has raised more money than Escamilla ahead of Tuesday’s election according campaign finance disclosures filed earlier this week.