Rep. John Curtis has a sizable lead in 3rd District race

John Curtis 01

U.S. Rep. John Curtis is well on his way to re-election this year, a new and KUTV 2News poll shows.

Curtis, R-Utah, has 78 percent support among his constituents who told Y2 Analytics they are “likely” to vote in the June 30 closed party primary.

20200421 CD3 REPPRIMARY Topline

Meanwhile, the three-way Democratic 3rd District race is up for grabs — all the candidates well within the poll’s relatively-large margin of error.

20200421 CD3 DEMPRIMARY Topline

Curtis faces fellow Republican Tim Aalders in this coming Saturday’s state Republican convention. And if the 1,000 state 3rd District delegates feel like the rank-and-file GOP primary voters do, Curtis should be able to get at least 60 percent of the vote and eliminate Aalders.

But you never know about GOP delegates — they are more conservative than normal Republican voters. And if Aalders can get 40 percent or more of the delegate vote, then he will face Curtis in the party primary election.

It wouldn’t be the first time that the less well-know, but more conservative, candidate has surprised the “mainstream” GOP incumbent/favorite and made it out of convention, only to lose big-time in the primary, where Republican, less conservative voters get their say.

GOP Gov. Gary Herbert finished behind his more conservative challenger in the 2016 convention, as did now-U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney in 2018. Both went on to easy primary victories and to wins in November.

And you may recall, in a 2017 special convention for the 3rd District, Curtis, then Provo mayor, finished well back in the pack in convention — and would have been eliminated — but made the primary via SB54’s signature gathering.

In that primary Curtis easily won a three-way race — and won the seat. He then won again in the 2018 general election. Curtis now faces his third election in just three years — but is heavily favored, as the new poll shows.

Curtis did not signature gather this year, putting political trust in the convention delegates alone.

Two of the three Democratic 3rd District candidates did sign up for signatures, but both Jared Anderson and Try Robinson failed to turn any signatures in, and so, with Devin Thorpe, put their campaign futures in the hands of 3rd District Democratic state delegates in a convention that, also, will be held Saturday.

Because of the coronavirus social distancing, both parties’ state conventions will be online. Republican state delegates can start viewing recorded candidate presentations Thursday, and can start voting then online.

It may take a day or two after the Saturday voting deadline to get final results.

Besides online voting, both parties are using Instant Runoff Voting, where delegates pick their first candidate choice, and then move down-ballot ranking the other candidates. Counting the various rounds may take some time, depending on the software the parties are using.

Y2 polled 184 “likely” GOP primary voters from March 21-30, for a margin of error of plus or minus 7.4 percent; they polled 37 “likely” Democratic primary voters over those same dates, for a margin of error of plus or minus 16.11 percent.

Utah is partnering with KUTV 2News and Y2 Analytics and will be providing polling results on a regular basis throughout the election season.