Utah voters give lawmakers good job performance ratings

Utah Capitol 27

Most Utahns approve of the job the Utah Legislature did during its 2020 general session, which ended in early March, a recent poll by UtahPolicy.com and KUTV 2News finds.

But the responses are very partisan, with GOP voters really liking what the Republican-dominated Legislature did, political independents split in their opinions, and Utah Democrats not likely what the Legislature did at all.

At least the Y2 Analytics survey shows that among their own party members, the GOP majorities in the House and Senate won back some approval during the 45-day session — GOP voters who were not that happy with the tax reform package the Republican lawmakers and GOP Gov. Gary Herbert adopted in December, only to reverse course and repeal it the second day of the general session.

20200429 QAPPROVAL STLEG Topline

Some numbers:

53 percent of Utahns “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the job the Legislature is doing.

43 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of lawmakers’ actions. And 3 percent “don’t know.” The low “don’t know” number shows that Utahns in general were paying attention to the 2020 Legislature.

And it should be said, that historically and nationally, any legislative approval number over 50 percent is really quite good, especially for an amorphous group like the 104 part-time Utah Legislature.

20200429 QAPPROVAL STLEG Party7

But, as noted, there is a real partisan response here:

80 percent of those who said they are “strong” Republicans approve of the Legislature’s work; 19 percent disapprove.

48 percent of political independents disapprove of lawmakers’ actions, while 45 percent approve.

Utah Democrats don’t like what the GOP-controlled Legislature did, 77-20 percent.

Those who are “strong” conservatives approve of the Legislature, 71-28 percent.

Moderates approve of lawmakers, 53-44 percent.

While those who are “strong” liberals disapprove, 84-10 percent.

And three-fourths of “very active” Mormons, 72 percent, approve of the Legislature, while a fourth, 24 percent, disapprove.

Those paying attention to what lawmakers did in their general session should like the huge 

budgets increases given initially to public schools. But the great impacts of the coronavirus have slammed the state budgets, wiped out all the job increases over the last three years and are driving down state tax collections.

So the public education advances are clearly retreating quickly. Time will show how deeply, and how long.

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