Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes holds a commanding lead over his GOP primary challenger, Utah County District Attorney David Leavitt, a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News poll by Y2 Analytics shows.
If the June 30 closed Republican Party primary were held today, Reyes would get 63 percent support among his fellow registered Republican voters, Leavitt would get 37 percent support.
It’s a spread that Leavitt likely can’t overcome in just six weeks before the all-mail-in ballots are due.
However, there is a glimmer of hope for Leavitt, the younger brother of former GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt.
Among those who told Y2 they are unaffiliated voters, or independents, who “lean” Republican in their voting habits — and are willing to sign up as Republicans in order to vote in the AG’s race — the numbers about switched.
That is, among those folks, Leavitt gets 61 percent support to Reyes’ 39 percent support.
Now, Leavitt doesn’t have enough campaign money to do much of anything in the primary. He certainly doesn’t have the capacity to organize a sophisticated turn-out-the-vote effort among Republican-leaning independents.
But former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman, who’s running for his old office this year, does.
And as previously reported by UtahPolicy.com, Huntsman would be wise to try to I.D. his supporters among Republican-leaning independents, get them to register as Republicans, and then vote for him by the June 30 mail-in ballot deadline.
And it’s very likely that many of those same pro-Huntsman independents would also like Leavitt since both men are running against incumbents whom those independent voters may not favor.
Still, Leavitt is much further behind Reyes than Huntsman is behind Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, the new polling shows.
Huntsman is only 7 percentage points behind Cox, 32 percent to 39 percent, respectively.
While Leavitt is 26 percentage points behind Reyes, 37 percent to 63 percent, respectively.
Thus, even if Leavitt can get many more independent voters than Reyes since he has so much further to go to catch Reyes among registered Republicans, Leavitt’s chances are far worse than are Huntsman’s to top the race leader.
Reyes leads Leavitt among registered Republicans likely to vote in the GOP primary in all demographic areas:
Reyes leads among women, 61-39 percent.
Among men, Reyes leads Leavitt, 65-35 percent.
Among those who said they are “strong” Republicans, 68-32 percent.
Among “strong” conservatives, Reyes is ahead, 66-34 percent.
Y2 polled from May 9-15, 465 GOP voters likely to vote in the primary election; the margin of error plus or minus 4.5 percent.