Warning to Utah’s now-all-GOP congressional delegation: Get something done in Washington or else.
Of course, the “or else” is the key election factor here, but a new poll by UtahPolicy shows Utah voters expect some of the powerful U.S. House and Senate committee chairs from Utah to get things done in D.C., “or else.”
Three-fourths of Utahns say our powerful congressional committee chairs will share responsibility for such a failure.
And while Utah Republicans are more forgiving than Democrats and political independents, two-thirds of Republicans still expect results from our powerful members in the new Congress.
In other words, Sen. Orrin Hatch, new chair of the Senate finance committee; Rep. Rob Bishop, new chair of the House natural resources committee; and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, new chair of the House oversight committee, all R-Utah, had better work out compromises on issues that can pass Congress, or Utah voters will hold them accountable for congressional failure and gridlock, the poll shows.
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, is only three years in to his congressional tenure, and heads a subcommittee.
Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is an incoming freshman and holds no real position of power or influence in the 435-member U.S. House.
But both Stewart and Love could also be held accountable if the new GOP-controlled Congress sees just more infighting and conflict, with little to show in solving America’s problems over the next two years.
The poll was conducted by Jones last month of 609 registered voters statewide; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.97 percent.
For the first time since the late 1990s, the 2015-2016 Congress will have only Republicans from Utah. And Utah is one of the most Republican states in the nation, various studies show.
So it makes sense that some Utah Republicans would be more forgiving of a GOP-controlled Congress that falls into gridlock and dysfunction.
Still, Jones finds that 65 percent of Utah Republicans said they agree with the statement that Utah’s powerful committee chairs should be held accountable if the new Congress fails.
Thirty-one percent of Utah Republicans said they disagree with that statement of accountability.
Without a member of Congress themselves, 93 percent of Utah Democrats say hold Utah’s powerful GOP congressmen accountable.
The key demographic at election time, however, are Utah political independents – those who don’t identify with any political party.
And Jones finds that 82 percent of them say hold Utah GOP congressmen accountable if the new Congress fails.
Hey, even a majority of those who define themselves as “very conservative” say hold Utah’s congressional committee chairs accountable for a failed Congress.
Sixty percent of the “very conservative” Utahns agreed with the question’s premise.
Sixty-nine percent of the “somewhat conservative” said hold the powerful Utah committee chairs accountable; 79 percent of the moderates agree with that; 93 percent of the “somewhat liberal” agree; and 97 percent of the “very liberal” agree.