Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is in good position in his bid for a third term.
Internal polling from the Becker campaign shows 73% of Salt Lake City residents approve of the job he's doing, while just 23% disapprove. Additionally, 72% say the city is on the right track.
While it's not a lock, it does show he's clearly in the driver's seat ahead of this year's election.
Becker also scores high with residents on a number of issues.
81% approve of his efforts to create a green and sustainable city.
82% think he's doing a good job supporting arts and culture
79% say they approve of his job delivering city services
75% approve of his efforts to grow the local economy
88% say he does well keeping Salt Lake City a great place to live
When asked about a number of perceptions regarding Becker, respondents said:
He's honest and someone we can trust (75%)
Can work across party lines to get things done (65%)
Is a strong leader (70%)
Gets things done (76%)
Works to promote equality (81%)
While there's a lot of good for Becker in the survey, there may be a ray of hope for Becker's challengers. When asked if they would vote to re-elect Mayor Becker, 41% of residents said they would, while 29% said they would consider someone else and 21% said they would vote to replace him.
But, that doesn't mean Becker's challengers don't have their work cut out for them. 62% of Salt Lake City residents said they have a favorable impression of him. Of his potential challengers, 50% said they had never heard of Jackie Biskupski and 60% said they had not heard of Luke Garrott. Garrott has already announced he is challenging Becker while Biskupski will announce her candidacy on Saturday.
The survey also shows one potential line of attack against Becker may not work during the race. Garrott has repeatedly criticized Becker for spending too much time in Washington, D.C. Just 15% said Becker spends too much time out of town.
The pollsters also conducted a number of focus groups prior to Becker's announcement. From the pollster's memo:
"None of this seemed to add up to any particular vulnerability for Becker. Only a handful said that they would vote against him if he ran for a third term – and just a few thought that the idea of a third term for any mayor was itself troubling. While most said they would at least consider voting for another candidate, few could name any individual potential candidate that they would prefer to Becker."
The poll was conducted by FM3 in October of 2014, prior to Becker announcing his bid for a third term. They surveyed 400 Salt Lake City voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.
You can read the pollster memos from the survey and focus groups below.You can read the pollster memos from the survey and focus group