Most Utahns don’t want President Barack Obama to create a new national monument in Utah before he leaves office the end of 2016, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.
GOP Gov. Gary Herbert recently sent the Democratic president a letter officially asking him not to act on any potential new monument site – which includes the San Rafael Swell in southeastern Utah.
Several months ago, after a trip to Washington, D.C., Herbert said he had talked to Obama administration officials, and he didn’t think the president would create a monument in Utah.
But rumors continue to circulate that as he leaves office, Obama may create several monuments in the western United States.
Former President Bill Clinton angered many Utahns when he created the Escalante-Grand Staircase Monument back in the mid-1990s.
In a new poll Dan Jones & Associates finds that 58 percent of Utahns “definitely” or “probably” don’t want Obama to create a new national monument in Utah, while 32 percent favor the idea, and 11 percent don’t know.
As might be expected, Utah Republicans – who basically don’t like anything Obama does or may do – are overwhelmingly against a new monument, 74-18 percent with 8 percent don’t know.
Utah Democrats are for it, 73-16 percent with 11 percent don’t know.
And political independents are against it, 56-33 percent with 11 percent don’t know.
Along political philosophy lines, Utahns are evenly split – showing that the monument issue is a bell-weather category: Those who told Jones they are “moderates” politically, 42 percent in favor of a new monument, 41 percent opposed and 17 percent don’t know.
Those who said they are “very conservative” oppose the idea, 85-11 percent; while those who say they are “very liberal” favor it, 70-12 percent.
Jones has been polling for UtahPolicy for some time now, and, in general, those who are 18-24 years old are more liberal on many issues than their elders.
No difference on this new monument subject:
18-24 years olds favor a new monument, 51-34 percent.