Carson, Sanders Top Picks Among Utahns for 2016

The popularity of Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders is surging among Utahns in the race for 2016.

In our latest survey conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, Ben Carson has taken the lead in the Republican field away from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leads the Democrat after he was in a virtual tie with Hillary Clinton in July.

The survey was conducted mostly before the second GOP primary debate in which former HP CEO Carly Fiorina was considered to be the winner by observers. Trump and Carson's performances were thought to be tepid and uneven during the three-hour televised debate.
Carson pulls 18% support among Republicans. Donald Trump is in second place with 12% while Bush is in third with 11%. 
Compared with our survey from July of this year, Bush has fallen the farthest, losing 7% in the crowded Republican field. Meanwhile, Carson has jumped 13 points over the last two months. The number of people who say they "don't know" has jumped 5%.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he was dropping out of the presidential race on September 11, which was right in the middle of our data gathering. It didn't affect the results much as Perry pulled only 1% support in July and got a big, fat 0% in September.
Among Republicans, Carson is now the top choice with 23% support. Trump is in second place with 15%, and Bush is close behind with 12%.
Tea Party members in Utah say Donald Trump is their top choice at 23%, followed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 21%. Carson only gets 14% among this group, which is good for 3rd place. Non-Tea Partiers give Carson the most support at 19%, followed by Bush at 12% and Trump at 11%.
Utahns say Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is their top choice among Democrats with 22% support. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not decided whether he will run for president in 2016, is now in second place with 16%. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is third with 11%. 
In July, Clinton and Sanders were in a virtual tie at the top of the poll. Clinton had, 19% and Sanders was at 17%. Biden has climbed 6 points in the past two months to 16%. A little more than a third of Utahns responded "don't know" when asked about the Democratic field. That number jumped 6-points from July.

Among Democrats, Clinton and Sanders remain virtually tied. Sanders has 31%, and Clinton has 30%. Biden enjoys 20% support.
The survey was conducted September 8-17, 2015 among 604 adult Utahns. It has a margin of error of +/- 4%.