Biskupski Bests Becker; Prop. 1 Fails in Salt Lake, Utah Counties

Jackie BiskupskiIt took two extra weeks, but Jackie Biskupski is now the mayor-elect of Salt Lake City.

Biskupski defeated Becker by 3.1% in the final tally, which was made official on Tuesday. Biskupski’s margin of victory was 1,194 votes, meaning Becker only gained 256 votes from election night.
That’s a much closer result after Biskupski walloped Becker by 15-points in August’s primary election.
Our pre-election polls gave Biskupski anywhere between a four and two-point margin. In the end, she split the difference at 3.
Biskupski’s win is historic as she becomes the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City and the second woman to hold that post. 
Biskupski most likely won because Salt Lake City residents gave her much higher positive ratings than Becker. A pre-election survey found 70% of likely voters gave Biskupski a favorable rating while just 30% had an unfavorable view of her. That’s a whopping +40 net favorability, which is formidable. In comparison, Becker only had a +12 favorability rating. 

Biskupski was able to cross the finish line ahead of Becker despite being massively outspent by the two-term incumbent. Becker spent $300,000 more on the race than Biskupski.
Another fatal blow for Becker was the public relations nightmare from his apparent mishandling of the ouster of former Police Chief Chris Burbank. A recent Dan Jones survey found 24% of likely voters said they were more inclined to cast a ballot for Biskupski because of the Burbank situation.

Becker was hoping to become only the third person to win a third term as Mayor of Salt Lake City. The last person to do that was Ted Wilson, who resigned midway through his third term to head up the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah.
In other election results:
  • In Salt Lake City Council District 2 Andrew Johnston beat former councilman Van Blair Turner.
  • Derek Kitchen won the race in Salt Lake City Council District 4, beating Nate Salazar by 171 votes.
  • Charlie Luke captured another term representing District 6, besting Tracey Harty by 27-points.
 Salt Lake County voters rejected a proposed sales tax hike to fund transportation needs by a 4,163 votes. That came despite proponents raising $675,000 to promote the issue to voters.
Prop. 1 appeared on the ballot in 17 counties in Utah. It failed in 10 of them, including Utah County.