Approval Ratings Suggests Rep. Chris Stewart Might be in Trouble in 2016

Chris StewartUtah’s four members of Congress get high approval ratings from their constituents mostly, except for 2nd District Congressman Chris Stewart.

In the latest survey conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, we asked residents in each of Utah’s four Congressional districts their feelings about their own member of Congress.

  • 61% of 1st District residents approve of the job Rep. Rob Bishop is doing. 27% disapprove while 11% don’t know. That gives Bishop a net +34 approval rating.
  • 66% of 3rd District residents approve of Rep. Jason Chaffetz while 25% disapprove. Chaffetz has a net +41 approval.
  • 4th District Republican Mia Love has a 62% approval rating, while 30% disapprove, giving her a net +32 positive approval rating.
Then we come to Rep. Chris Stewart. His job performance is viewed positively by just 49% of residents in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District while 18% disapprove. That number should be worrying to Stewart as he gears up for a re-election bid this year. Any time an incumbent politician has job approval ratings 
below 50%, that usually spells trouble. Approval ratings above 50% in an election year are dubbed the “re-elect zone.”
Another alarming number for Stewart is nearly 1/3 (32%) said they had no opinion of Stewart, meaning he’s not making much of an impression on his constituents.
This is not the first survey that should raise alarm bells for Stewart. In November, a survey found nearly the same numbers for Stewart, with a 46% approval rating. That same poll showed 33% said they “don’t know.”
Stewart already has a Democratic challenger this year, Park City businesswoman Charlene Albarran, who has already launched billboards around the Salt Lake Valley. It should be noted that Albarran does not live in the 2nd District she’s seeking to represent. That’s not unusual as former Rep. Jim Matheson lived in the 2nd District while holding the seat in Utah’s 4th District and Rep. Jason Chaffetz lived outside of the 3rd District boundaries until they were moved in 2010.
Most of the other approval ratings in this survey are relatively unchanged from the survey in November.
  • Bishop’s approval in November was 63%, one point higher than January.
  • Chaffetz’s approval in November was 64%, two points lower than the most recent survey.
Mia Love’s support in the 4th District remains consistently high ahead of a second challenge from Democrat Doug Owens. Love’s approval was 65% in November, three points higher than the recent poll. Owens caused a bit of a political stir when he raised more money than Love during the last fundraising quarter. 
Another way to measure approval ratings is the “mean” score. A response of “strongly approve” is ranked a 1, “somewhat approve” is scored a 2 and so on. Those numbers are then averaged. The lower the score, the better the approval rating. 
  • Rep. Rob Bishop scored a 2.21 mean score as most 1st District residents said they “somewhat” approve of his job performance while just 21% “strongly” approved.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart pulled in a 2.16 mean score.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s mean approval score was 2.09.
  • Rep. Mia Love had a mean score of 2.24.
The most recent survey was conducted January 6-13, 2016.
  • 1st Congressional District sample size was 202 adults with a margin of error +/-6.89%.
  • 2nd Congressional District sample size was 179 adult Utahns with a margin of error +/-7.32%.
  • 3rd Congressional District had a sample size of 218 adult Utahns with a margin of error +/-6.64%.
  • 4th Congressional District sample size was 245 adult Utahns with a margin of error +/-6.26%.