Poll: Utahns Want Congressional Candidates to Live in Their Districts

Vote StickersA vast majority of Utahns think a candidate should live in the same district they’re running to represent according to a new UtahPolicy.com survey.

That could be trouble for Democrat Charlene Albarran, who is seeking that party’s nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. Albarran, who was Miss Idaho in 1975, lives in Park City, which is not inside the district currently represented by Republican Chris Stewart. Instead she lives in Utah’s 1st District, which is represented by Rep. Rob Bishop. 
93% of Utahns surveyed by Dan Jones & Associates say a candidate should be required to live in the district where they are running for office. That includes about 3/4 who said they “definitely” agreed. Just 6% said the candidate should not. That means it could be a potent campaign issue to use against Albarran by her opponents, and she’s got a tough case to make to voters. 

Now, Albarran is not the first Utahn to live outside of the district they represented in Congress. 3rd District Republican Jason Chaffetz was outside of the district boundaries when he was first elected to office. Lawmakers moved his house inside the 3rd District when they redrew the boundaries in 2010. Also, Democrat Jim Matheson ran and won the 4th District seat in 2012 after representing the 2nd District. Also, Beau Babka ran as a Democrat in Utah’s 3rd District in 2004 while not living in the district’s boundaries. He lost to Incumbent Republican Chris Cannon.
Utah law does not prohibit Utah Congressional candidates from running to represent a district they do not live in.
The desire for candidates living in the areas they’re seeking to represent cuts across partisan lines.
– 94% of Republicans responded candidates should live where they run.
– 91% of Democrats agree.
– 93% of independents also say candidates should live in their district.
The survey was conducted February 10-15, 2016 among 625 adult Utahns, who were contacted through live telephone calls (both landline and cell phones). It has a margin of error of +/-3.92%.