Utah Policy/KSL Insider Poll: Did the Shutdown Hurt Mike Lee Politically?

Sen. Orrin Hatch has suggested Sen. Mike Lee needs to “rehabilitate” his image with Utah voters due to his falling approval ratings after the government shutdown. Our Insiders and readers weigh in on Lee’s political future.

Selected anonymous comments:

“Mike Lee did what he was elected to do and, for me, that is the ultimate integrity.”

“With his self-inflicted wound, there is blood in the water, and other aspiring candidates now have good reason to think they will have an opening to push him out — especially if Count My Vote passes.”

“Yes, any time you have people openly voicing interest in challenging a candidate (from within the party), it means that there is a perception that you are weak. Repairing that image is going to cost resources.”

“I’m a politically active Republican and while I wasn’t a strong supporter of his before, I will now actively oppose his re-election.”

“I think the media have inflated the negativity about Mike Lee and the shutdown. If he doesn’t get reelected, it will be because someone better runs against him – not because of the government shutdown.”

“When other prominent Republican office holders are publicly criticizing you, you know you are damaged goods. Unfortunately, 3 years is plenty of time for voters, even loyal caucus attendees, to forget.”

“Let us hope he is permanently damaged and that a moderate Republican in the Utah tradition of former governors Bangerter, Leavitt and Huntsman will challenge him in 2016.”

“I appreciate a politician who stands-up for what he believes and for his platform. He told us he wanted to defund the Affordable Care Act. I am tired of politicians who cave-in to pressure rather than back the stance they supported from the beginning.””I support Mike Lee’s courageous stand against Obamacare. He will be vindicated in the near future as Obamacare reality sets in.”

“The question here has less to do with what Mike Lee does or doesn’t do, and more about the length of Utah voters’ memories. And that’s a problem.”

“Mike Lee is intelligent and articulate. If only he could relate to the way most of us live. I wish he were on our side!”

“He’s already in legacy mode and will to retire from public life as a hero to tea-partiers who see him as the next Barry Goldwater. In reality he stands no chance of reelection in 4 years and will ‘gracefully’ step-down.”

“I don’t think the shutdown will be an isolated incident. Mike Lee will continue to do stupid things and hopefully we Republicans can replace him in 2016 with someone who knows how to get things done in Washington.”

“Much depends on how Obamacare recovers and other issues beyond his control. He will either be a hero or a heel and there is not much he can do about it at this point.”

“The people of Utah are conservative, thoughtful and constructive and we expect the same sensibilities from our elected representatives. Sen. Lee’s game-playing, brinkmanship, hyperbole and sophomoric antics don’t reflect well on him, the party or our state. We need more statesmen and fewer hyper-partisan buffoons.”

“This is not over. The willingness stand up to the disaster Obamacare will benefit him when the public realizes the lying, cost and collapse of the system.”

“He has enough time. Time isn’t the problem. The problem is that he is going to be the same Mike Lee for the next three years, and he won’t rehabilitate his image.”

“As far as I am concerned his stock has shot UP, I don’t know what’s wrong with you people!!”

“Mike Lee has plenty of time to rehabilitate his image, he lacks the social grace to be able to do it though. His band of merry thugs on social media are more than happy to keep him on the straight and narrow path of obstinance. I don’t know why we would want to re-elect a guy who has accomplished absolutely nothing.”

“I think that many Utah Republicans are having second thoughts about replacing Bob Bennett with a Tea Party extremist like Lee. Unfortunately, the people of Utah seem to have very short memories, so Lee may survive anyway.”

“Utahns are problem solvers by nature. We don’t create problems, we prevent and solve them. His actions amounted to bullying and he will pay a price.”

“We desperately need a new senator — one that is more interested in the needs of Utah than his own political aspirations.”

“Dems and the media are overly excited over nothing. 3 years is a lifetime in politics. Remember HB477 and every Republican who voted for it…neither does anyone else.”

“We will have to see who else runs in 2016. Dan Liljenquist or Greg Bell and Sen Lee might be in trouble. If Kirk Jowers or Michael Leavit run, we will have 6 more years of Sen Mike Lee. With Count My Vote, they have fatally damaged their career.”

Respondents include – 

Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Laura Arellano, Patrice Arent, Bette Arial, Neil Ashdown, Bruce Baird, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Emily Bingham-Hollingshead, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Nanci Bockelie, Charles Bradley, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Joel Briscoe, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Marty Carpenter, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Kim Coleman, Peter Corroon, Tim Cosgrove, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, Jake Dennis, Dan Deuel, Jeff Dixon, Brian Doughty, Carl Downing, Randy Dryer, Susan Duckworth, Donald Dunn, Alan Eastman, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Chase Everton, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Claire Francis, Ryan Frandsen, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Ernie Gamonal, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Sheryl Ginsberg, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Dan Hauser, Lynn Hemmingway, Deidre Henderson, Neal Hendrickson, Casey Hill, Lyle Hillyard, Kory Holdaway, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Greg Hughes, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Casey Jackson, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Jonathan Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Pat Jones, Kirk Jowers, Jeremy Keele, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Steve Kroes, Chris Kyler, Carter Livingston, Fred Lampropoulos, Clark Larsen, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Daniel McCay, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Maryann Martindale, Jason Mathis, Bob Mayhew, Karen Mayne, Bret Milburn, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Jeffery Morton, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Randy O’Hara, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Kelly Patterson, John Pearce, Helen Peters, Karen Peterson, Frank Pignanelli, Becky Pirente, Marie Poulson, Jason Powers, Tami Pyfer, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Carol Sapp, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Shauna Scott-Bellaccomo, Jay Seegmiller, Jennifer Seelig, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Brendan Smith, Brian Somers, Carol Spackman-Moss, Robert Spendlove, Barbara Stallone, Howard Stephenson, David Stringfellow, Mike Styler, Shinika Sykes, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Doug Thompson, Michael Waddoups, Laura Warburton, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Mark Wheatley, Larry Wiley, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Travis Wood, Thomas Wright, Crystal Young-Otterstrom

Results from the UtahPolicy.com/KSL Insider poll can be heard on KSL Radio every Friday and are published on Utah Policy.com every Monday.