A new internal poll from Mia Love's campaign shows the incumbent Republican with a 15-point lead over her Democratic opponent, Doug Owens.
The survey from Y2 Analytics gives Love a 51-36% lead over Owens, while Constitution Party candidate Collin Simonsen gets 4%. The numbers stand in stark contrast to a Salt Lake Tribune poll from June showing Owens with a six-point lead over Love, 51-45%.
Y2 pollster Scott Riding says the numbers are the strongest they've ever seen for Rep. Love.
"Her support has grown beyond the Republican base and into the bloc of independents that historically made this district competitive," says Riding. "Her challengers have a lot of catching up to do, and time is running out."
Utah Democrats are hoping the unpopularity of Donald Trump in Utah will hurt down-ballot Republicans like Rep. Love. The internal numbers from the Love campaign tell a different story.
61% of 4th District voters surveyed by Y2 have a very unfavorable view of both Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Furthermore, the polling numbers show a virtual dead-heat between the two presidential campaigns in the 4th District, with Trump at 29%, Clinton at 27% and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson at 26%.
Riding says Trump at the top of the Republican ticket is not as much of a political albatross as many seem to think.
"I expect Mr. Trump to win Utah in the end, but nearly half the Republicans in this district are not sold on him. And most of those who plan to vote for him don't like him."
The survey also found 32% of 4th District voters say they will "definitely" vote for Love while just 23% say they will "definitely" cast a ballot for Owens.
When asked about the statistical differences between Love's internal poll and the Tribune survey, Riding noted he is a vocal critic of the Tribune's pollster, SurveyUSA, and their use of robocall polling. He says the Tribune poll excluded cell-phone users and employed an unrepresentative demographic sample.
"When we include cell-phone only and younger voters in the survey at historical proportions, we find that these groups strongly favor Representative Love. We also find that many of them have heard very little about her challengers up to this point."
UtahPolicy.com's pollster, Dan Jones & Associates, is currently in the field surveying the race in Utah's 4th Congressional District. We plan to release those results sometime in the near future.
The full polling memo is below.