There may be an opening for the new United Utah Party to make some headway with Utah voters according to a new UtahPolicy.com survey.
We asked registered voters if they were a loyal voter to the Utah Republican or Democratic party, or if they would consider voting for a qualified candidate in the new centrist political party formed earlier this year.
63% of Utahns said they were not loyal to either the Republicans or Democrats and might be persuaded to vote for a candidate running under the United Utah Party. 22% of Utahns said they would prefer to vote for Republican candidates while 9% are partial to Democratic candidates. 6% said they didn't know.
The new United Utah Party launched last month promising to provide a political home for Republicans and Democrats who were tired of the extreme wings controlling both of their parties.
Currently, the UUP is fighting to gain ballot access as a legitimate political party and waging a court battle to get their nominee in November's special election, Jim Bennett, on the ballot under their party banner. The first quest looks to be close to finished as the party submitted the required 2,000 signatures for the state to recognize them as a political party. However, since they were not an official party when Bennett attempted to file as a UUP candidate in the race to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, he was not given a ballot slot. Bennett has filed a lawsuit to force his way on the November ballot as a candidate for UUP.
It seems the biggest potential for the UUP to pick up voters is among Democrats and independent voters according to our poll.
- 88% of independent voters in Utah say they would consider voting for a qualified candidate for the UUP.
- 55% of Democrats also would be willing to cast a vote for a UUP candidate.
- Just under half of Utah Republicans (49%) say they would be open to voting for a UUP candidate.
There has been speculation that the new political party would further dilute the already anemic Democratic vote numbers in Utah, and our polling seems to bear that out. Just 42% of Democrats say they are loyal to the Democratic party. The 55% who would consider jumping ship should give Democratic leaders pause, especially since the Utah Democratic party has been drifting leftward in recent years.
The UUP hopes to appeal to the center of the political spectrum. That may be the correct strategy when you look at the new party's potential base of support along the ideological spectrum. Those in the middle would be more inclined to vote for a UUP candidate than those on the far left and right.
- 42% of voters who said they were "very conservative" said they would consider voting for a UUP candidate.
- 66% of "somewhat conservative" Utahns said they would have no qualms casting a ballot for a UUP candidate.
- 85% of moderates would vote for a UUP candidate.
- 74% of "somewhat liberal" voters would be open to voting for a UUP candidate.
- 48% of "very liberal" voters would vote for a UUP candidate.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey was conducted May 31-June 5, 2017 among 607 registered Utah voters with a margin of error +/- 3.98%.