Nearly two-thirds of Utahns support the Count My Vote citizen initiative, which would put into law a two-path route to a political party’s primary ballot and set up a special runoff election if no candidate got 35 percent of his party’s voters, a new UtahPolicy.com poll finds.

The Dan Jones & Associates survey shows that 64 percent of Utahns “strongly” or “somewhat” support the CMV petition, whose backers are currently gathering signatures to put it on the Nov. 2018 ballot for voter approval or rejection.

Only 22 percent of Utahns oppose the petition, Jones finds in a new survey.

And 13 percent don’t know.

The new poll shows a rebound from a previous Jones’ survey that asked the question in a more negative light – that survey seeking to show hardcore support.

The new survey’s question likely will reflect the official ballot language – which has not been set yet by the Utah Elections Office because CMV has not yet gathered the 113,000 needed signatures.

The new survey is interesting in this regard:

Even Utah Republicans – whose state party has basically bankrupted itself over opposing SB54, a similar measure passed by the 2014 GOP-controlled Legislature – favor the reworked CMV petition.

That’s just another indication that the state delegates/Central Committee members are out of step on this issue with their rank-and-file voters.

  • Utah Republicans back CMV, 57-29 percent.

  • Democrats really like it, 74-15 percent.

  • While political independents favor CMV, 70-18 percent.

 

The Utah Republican Party is around $300,000 in debt for legal fees in failed court battles over SB54 – the compromise CMV made with GOP legislators and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert whereby CMV dropped their 2014 petition effort.

The state GOP has lost in state and federal courts – with their appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals awaiting a decision, likely coming in the spring.

In addition to the legal fee debt, many traditional big-money donors to the Utah GOP stopped giving, because they backed the original CMV and SB54.

The state party was bouncing checks and owed any number of unpaid bills when Rob Anderson was elected the new chairman last spring.

Anderson tried to end the lawsuit, but CC members refused to allow that. Anderson is still trying to woo big donors back to the party.

In any case, should the state GOP officially oppose the new CMV – which includes much of SB54 in it – it will be interesting to see what kind of anti-CMV campaign the state party will adopt.

Jones finds that even the most conservative members of the Utah Republican Party currently back the CMV petition, 52-33 percent.

  • “Somewhat” conservatives back it, 63-22 percent.

  • ‘’Moderates” back it, 68-20 percent.

  • “Somewhat” liberals support it, 77-11 percent.

  • And those who told Jones they are “very liberal” support it, 83-7 percent.

You can read the petition here.

CMV organizers, which include former GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt and Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller, say they have pledges of donations of more than $1 million – virtually assuring they can gather the 113,000 signatures required and run a effective pro-CMV campaign next fall.

Jones polled 600 adults from Nov. 16-21. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.