Republican Mia Love has a slight six-point lead over Democrat Ben McAdams in a new poll examining the race in Utah's 4th Congressional District.
Love leads McAdams 49-43%. 8-percent of voters say they are still undecided in the hypothetical head-to-head matchup between the two candidates.
The numbers suggest the battle to win the remaining undecided voters could be fierce. Whichever way they break ahead of the November vote will ultimately decide if Love wins a third term or McAdams pulls the upset.
The six-point lead is similar to a Salt Lake Tribune survey on the race from January. Love enjoyed a 5-point lead in that poll.
The tight polling is the latest sign that this race could be one of the most hotly contested in the 2018 midterms. Love is below 50% with about eight months to go before election day, which usually signals trouble for an incumbent. The latest numbers show Love has fallen back a bit from her 53.8% winning vote percentage in the 2016 election.
McAdams recently posted slightly better fundraising totals during the latest reporting period. McAdams pulled in $502,000 to Love's $452,000. However, Love has more campaign cash on hand than McAdams, reporting nearly $576,000 to McAdams's $460,000.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey suggests Love needs to do more to shore up her support among Republicans and independent voters.
- 80% of Republicans would vote for Love, while 13% would defect to McAdams if the election were held today.
- McAdams would win a slight majority of independent voters, pulling 52% to Love's 38%.
- Not surprisingly, no Democrats say the would vote for Love, while 98% say they pick McAdams.
Love has a 55% approval rating among 4th District voters, while 39% disapprove of her job performance. That gives Love a net positive approval rating of +16, which is quite good for an incumbent member of Congress.
McAdams, on the other hand, has a bit of a name ID problem among the voters he's hoping to court this year. Nearly 1/4 of voters didn't have an opinion of McAdams, which is not optimal for a political candidate with a seemingly high media profile like McAdams. Of the voters who had formed an opinion of his job performance, 62% approved while 16% disapproved, giving him a whopping +46 net approval.
Love has a slight advantage over McAdams among male and female voters. Women prefer Love to McAdams 49-43%, while men favor love by a nearly identical 49-44% tally.
Ideologically, conservative voters would pick Love at the ballot box while moderates and liberals like McAdams.
- "Very conservative" voters break heavily toward Love 89-7%.
- "Somewhat conservative" Utahns also favor Love 64-26%.
- McAdams wins moderate voters 52-37%. Curiously, this is similar to the number of independent voters who favor McAdams over Love.
On the left side of the political spectrum, it's not close. McAdams wins "somewhat liberal" and "very liberal" Utahns by 90 and 86-points respectively.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey was conducted February 9-21, 2018 among 404 voters in Utah's 4th Congressional District. The margin of error is 4.9%.