Guess who is doing some polling on the 2020 governor’s race?
UtahPolicy.com is told that U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, who is running for re-election this year but has announced he will retire from the House after next term, is behind a recent poll in the Beehive State.
The poll follows what has become a typical “push” – where the caller lists some possible candidate names, then lists some “bad stuff” about each candidate and asks if learning the “bad stuff” makes you more or less likely to vote for them.
It’s a polling tactic that measures not only the preferred candidate’s name I.D., but also feels out weak points on his possible challengers.
Bishop, UtahPolicy is told, was confronted about being behind the poll and admitted it was, indeed, him (or some of his supporters).
UtahPolicy asked his D.C. office for a comment, but not was forthcoming.
Bishop has not been mentioned much in the GOP gubernatorial merry-go-round.
But perhaps he should be.
Clearly, Bishop himself is at least considering the 2020 open governor’s seat – although he certainly may not run after all.
Bishop is a former speaker of the Utah House and a former state chairman of the Utah Republican Party.
He won the 1st District in 2002 with the retirement of Jim Hansen – the longtime member from northern Utah.
He’s not faced a serious challenge since, and is expected to easily win another two-year term in 2018.
Bishop is term-limited out of his House Natural Resources Committee chairmanship – a powerful position -- after 2020, so is stepping out of Congress then.
The Utah governor’s race has not been kind to former U.S. House members running for the office – at least two former GOP members (including Hansen) and one Democrat have run for governor in recent years and lost in the party nomination contest or final election.
Besides Bishop, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz – who resigned his 3rd District seat last year – is reportedly looking at the 2020 governor’s race.
Chaffetz was one of possible contenders placed on the “push” poll, along with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, current (but retiring) state House Speaker Greg Hughes, and a few more, UtahPolicy is told.
The type of poll Bishop is reportedly to have conducted is not the old fashion “push poll” aimed at swinging voters’ ballots.
Those polls – which have fallen out of political favor in recent years – polled tens of thousands of voters and said nasty stuff about a candidate in the guise of seeking real voter data.
They were negative campaigning – perhaps somewhat effective but very costly.
And they were conducted right before an election.
The newer version of “push” poll is to measure your candidate’s name I.D. and strength/weaknesses and to test in the public what could possibly harm a competitor, should you decide to get in the race later on.
But simply the fact that some polling is going on now for the 2020 governor’s race shows real interest in that open seat, and relatively early interest, as well.