As expected, Republican Mitt Romney has a big lead over Democrat Jenny Wilson heading into the final two months of the 2018 campaign according to a new UtahPolicy.com survey.
The poll from Dan Jones & Associates gives Romney a 26-point lead over Wilson, 55-29%. The handful of minor-party candidates also in the are struggling to hit a combined 10% in the survey.
As it stands, Romney's level of support is the lowest for a GOP U.S. Senate candidate from Utah in more than two decades. The last time a Republican got less than 60% in a U.S. Senate race in Utah was 1992 when Bob Bennett defeated Wayne Owens with 55%.
Wilson's 29% support is close to the statewide ceiling for Democrats in Utah we've seen over the past five elections:
- In 2016, Misty Snow got 27% against Mike Lee.
- 2012's election saw Democrat Scott Howell with 30% against Orrin Hatch.
- Sam Granato got 33% of the vote in 2010 against Lee.
- In 2006, Democrat Pete Ashdown won 31%.
- Paul Van Dam received 28% against Bob Bennett in 2004.
There's not much room for Wilson to pull off what would be a colossal upset in November. Even if she does manage to win all of the undecided voters, she still must peel away voters who are already in the Romney column. That's a tall order for a Democrat in Utah.
78% of Republicans say they plan to vote for Romney. That number may seem low but it's in line with the 73% of the vote Romney scored in his GOP primary matchup against Rep. Mike Kennedy. 7% of Republican voters in Utah are undecided.
It seems that there is still a bit of a hangover among Republicans who voted for Kennedy over Romney in the GOP primary. It seems that these "never Romney" types are still bitter that Romney bested Kennedy and are taking their support to candidates who seem to be farther to the right on the political spectrum than Romney.
That's borne out when our poll respondents are broken down by ideological leaning. Even though Romney wins among Utahns who describe themselves as "very conservative" and "somewhat conservative," there's still about a quarter of that group who gravitate toward other candidates. Romney gets about 50% support from self-described moderates.
Utah Democrats overwhelmingly are behind Wilson, with 87% supporting their nominee and 9% backing Romney.
Unaffiliated voters in Utah break for Romney by a 48-35% margin.
While women seem to be powering Democratic candidates across the country in the 2018 midterms, Romney has a sizeable lead over Wilson among both men and women in Utah. 55% of both men and women support Romney, while Wilson gets just 27% support from men and 32% from women.
Granted, these numbers may seem low for Romney, but it should be noted that he hasn't started any concerted campaign effort ahead of November's election s of yet. We also haven't seen any sort of television or advertising campaign from Romney, which will also boost his final numbers in November.
The UtahPolicy.com survey was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates from August 22-31, 2018 among 804 likely Utah voters with a margin of error of 3.4%.