Among all Utahns, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the most popular Democratic presidential candidate. However, Utah Democrats put former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the front of the Democratic field.
A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds 26% of Utahns say Sanders is the most appealing Democratic candidate while 18% said Clinton. 25% did not express a preference. Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley pulled in 8%.
Democrats and independent voters are on opposite sides when it comes to Sanders and Clinton, with Democrats backing Clinton and independent voters behind Sanders.
Among Democrats, Clinton is a clear choice, garnering 54%. About a third of Utah Democrats (34%) say they support Sanders. O'Malley gets only 3%.
Independent voters in Utah mostly line up behind Sanders. 38% say they are backing the Vermont Senator. Just 15% of that group say they're behind Clinton, and 10% want O'Malley.
Sanders' overall lead in Utah continues to grow. In a July survey, he had 17%, which increased to 22% in September. The 26% mark in November is the third straight poll he has shown gains.
Among Democratic voters, Clinton has jumped from 30% support in September to a majority of that group in November.
This means the race between Clinton and Sanders for Utah's Democratic delegates could be a close one. When Democrats gather for their party caucus meetings on March 22, they will decide the delegate allocation for the national convention in their presidential preference poll.
Traditionally, Democrats set which delegates went to which candidate during the presidential primary in June after the Democratic nominee had already been determined. With the change to March, there's a good chance the race will not be decided. This survey suggests Sanders has a shot at capturing some delegates from the Beehive State.
The survey was conducted for UtahPolicy.com by Dan Jones & Associates from November 5-14, 2015 among 624 Utahns. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.92%.