Rep. Jason Chaffetz made waves recently by suggesting he would be interested in running for Utah Governor. He may have a case.
A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds 25% of Utahns would vote for him if he decides to mount a campaign four years from now.
The same study found 24% would vote for former Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat while 16% would cast a ballot for Republican Josh Romney. Not surprisingly 23% said they didn't know.
It is a bit premature to start talking about 2020. After all, we have a very competitive governor's race on tap for 2016 with four candidates already in the field. Republican Jonathan Johnson is challenging incumbent Gov. Gary Herbert for the GOP nomination while Democrats have two candidates in the field, Michael Weinholtz and Vaughn Cook. However, Chaffetz's speculation prompted enough chatter to spark our survey.
Among Republicans, Chaffetz is the leader with 35%. 24% said they would like to see Romney make a run for the state's top office. Surprisingly, 11% of GOPers said they would pick Matheson. 20% indicated that they had no preference.
Among Democrats, Matheson is the runaway leader for 2016 with 62%. Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams comes in with 16%.
Independent voters slightly prefer Matheson over Chaffetz 29-21%. Romney got 12% among this group.
The poll results are likely based on name recognition Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and House Speaker Greg Hughes did not fare well as did Republicans Kirk Jowers and Natalie Gochnour.
The statewide survey was conducted January 6-13, 2016 among 845 adults. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.37%