Utah's premier pollster Dan Jones has been taking the political pulse of Utah during the past several days, and finds that while Utahns are clearly shifting their allegiance from Mitt Romney to the John McCain-Sarah Palin team, they still want business as usual in the three Congressional races. Full stories published by KSL Channel 5, Deseret News (Palin), and Deseret News (three Congressional races).
Utahns are migrating steadily to the McCain-Palin team. Here's what the numbers show:
- John McCain: 62 percent
- Barack Obama: 24 percent
- Don't Know: 9 percent
- Other: 3 percent
- Refused: 3 percent
And Sarah Palin appears to be the main reason why Utahns are switching their allegiance to McCain so seamlessly. When asked how the inclusion of Palin on the ticket impacts the McCain campaign, here was the response:
- Helps: 73 percent
- Hurts: 12 percent
- No Impact: 11 percent
- Don't Know: 4 percent
Ironically, just about the time the McCain-Palin campaign is taking off nationwide, attitudes toward Palin may be souring in her home state of Alaska. On September 13th, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News, there was a huge anti-Palin rally in midtown Anchorage attracting an estimated 1,500 anti-Palin activists. They were offset by only 100 pro-Palin activists. While many of the activists had sincere grievances and were promoting serious issues, there was the usual component of extremist Rocky Anderson-wannabes promoting feminism, unrestricted abortion, and anti-religious bigotry. Some even tried to portray Palin as a "racist". First, here's a two-minute CNN video added on September 15th:
And here's a locally-produced five-minute YouTube video which shows the political diversity of those in attendance:
And here's Tina Fey's humorous impersonation of Sarah Palin from Saturday Night Live:
And now for the Congressional races. In District 1, Republican incumbent Rob Bishop is cruising over Democratic challenger Morgan Bowen:
- Rob Bishop: 62 percent
- Morgan Bowen: 21 percent
Other District 1 candidates include Libertarian Joseph Geddes Buchman and Constitution Party candidate Kirk D. Pearson. Morgan Bowen is an honorable man and a serviceable candidate, but nobody's pissed off at Rob Bishop. Consequently, Bishop will win on November 4th.
In District 2, Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson is cruising over Republican challenger Bill Dew:
- Jim Matheson: 62 percent
- Bill Dew: 27 percent
Other District 2 candidates include Libertarian Mathew Arndt and Constitution Party candidate Dennis Ray Emery. Matheson's only true liberal bastion is the east side of Salt Lake; consequently, there must be another reason why he holds such a sizable lead. In fact, Matheson is a "blue dog" Democrat, meaning that he believes in the free market and is not a social radical. Bill Dew is a good candidate, but nobody's really pissed off at Matheson. Consequently, while Dew will close the gap, Matheson will defeat him by as much as 20 points on election day.
And in District 3, Republican giant-killer Jason Chaffetz is surprisingly far ahead on Democrat Bennion Spencer:
- Jason Chaffetz: 60 percent
- Bennion Spencer: 18 percent
Jim Noorlander is also running for this seat as the Constitution Party candidate. Noorlander may have some punch; 22 percent of respondents did not choose either Chaffetz or Spencer.
Chaffetz himself is quite surprised at the magnitude of his lead, but intends to take Spencer seriously and press on full throttle. Spencer tried to spin it, claiming that many of his supporters have cell phones, which are not normally called by pollsters. However, Spencer marginalized himself earlier in the campaign when he insinuated that Jesus Christ Himself had personally endorsed him. He quickly clarified the statement, but the damage was done. Chaffetz will prevail in this race, possibly by as much as 25-30 points.
The poll of 601 registered voters was conducted during the period September 8-11, with an even split between the three Congressional districts.