Utah's premier pollster Dan Jones has taken the political pulse of Utah once again, and finds that Salt Lake City continues to be a "blue" city in a "red" state. While this isn't exactly headline news to most Utahns, Jones' poll offers one of the more detailed statistical snapshots we've seen in a while. Media story published by the Deseret News (see DN graphic HERE).
And here are the pertinent findings:
(1). Party Affiliation:
-- Salt Lake: 37 percent Democrats, 31 percent independents, 24 percent Republicans.
-- Statewide: 15 percent Democrats, 28 percent independents, 46 percent Republicans.
(2). Political Philosophy:
-- Salt Lake: 20 percent Very Liberal, 12 percent Somewhat Liberal, 31 percent Moderate, 14 percent Somewhat Conservative, 17 percent Very Conservative
-- Statewide: 6 percent Very Liberal, 6 percent Somewhat Liberal, 29 percent Moderate, 29 percent Somewhat Conservative, 27 percent Very Conservative
(3). LDS Church Membership: Salt Lake 40 percent, statewide 68 percent.
(4). College Degree: Salt Lake 63 percent, statewide 48 percent.
There are a few other "blue dots" in Utah, to include Park City, Moab, Springdale and Price, but only Salt Lake County and Summit County (Park City) went for Obama in November 2008.
The distinction between degrees of liberalism and conservativism is of interest. Those who are Somewhat Liberal are older and tend to be mainstream, like Rep. Jim Matheson, and a conservative can have a dialog with them. While committed to their beliefs, they are not intolerant, extremist or dogmatic; they value political diversity and don't view opposition as heretical. In contrast, those who are Very Liberal are younger and tend to call themselves "progressives"; it's generally quite difficult for a conservative to hold a dialog with them since progressives tend to be intolerant, extremist, and dogmatic. They view those who disagree with them not merely as wrong, but as heretics who need to be suppressed. When arguments go against them, they are quick to resort to juvenile name-calling.
Those who are Somewhat Conservative tend to be mainstream. Oftentimes they are big-government conservatives, favoring an elaborate security infrastructure and a robust interventionist foreign policy. Economically, they tilt towards Wall Street over Main Street. Some, like John McCain, are actually moderates who masquerade as conservatives during elections to sucker conservatives into voting for them. In contrast, those who are Very Conservative, who sometimes refer to themselves as paleoconservatives, tend to be much more constitutionally-oriented, prefer a strong national defense without unnecessary foreign intervention, and believe Main Street is a better source of economic salvation than Wall Street. They can be dogmatic about social issues from time to time.