An ongoing unscientific poll published in the left sidebar of the Salt Lake Tribune's News Page shows that nearly 60 percent of respondents think Mitt Romney will go further in the election campaign than Jon Huntsman Jr. This had me wondering if Huntsman was picking up support at the expense of Romney.
However, the Tribune poll solicits input from anyone regardless of political affiliation. In contrast, a Public Policy Polling (PPP) poll of 406 prospective Utah Republican primary voters taken from July 8-10, 2011 indicates that among Republicans alone, Mitt Romney would clobber Jon Huntsman Jr. 82 percent to 14 percent in a Utah Republican primary if they were the only two choices.
Even if respondents are given a full slate of Republican choices, Romney still dominates overwhelmingly. Here are the numbers from their 17-page report; to show qualitative support, I've included the net favorability rating for each candidate in parenthesis when available:
-- Mitt Romney: 63 percent (+70)
-- Jon Huntsman Jr: 10 percent (-3)
-- Michelle Bachmann: 6 percent (+12)
-- Sarah Palin: 5 percent (+5)
-- Ron Paul: 4 percent (NA)
-- Rick Perry: 4 percent (NA)
-- Herman Cain: 4 percent (+4)
-- Tim Pawlenty: 2 percent (-5)
-- Newt Gingrich: 2 percent (NA)
The crosstabs are also of interest, showing demographic breakouts by gender, age group and religion (Mormon vs. non-Mormon). Mitt Romney tends to be stronger among women, people over 65, and Mormons, while Jon Huntsman tends to be stronger among non-Mormons, the 18-to-29 age group, and slightly stronger among men. PPP discloses that 86 percent of respondents identified as Mormon. The same poll also asked respondents who they'd choose in a U.S. Senate race between Orrin Hatch and Jason Chaffetz; 47 percent opted for Chaffetz, while 43 percent chose Hatch. One interesting note: Chaffetz has a huge disadvantage among the 18-to-29 age group, with only 40 percent Favorable and 60 percent Unfavorable. However, this is well compensated for by huge Favorable ratings among the other three age groups.
Surprising that a relatively young man like Jason Chaffetz would have such a pronounced favorability deficit among the youngest demographic.
PPP published their own analysis of the results HERE. Both Romney and Huntsman declined comment on the poll. Romney has made a strong push in the state in recent weeks to collect endorsements and flex his political muscle. Most Republicans in the state legislature and three of the four Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation back Romney. Jon Huntsman will be "showing his flag", so to speak, at the National Governor's Conference in Salt Lake from July 15-17.
A separate PPP survey of 732 Utah voters (all political persuasions) from July 8-10 indicated that in a general election race for the U.S. Senate seat, Jim Matheson would defeat Orrin Hatch 45 percent to 44 percent, and Jason Chaffetz 47 percent to 42 percent. Both Hatch and Chaffetz would wipe out any other Democratic contender, though. Read PPP's analysis of this poll HERE.