Poll Shows Anderson Popularity Slipping

Poll Shows Anderson Popularity Slipping

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A new poll shows the popularity of Salt Lake City's Mayor Rocky Anderson has dipped after he called for citizens to join an anti-war protest during a visit from President Bush two weeks ago, a newspaper reported.

A copyright story in the Deseret Morning News said those polled also believe Anderson, who is serving his second four-year term as mayor of the state's largest city, should not seek office a third time. The next election year for the post is 2007.

Anderson hasn't said yet if he plans to run again. Anderson sent out an e-mail calling for a protest of U.S. policies in Iraq. The protest drew an estimated 2,000 people to a downtown city park and was held as Busy wrapped up an address to the Veterans of Foreign War convention of 15,000 here.

Conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, the poll of 414 people statewide has a margin of plus or minus five percent. Jones additionally polled 230 Salt Lake City residents. Those responses have an error margin of plus or minus 7 percent.

In the poll, 36 percent said Anderson should be re-elected and 56 percent said he should not.

Fifty-four percent still approve of how Anderson handles the job, but that number has slipped from a 59 percent approval rating in March.

Pollsters also found that a slight majority of people (51 percent to 48 percent) approved of Anderson's involvement in protests.

"I was absolutely right" in calling for protests, Anderson said after learning of the results.

"What is right is not dictated by polls," he said. "I believe when people see things headed in the wrong direction in our country, we have an obligation to make our views known," he said.

A Democrat in a Republican-dominated state, Anderson's battles with the GOP majority and the state's Legislature have not won him favor across Utah.

Statewide 64 percent of those polled said they disapprove of Anderson, while only 28 percent favored him. And three of four Utahns surveyed agree with Anderson's protest involvement.

Anderson said he won't back away from speaking out on issues of concern to himself, the stat or the nation, regardless of the political impact. He also said he expected his protest involvement might mean losing the support of some.

"But my objective is not to reach the end of my life and look back and say I'm sure glad I compromised all over the place so I could hold on to those voters," Anderson said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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