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SALT LAKE CITY — A new poll shows Republican Mia Love is leading Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in the race for Utah's 4th Congressional District seat.
The according to the new Dan Jones poll for KSL and the Deseret News, Love has a six-point edge over the congressman.
Of the over 400 4th Congressional District voters polled, 49 percent said they plan to vote for Love; 43 percent are standing by Matheson. With a 5 percent margin of error, you could characterize the results as "a race too close to call" or "an incumbent in trouble," depending on your point of view.
At a campaign news conference Monday, Love was self-confident — a mood enhanced by the results of the poll.
"I am absolutely humbled, honored; I'm absolutely grateful about the support we're getting from the people of the 4th District," Love said.
Congressman Matheson has a much different take on the results, noting the numbers are close enough to consider this a horse race.
"The (Utah) Legislature drew this district in a way to make me an underdog, but this is no big surprise to me," Matheson said. "The only poll that really matters is Election Day, and that's what we're focused on."
An interesting aspect of the poll also shows Matheson's approval rating is slightly higher than Love's, at 56 percent to 54 percent. But Matheson's unfavorable rating is also higher than Love's, at 38 percent to 31 percent.
Pollster Dan Jones said the both aspects of the results show just how close the race really is.
"With a 6-point lead, that isn't a mountain he has to climb," Jones said. "But the Democrats and independents have to turn out."
Love's campaign has gained momentum in recent weeks — fueled, Jones said, by Romney loyalty, greater name recognition, her "celebrity status," and new congressional boundaries drawn to favor Republicans.
"If the people who drew the districts want to remain a one-party state, they've done a good job of it," Jones said.
But the fact remains this race is not over. And if anything, Matheson supporters may be even more motivated to get out the vote.