Poll: Majority of Utahns don't want second term for Trump

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SALT LAKE CITY — A majority of Utahns don't believe President Donald Trump deserves a second term in office, according to a UtahPolicy.com poll released Wednesday.

Asked if the president has "performed his job well enough that he should be re-elected" in 2020, 57 percent of likely Utah voters surveyed for the online political news source said it was time to give someone new a chance to serve.

Only 38 percent told pollster Dan Jones & Associates that Trump should be re-elected. The poll was conducted of 809 likely Utah voters Aug. 22-31 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.

The poll showed men evenly split over the president's future, while 67 percent of women said one term was enough. Among Republicans, nearly a third, 31 percent, said they want someone else in the White House after the next election.

"It certainly shows Republicans who support him in Utah have work to do if they want him to win," said UtahPolicy.com publisher LaVarr Webb, who writes a political column for the Deseret News.

Webb said Trump's numbers are "uncommonly low" for a GOP president in one of the most Republican states in the nation, suggesting concerns with his personality may outweigh support for his policies for many voters.

"I think that does have to do with tone," said Webb, who describes himself as a mainstream Republican. "He is just so bombastic and has such a great ego. All of that comes through, and it really turns off a lot of people."

But longtime Trump supporter Don Peay has no doubt Utahns will back the president again in 2020.

"Trump is going to keep doing what he said he was going to do," Peay said, citing a checklist of campaign promises including naming conservatives to the U.S. Supreme Court as well as strengthening both the military and the economy.

"He's tough enough to get them done. He's not a politician that's afraid of breaking a few eggs," Peay said. "They may not like the tone, but they're going to vote on the policy."

Chris Karpowitz, co-director of BYU's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, said the presidential election is still two years away and it's not known who the Democratic nominee will be, or even if Trump will face a GOP challenger.

Still, Karpowitz said, the poll "does indicate that support for Donald Trump is soft in Utah, despite the fact that it is a very red state." He said support for Trump is concentrated among only the most conservative voters.

The poll found that 99 percent of Democrats want to see someone else in the White House, while just under three-quarters of unaffiliated voters — who are outnumbered only by Republicans — agreed.

"That is a fascinating result, and indicates that Trump's efforts to focus on his base have been effective, even here in Utah, but it also means that he may be alienating other types of voters," Karpowitz said.

Trump has long struggled in Utah.

Utah voters said in a March 2016 Deseret News/KSL poll that they would vote for a Democrat for president for the first time in more than 50 years if Trump became the Republican nominee.

Soon after saying they preferred Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Trump, he finished a distant third in the Utah Republican Party's caucus vote, behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Even in the 2016 general election, Trump was unable to win a majority of the vote in Utah, taking the state with just over 45 percent of ballots cast, his lowest margin of victory nationwide.

In results reported earlier this month, the same UtahPolicy.com poll found that 41 percent of Utahns strongly disapprove of the job the president is doing, compared to only 23 percent who strongly approve.


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