Voters not so pleased with Utah members of Congress, especially Sen. Mitt Romney

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SALT LAKE CITY — Nobody in the state seems to like the job Utah's congressional delegation is doing in Washington, and they don't much care for Republicans and Democrats in Congress or the Utah Legislature, either.

No Utah member of Congress cracked even a 45 percent approval rating in a and Y2 Analytics poll released Friday.

Rep. Ben McAdams, the state's newest member of the U.S. House and lone Democrat, fared the best as 43 percent of voters in the 4th Congressional District approve of how he's doing his job.

Meantime, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, also new this year to the U.S. Senate, has the highest disapproval rating at 40 percent.

"I think voters are disgusted in general with Washington, D.C., and what's happening there and the lack of progress no matter who is in control," said LaVarr Webb, publisher. "I do think that probably rubs off some."

In addition to asking registered voters whether they strongly or somewhat approve or disapprove of how the congressmen or organizations are handling their jobs, Y2 Analytics gave survey respondents the option to say neither approve or disapprove as well as don't know. Pollsters say that better reflects public sentiment.

Webb said those options might, in part, also explain the lower approval ratings.

Indeed, taking the middle ground or answering don't know made up a large percentage of the responses for some of those polled.

For example, half of those surveyed chose those options for Republican Rep. John Curtis. The 3rd District congressman had a 31 percent approval rating, while 19 percent disapprove of how he's handling his job, the poll shows.

"It's always interesting that a lot of people aren't paying a lot of attention and not really developing an opinon about their members of Congress," Webb said.

Survey respondents weren't indecisive about Romney, congressional Republicans and Democrats and the state Legislature. The survey shows the freshman senator has a 38 percent approval rating to go along with the 40 percent who disapprove.

At 57 percent, Democrats in Congress had the high disapproval rating among the individuals and organizations in the survey. The poll shows 28 percent approve of the job they're doing.

Republicans, though, didn't come out much better with 55 percent disapproval and 30 percent approval.

As for the Utah Legislature, 33 percent approve, while 45 percent disapprove.

GOP Rep. Chris Stewart had the lowest approval rating among those surveyed. The poll shows 26 percent of voters in the 2nd Congressional District approve of how he's handling his job, while 33 percent disapprove. Like Curtis, the four-term congressman had a high percentage of people who were neutral or didn't know.

The survey showed 39 percent approve of the job Republican Sen. Mike Lee is doing, putting him second behind McAdams. Another 37 percent disapprove.

Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, the longest-serving member of Utah's delegation, has a 34 percent approval rating as well as 34 percent disapproval rating, according to the poll. Bishop serves in the 1st Congressional District.

Y2 Analytics conducted the poll June 27-July 17 of 2,608 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, with a lower number of voters polled and a higher margin of error in the congressional districts.

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Dennis Romboy
Dennis Romboy is an editor and reporter for the Deseret News. He has covered a variety of beats over the years, including state and local government, social issues and courts. A Utah native, Romboy earned a degree in journalism from the University of Utah. He enjoys cycling, snowboarding and running.


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