Is Sen. Mitt Romney doing a good job? More Democrats than Republicans in Utah think so

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, right, and Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, center, speak with Ukrainian Olympians at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns on May 27. Half of Utahns like the job Sen. Mitt Romney is doing in Washington, but the first-term Republican continues to find more favor with Democrats than he does within his own party in the Beehive State.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, right, and Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, center, speak with Ukrainian Olympians at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns on May 27. Half of Utahns like the job Sen. Mitt Romney is doing in Washington, but the first-term Republican continues to find more favor with Democrats than he does within his own party in the Beehive State. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Half of Utahns like the job Sen. Mitt Romney is doing in Washington, but the first-term Republican continues to find more favor with Democrats than he does within his own party in the Beehive State.

A new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found 50% approve of his performance, while 45% disapprove and 4% don't know. Those numbers have remained fairly consistent since Romney took office in 2019.

Of those who approve, the survey shows 21% do so strongly and 29% do so somewhat. Of those who disapprove, 27% do so strongly and 18% do so somewhat.

Now halfway into his first term, Romney has taken a centrist approach to the Senate where he has worked across party lines on major legislation, including the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law last fall. He most recently helped negotiate and pass a gun safety bill that Biden signed on the heels of several mass shootings.

At the same time, Romney has also criticized the Biden administration, calling on the president earlier this year to "ditch his woke advisers" and surround himself with people who want to get the economy working again amid record inflation. He also condemned Biden for wanting to get rid of the Senate filibuster to pave the way for sweeping voting rights reform.

Romney supports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the GOP agenda. He voted twice to remove former President Donald Trump from office in both of his impeachment trials and called out Trump's "big lie" about the 2020 election results, drawing disdain from Republicans and praise from Democrats in Utah.

While Democrats cooled on Romney a little earlier this year, his support is again high in the opposite party.

The new poll found 65% of Democrats approve of his performance in the Senate, while 30% disapprove. Among Republicans in Utah, only 46% approve, while 50% disapprove.

Is Sen. Mitt Romney doing a good job? More Democrats than Republicans in Utah think so
Photo: Deseret News

Romney's approval rating also falls and rises according to political ideology.

Not surprisingly, nearly three-fourths of Utahns who identified themselves as "very conservative" in the survey disapprove of the job he is doing. Half of those who self-identified as "somewhat conservative" approve of his performance.

Romney does well with "moderate" voters (65% approve), "somewhat liberal" voters (72% approve) and "very liberal" voters (58% approve), according to the poll.

Also, the survey found more support among women than men, 55% to 47%.

Dan Jones & Associates conducted the poll of 801 registered Utah voters July 13-18. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percentage points.

In 2019, Utah Republican Party state delegates, who are more conservative than rank-and-file GOP voters in the state, forced Romney into a primary against a conservative candidate. That would likely happen again should he seek a second term in 2024. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is reportedly gearing up for a run at Romney's seat.

Romney has not said whether he will seek a second term. If he does run, he would be on the same ballot as Trump should the former president go after the White House again.

Romney's approval rating is higher than Utah's senior senator, Mike Lee, who has strong support from conservatives but not as much among voters in general. But both Lee and Romney have high disapproval ratings at 45% and 47%, respectively, in the latest poll. Lee is locked in a tough reelection battle for a third term with independent Evan McMullin.

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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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