Poll: Trump leads big among Utah voters; Biden, Kennedy tied

Republican presidential candidate and former president Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally June 9, in Las Vegas.

Republican presidential candidate and former president Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally June 9, in Las Vegas. (John Locher)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Former President Donald Trump maintains a dominant lead over President Joe Biden in Utah, according to a new Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll.

In a head-to-head matchup between Biden and Trump, 57% of Utahns said they would support Trump if the election were held today, nearly mirroring Trump's vote share in Utah during the 2020 election. One quarter of voters said they would support Biden, down from the 38% of Utah voters that backed him in 2020. Eighteen percent of voters are undecided.

Though independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. draws more voters from Trump than Biden, Trump still dominates in a three-way race. When offered the three candidates as options, 49% say they'd vote for Trump, while Biden and Kennedy each garner 20%.

Poll: Trump leads big among Utah voters; Biden, Kennedy tied

Kennedy has visited Utah twice since launching his independent presidential campaign last fall. In November, Kennedy held a rally in Salt Lake City, and in January, he returned in Utah to celebrate qualifying for ballot access. Utah was the first state to grant Kennedy a place on its ballot.

Biden visited Utah in August, though he held no public campaign events, opting instead for a private fundraiser in Park City. Trump has not visited Utah this cycle: Plans for a June fundraiser in Park City were scrapped when a CNN debate was planned for the same date. Organizers are hoping to reschedule the event for late July or late August, an individual with knowledge of the plans said.

Poll: Trump leads big among Utah voters; Biden, Kennedy tied

Utah is widely expected to be an uncompetitive state in 2024. The Republican presidential nominee has won every presidential election in Utah since 1964. In 2020, Trump defeated Biden by 20 points; in 2016, even as independent candidate Evan McMullin won over 20 percent of the vote, Trump beat Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton by 18 points.

In recent months, as it became apparent Trump would secure the Republican nomination, his popularity in Utah grew — even after he became the first former U.S. president convicted of a crime. In a January Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll, 43% of voters said they'd support Trump in an election against Biden; now, 49% say they'd back Trump in a Trump-Biden-Kennedy contest. In a Trump-Biden head-to-head, the former president's support balloons to 57%.

The shift can be tied to how favorably Utahns view Trump and Biden. Last August, when Trump was the front-runner for the Republican nomination but still faced legitimate challenges from Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and others, Utahns viewed Trump and Biden with equal distaste: both candidates were viewed unfavorably by 58% of Utah voters, with 39% saying they view them favorably.

Poll: Trump leads big among Utah voters; Biden, Kennedy tied

Now, those favorability ratings have splintered in opposite directions. According to the June Deseret News/Hinckley Institute poll, just 23% of Utahns have a favorable view of Biden, and 73% view him unfavorably — including a majority, 55%, that say they view Biden "very unfavorably." Meanwhile, 52% of Utahns say they view Trump favorably, while 45% view him unfavorably.

The only politician with a lower favorability rating in the poll than Biden was his running mate, Kamala Harris: 22% of Utahns say they view the vice president favorably. Harris is expected to visit Utah on June 28 to fundraise, the Deseret News reported Wednesday . It will be Harris' first visit to the state since 2020, when she participated in a vice presidential debate at the University of Utah.

Trump has received endorsement from a number of Utah officeholders, including Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Burgess Owens, Rep. Celeste Maloy, House Speaker Mike Schultz, Attorney General Sean Reyes and Senate President Stuart Adams.

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Samuel Benson
Samuel Benson is the national political correspondent for the Deseret News. He covers the 2024 presidential election. He worked as the lead researcher on two best-selling books: “Romney: A Reckoning,” by McKay Coppins; and “Barkley: A Biography,” by Timothy Bella. He studied sociology and Spanish at Brigham Young University. When not writing or reading, Benson enjoys cycling and hiking in Utah’s beautiful outdoors.

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