Poll: Foley Scandal Not Hurting Utah Republicans

Poll: Foley Scandal Not Hurting Utah Republicans

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Richard Piatt ReportingUtah Republicans appear to be escaping most of the fallout from the Foley scandal. That's according to an exclusive poll for Eyewitness news by Survey USA Today.

Congressman Mark Foley's political decline could affect as many as 30 Republican races across the nation. That might cost Republicans control of the House. That's the point the Republican in the second district, who is trailing to Democrat Jim Matheson, is trying to make.

First to our poll. It finds Utah Republicans relatively untouched by the scandal. Of the Utahns Survey USA questioned, 64 percent say the scandal doesn't make a difference in how they'll vote---Republican that is--this fall. 27 percent say they're less likely to vote republican now.

82 percent of the 500 polled said they were familiar with the story.

The tide against Republicans is what LaVar Christensen is trying to capitalize on. He says his campaign slogan that 'America Needs Utah' applies now more than ever.

Poll: Foley Scandal Not Hurting Utah Republicans

LaVar Christensen, (R) Candidate For Congress: "We can see now that democrats are within one vote of taking control of congress. Their agenda calls for the abandonment of democracy in Iraq, raising our taxes, adopting same sex marriage, blocking the development of new oil refineries and so much more."

Democrat Incumbent Jim Matheson thinks there's more to the race than partisanship. He says Utah voters have concerns closer to home that will affect the race more than those of a Florida Congressman.

Rep. Jim Matheson, (D) Utah: "This has been an issue that has been thrown out every time I've run for office. I find Utahns vote the person, not the party. And I think that's what really matters is who's going to represent them in Washington."

Utahns are less forgiving of House Speaker Dennis Hastert. 68 percent say they don't think leadership in the House did enough when they first learned of allegations against Foley. Most also think Hastert should suffer some sort of penalty. 28 percent say he should resign from his leadership position, 34 percent say he should resign from Congress.

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