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Near Sweep for Republican Expected Tuesday

Near Sweep for Republican Expected Tuesday

Posted - Oct. 31, 2004 at 2:53 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Rep. Jim Matheson may be Utah Democrats' only hope, a poll commissioned for the Deseret Morning News and KSL-TV showed Sunday.

Matheson held a 10-percentage-point lead over Republican John Swallow in the 2nd Congressional District in a Dan Jones & Associates poll of 426 voters. The margin of error was listed at 4.7 percentage points.

Republicans hold leads in all other major Utah races, according to surveys of as many as 1,228 voters over a week ending on Thursday.

Matheson's older brother, Scott Matheson Jr., was 16 percentage points behind Republican Jon Huntsman Jr. in the governor's race -- a lead that would be difficult for the Democrat to make up.

Even Republican Ellis Ivory now is ahead of one-time front-runner and Democrat Peter Corroon in the Salt Lake County mayor race.

Ivory, at first a write-in candidate who gained a ballot position in flip-flop court decisions, leads Corroon 43 percent to 37 percent, with independent Merrill Cook drawing just 8 percent.

Republican Mayor Nancy Workman withdrew after being charged with misusing public funds, and the party endorsed Ivory as a replacement.

President Bush can count on five Electoral College votes from Utah. The president leads Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., by 45 percentage points, 69-24 percent, pollster Dan Jones found.

Jones, who also teaches political science at the University of Utah, predicts more than 70 percent of registered voters in Utah will go to the polls Tuesday. That would be a good turnout, but short of the 81 percent who showed up for the 1992 election, which stands as a modern-day Utah record.

Two-term Rep. Matheson leads Swallow 51-41 in the latest poll, which has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

Matheson is drawing overwhelming support from political moderates and independents, but he also needs Republicans to win and at 21 percent GOP support that might be good enough for victory, Jones said.

But Swallow appears to be catching up with a barrage of TV ads and mailers attacking Jim Matheson. The latest Dan Jones & Associates poll has Matheson with 21 percent of the 2nd District Republican vote, down from 30 percent measured in September.

Scott Matheson is drawing just 13 percent of the GOP vote statewide for the governor's race.

In other contests:

-- Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, has a 43-point lead over Democrat Paul Van Dam.

--Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, holds a 43-point lead over Democrat and Logan City Council chairman Steve Thompson.

--Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, has a 30-point lead over Democrat Beau Babka, a South Salt Lake police captain.

-- Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a Republican, holds a 42-point lead over Democratic challenger Greg Skordas.

-- Amendment 3, which would change the Utah Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, is favored by 63 percent of Utah voters, Jones found. Only a third oppose it.

-- Initiative 1, which would increase the statewide sales tax by one-twentieth of a cent to raise money for open space preservation, was favored 58 percent to 35 percent.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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