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Richard Piatt ReportingUtah's only Democrat in Congress is way ahead in the latest Dan Jones poll for KSL and the Deseret Morning news. But Jim Matheson's Republican challenger, John Swallow, is promising to close the gap well before Election Day.
Congressman Matheson never really stopped campaigning since the last election, and in the heavily Republican second district he doesn't really have a choice. The difference for Republican John Swallow is his campaign is just starting.
Democrat Congressman Matheson has a comfortable lead over Republican Swallow right now, 63 to 31 percent. That's according to an Exclusive Dan Jones poll of 334 second district voters for KSL and the Deseret Morning News. Only eight percent say they're undecided right now, which means Swallow will have to capture Matheson supporters before the election.
Swallow explains, he has only started to campaign. His first television ads started running last week. He's counting on significant numbers of Republicans to 'come home' well before Election Day. And he says the national part is more engaged that two years ago.
Matheson has been running ads for weeks. But he credits his double-digit lead to hard work and doing what's right for Utah regardless of party.
According to pollster Jones, both sides have to keep working to get their supporters to the polls.
Dan Jones, Political Pollster: “With Bush with such a heavy lead and with Bennett with a large lead, a lot of people may think they don’t have to go out and vote. But they do. This could be a very interesting race before it’s all over.”
Jones credits smart decision-making on Matheon's part during this last term for his lead. And he says both he and his brother Scott are benefiting from the Matheson name. But Matheson is quick to point out he's running a different campaign than his brother and is counting on voters to size him up on his own merits.
Swallow is promising much more in the coming weeks to get his own name back on the lips of second district voters.