Richard Piatt ReportingCount on the Republican and Democrat candidates for governor to spend a lot of time trying to get you to like them from now on. And according to an exclusive Survey USA poll for Eyewitness News, each of the candidates has their work cut out for them.
Our poll is not directed at who people would vote for yet. Instead we asked: What's your impression when you hear the names Matheson, Karras and Huntsman?
Right now name ID could be an advantage for Republican Jon Huntsman, Junior, who got the highest favorable rating in our poll. 528 registered voters from across the state give Huntsman a 49 percent favorable rating, 14 percent unfavorable and 36 percent neither.
Jon Huntsman, Jr., (R) Candidate For Governor: "People know the Huntsman name, I think there's some good associated with that. I also think that if you're a candidate with the Huntsman name that you've got to get out and tell your own story."
By contrast, Nolan Karras's name sparked a 21 percent favorable rating, 20 percent unfavorable, and 56 percent said neither. At this point, Karras--a self-proclaimed underdog--interprets the results this way.
Nolan Karras, (R) Candidate For Governor: "We believe we're the candidate with the substance, with the background the experience and the skills. But we're the candidate people don't know."
Democrat Scott Matheson Junior has a 44 percent favorable rating according to the poll, even though his public campaign is still gearing up. The Democrat association could account for a 24 percent unfavorable rating, and 31 percent said neither. Matheson admits he'll have to work on converting at least some Republicans in order to win in November.
Scott Matheson, Jr., (D) Candidate For Governor: "I'll need to put together a broad coalition of support including republicans and independents, and I look forward to that challenge. I think that will make me a better candidate and it will make me a better governor."
All three candidates have a generally high 'neither positive or negative' ranking, according to the poll: 36 percent for Huntsman, 56 percent Karras, 31 Matheson. Politcal observer Ted Wilson interprets that as 'anything can happen'.
Ted Wilson, Political Observer: "We have a governor's race up for grabs, and i think it could potentially go to any of the three remaining in the contest."
It's going to be a tough month for Karras and Huntsman who will be engaging in a flurry of debates before the June Primary.