Keith McCord ReportingWith red-hot races brewing for President and Governor, expect high turnout for this fall's election. That's according to the latest poll for KSL-TV and the Deseret Morning News by Dan Jones and Associates.
The incumbent war-time president, in office during trying economic times, versus a longtime Senator and his party looking to avenge a bitter defeat last time. The state's first female governor and a field of men aiming to replace her.
Those high-profile races add up to high voter interest for the upcoming November General Election.
According to a new poll for KSL-TV and the Deseret Morning News--by Dan Jones and Associates--62% of the 600 plus Utahns polled expressed a high interest in the election. 36 percent have medium interest--and only 1 percent have low interest. And the big draw here is not the national race.
Dan Jones, Pollster: “The governor's race draws more individuals out to vote usually more than any other race. This is the year. I look for a record turnout."
The new poll shows much more impressive support for Walker--than state lawmakers. 81 percent of those polled strongly or somewhat approve of the governor's job performance. Only 7 percent disapprove.
56% strongly or somewhat approve of the job performance of state lawmakers while 32 percent disapprove.
And there is strong feeling on the extremes of that same poll. 42 percent strongly approve of Walker's performance while 19 strongly disapprove of lawmakers' performance.
Another female executive--Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman--faces more choppy waters.
None of her challengers, including perennial candidate Merrill Cook, registers higher than 12%, but the incumbent only gets the support of 35% of those polled with a large percentage undecided.
The poll also shows the power of incumbency. Senator Robert Bennett, Congressmen Bishop, Matheson and Cannon, and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff all comfortably lead their respective challengers.
The presidential race looks very tight nationally and in a number of key swing states. Not surprisingly, that's not the case in Utah. According to the Dan Jones poll Republican George W. Bush is well ahead of Democrat John Kerry by 66% to 24% with Independent Ralph Nadar drawing 3%.