RMG Research, polling for the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah (9/7-12; 800 UT-4 likely voters), just returned their data and shows freshman Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Salt Lake City) holding a slight 45-41% lead over businessman and former NFL football player Burgess Owens (R). At the end of July, RMG found the race tied between the two men with each attracting 35% support while the survey brandished a large undecided factor. Even earlier in July, Moore Information found Mr. Owens carrying an eye-opening nine-percentage point advantage.
Combined, the polls tell us that the 4th District race, in a seat that stretches from south Salt Lake County and all the way through part of Sanpete County, will once again produce a close final result. In 2018, Mr. McAdams unseated then-Rep. Mia Love (R) by just 694 votes of almost 270,000 ballots cast.
Rumors had been swirling around Utah politics that former Gov. Jon Huntsman, who lost this year’s Republican primary to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox on a 36-35% split, would mount a write-in campaign in the general election. Yesterday, Mr. Huntsman disavowed that he would do so, making it clear that Mr. Cox will succeed retiring Gov. Gary Herbert (R) in the Fall.
Former NFL pro-football player Burgess Owens is one of the stronger Republican challenger candidates and has a discernible opportunity to defeat an incumbent Democrat. The Congressional Leadership Fund just released a survey (Moore Information Group; 7/8-9; 400 UT-4 likely general election voters) that finds Mr. Owens leading Rep. Ben McAdams (R-Salt Lake City) well beyond the margin of polling error at 43-34%.
In another primary election that took a week to decide, former US Foreign Service officer Blake Moore has won the Republican primary to succeed the retiring Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Brigham City) in the state’s northernmost congressional district. Mr. Moore looks to have scored an unofficial 31-29% win over Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson, a vote spread of 2,872 votes of approximately 126,000 votes cast.
The Democrats may have a nominee as Shoshone Tribe chairman Darren Parry appears to have logged a 454 vote win against party activist Jamie Cheek. The Democratic turnout was under 23,000 voters. Mr. Moore now becomes a virtual sure winner in November.
The close Republican nomination contest between Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and former Governor and ex-US Ambassador Jon Huntsman has ended with the former man scoring a close 7,330 vote victory, a 36.4 – 34.9 percentage margin of well over 520,000 votes cast.
Mr. Cox carried several key endorsements, including that of retiring three-term Gov. Gary Herbert (R). He now faces Democratic nominee Chris Peterson in the general election, with the Lt. Governor being an overwhelming favorite to win the November vote. The 520,000+ votes is a turnout increase of 127% over the 2016 Republican primary voter participation figure.
The June 30th Utah primary elections are not quite complete either, but it appears two Republicans are headed for close wins.
In the open Governor’s race with 480,869 votes counted, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox looks to have enough of a margin to defeat former Governor and US Ambassador Jon Huntsman, marring his political comeback attempt. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Mr. Cox’s victory margin fall below 10,000 votes, however, which is a testament to Mr. Huntsman’s strength in Salt Lake County.
In the open 1st Congressional District, former US Foreign Service officer Blake Moore looks to be closing in on the Republican nomination. With 123,395 votes now counted and reported, Mr. Moore has expanded his lead to 2,669 votes (30.9 – 28.8%) over Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson. The Republican nominee is a cinch to win the general election.
The Democratic side of this race is also still uncalled. Shoshone Indian Tribe chairman Darren Perry has a 466 vote lead over Utah state employee Jamie Cheek. By contrast, only 22,192 votes are recorded in the Democratic primary.
The open Republican primary, which will decide who replaces retiring Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Brigham City) will take several days to determine. With just over two-thirds of the precincts reporting, businessman Blake Moore maintains a tight 576 vote margin over Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson. Former Agriculture Commissioner Kerry Gibson and local Mayor Katie Witt are too far behind to overcome their vote deficits.
Businessman and former NFL player Burgess Owens scored a convincing victory last night in the 4th District Republican primary, defeating state Rep. Kim Coleman (R-West Jordan) and two others with 43% of the vote. Though over half the precincts are still not reporting, Mr. Owens has already been projected as the winner.
The 4th District race featuring Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Salt Lake City) and now Mr. Owens will be one of the most important congressional races in the country and is a GOP must-win if the party is to make any concerted effort to re-capture the majority.
In another race that will take days to determine, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox leads the Republican primary field with 69% of precincts reporting, but the race is not done. Mr. Cox has slightly more than an 11,000-vote advantage over former Gov. Jon Huntsman, but only half of dominate Salt Lake County is reporting and the latter man is running twelve points ahead in that area. The remaining candidates, former state House Speaker Greg Hughes and ex-Utah Republican Party chairman Thomas Wright are too far back to have a realistic chance of winning.
The eventual Republican nominee will become the prohibitive favorite to succeed retiring GOP Governor Gary Herbert. Mr. Cox ran about 25,000 votes ahead of Mr. Huntsman throughout the rural part of the state but trailed by 14,000 votes in Salt Lake County. Because so much of the vote-rich area is still uncounted, this race will tighten substantially. The rest of the counties all show between 66 and 90% of precincts reporting.
Dan Jones & Associates, which found former Gov. Jon Huntsman leading Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in their previous Republican primary poll, now rates the contest as “too close to call.” Their latest survey (6/17-24; 1,247 UT likely Republican primary voters) sees Mr. Cox holding the slightest 30-29% lead over Mr. Huntsman.
In good news for Cox, those 492 respondents who said they have already voted broke 35-30% for the Lt. Governor. Among the 755 sample members who have not cast their ballot, Mr. Huntsman was up 29-27%. Also competing in the race is former state House Speaker Greg Hughes, who has been gaining in polling support, and former Utah Republican Party chairman Thomas Wright.
Though the primary is tomorrow, Utah has switched to an all-mail format meaning that it may be several days until we see a declared winner. The eventual GOP nominee is rated as a heavy favorite to succeed retiring Gov. Gary Herbert (R) in November.
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