A new Utah Presidential primary candidate poll released on Monday, Sept. 21, by UtahPolicy.com shows retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson leading the race for the GOP nomination. Among the 604 Utahns surveyed without consideration of political affiliation, when asked who they would choose if the Republican Party nomination were held today, Carson polled at 18 percent, with businessman Donald Trump at 12 percent, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 11 percent. Among self-identifying Republicans, Carson leads with 23 percent support, compared to Trump’s 15 percent and Bush’s 12 percent support. The survey had a +/-4% margin of error.
The survey was conducted by Dan Jones and Associates between Sept. 8-17, 2015, and shows the most significant increase in support for Ben Carson since the Dan Jones July survey, when Carson held just 5 percent support overall (Read the Independent’s article on that poll). Trump pulled just 9 percent at that time, with Bush leading that poll at 18 percent. Bush’s 7 percent drop was the largest of any GOP candidate overall and mirrors national poll trends that show Bush’s support waning.
Nearly all of that survey data was taken before the Sept. 16 CNN debate that was thought by most to have been dominated by Carly Fiorina. Fiorina garnered just 5 percent overall support in this latest poll, which was up from 2 percent in the July poll.
When asked the same question about the Democratic Party nomination, Utahns overall favored Bernie Sanders 22 percent, with Joe Biden at 16 percent and Hillary Clinton at 11 percent; however, the self-identifying Democrats in the survey had Sanders and Clinton at a statistical tie, with Sanders just nudging out Clinton at 31 percent to 30 percent. In July Clinton led Sanders among Utah Democrats by 20 points, 50 percent to 30 percent. The September poll reflects a major drop in support for Clinton among Democrats in Utah. That has translated into a gain for Vice President Joe Biden, who has still not officially announced if he will run.
Referring to the decision to run, Biden was quoted in a CNN report as saying, “It’s just not there yet and it may not get there in time to make it feasible to be able to run and succeed, because there are certain windows that will close.” Despite that, Biden has seen his support grow to 20 percent among Democrats, up from 12 percent in July.
The percentage of those who responded “Don’t know” increased for both the Democrat and Republican sides from the July poll to the September poll, a trend that opposes the general thinking that with time more people settle on a candidate. For the Democratic Party nomination, 28 percent stated they were unsure in July, compared to 34 percent more recently. The number answering “Don’t Know” for the GOP candidate rose from 14 percent to 19 percent.
Utah presidential polls
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