Three-fourths of Utah’s Democratic voters plan to vote for Jenny Willson in next month’s U.S. Senate election, according to a new Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll.
But that’s where the good news for Wilson ends, as the poll shows her opponent Mitt Romney winning among men, women, all age groups, Republicans and unaffiliated voters, for an overall lead of 59 percent to Wilson’s 23 percent.
“It’s great to see voters are responding to Mitt’s hard work connecting with Utahns in all 29 counties,” Romney spokeswoman MJ Henshaw said. "To date, Mitt has held 385 campaign events and he will continue to fight for every vote until Election Day.”
With less than one month to go before balloting, Romney left the state last week to campaign in Arizona for Republican Senate candidate Martha McSally. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and two-time presidential candidate, has long been perceived as the heavy favorite in Utah’s Senate race and appears poised for victory in the final weeks of the campaign, according to the poll results.
In a prepared statement, Wilson said she planned to continue knocking on doors, participating in events and visiting communities around the state.
“The important thing to me is that Utahns have a choice,” Wilson said, “and know that a vote for me is a call for a fresh voice in Washington.”
The poll was conducted Oct. 3-9 by the Hinckley Institute of Politics. It included responses from 607 registered Utah voters, and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.
Hinckley Institute director Jason Perry said the poll results are indicative of Romney’s popularity in the state.
“This is an incredibly tough race for Jenny Wilson,” Perry said. “No doubt about it.”
Perry said the risk to Romney is that his election could be perceived as a foregone conclusion, leading to a loss of interest in voting among Romney's supporters.
“That’s always a concern for a candidate who is far ahead,” Perry said. “The reality is these percentages only hold if these same people show up.”