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Poll: Hatch, Herbert on Verge of Avoiding Primary in Utah Poll: Hatch, Herbert on Verge of Avoiding Primary in Utah

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Poll: Hatch, Herbert on Verge of Avoiding Primary in Utah

The study explored the upcoming gubernatorial, Senate and Congressional elections in the Beehive State: -- Herbert, like Hatch, is on the verge of successfully avoiding a primary in his bid for his first full term. He has the support of 61 percent of delegates to the GOP convention, leading former state Rep. Morgan Philpot, who is at 12 percent among delegates, and tea party leader David Kirkham, with 9 percent. Among all Republican voters, Herbert is at 65 percent, well ahead of Philpot, with 6 percent, and Kirkham, at 3 percent. Among all voters in the state, Herbert leads retired Army general Peter Cooke, the lone Democratic candidate, 49 percent to 16 percent. -- Sixty-one percent of GOP convention delegates say Hatch is their first choice, compared to 21 percent who chose Liljenquist. That is nearly identical to two delegate-surveys released over the past month by the Hatch campaign showing the incumbent hovering just above that 60-percent threshold. The study notes, however, that, with the margin of error, there could very well be a GOP primary for Hatch's seat. But among all GOP voters, Hatch leads Liljenquist by nearly 50 percentage points, making him the early, heavy favorite in a primary. -- On the Democratic side, the race is likely to go to a primary: Pete Ashdown, who lost to Hatch in 2006, has a slight lead among convention delegates over former state Senate Minority Leader Scott Howell, who lost to Hatch in 2000, 39 percent to 31 percent. The two candidates are neck-and-neck among all Democratic voters, making that primary a toss-up. -- Republican Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz each have the support of more than 80 percent of GOP convention delegates in the First and Third Congressional Districts, respectively. They are likely to avoid primary elections; surveys of Democratic delegates in each district suggested primaries in both districts, but those surveys are considered geographically incomplete. -- In the open, GOP-dominated Second District, both parties are likely to proceed to primary elections. Republican delegates prefer former Air Force pilot Chris Stewart and former state House Speaker David Clark. The slight leader in a Salt Lake Tribune poll released Tuesday, 2010 Senate candidate Cherilyn Eagar, is in fourth place among GOP convention delegates and faces an uphill road to the top-two primary. -- In the new Fourth Congressional District, moderate Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who moved from the Second District after redistricting, leads among both Democratic and Republican voters. But among GOP convention delegates, Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love leads state Rep. Carl Wimmer, 38 percent to 25 percent, with state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom at 18 percent. A primary is likely on the GOP side, with Love slightly favored to face either Wimmer or Sandstrom. Among all voters in the new district, Matheson leads the pack, with 47 percent saying the moderate Democrat is their first choice. The survey of 807 Utah voters was conducted March 30-April 9 and carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5 percent. That includes 444 Republican voters and 151 Democratic voters. Margins of error are significantly higher for results within each of the state's four congressional districts. The survey of GOP convention delegates was conducted April 4-11. The sample of 435 delegates was drawn randomly from a list of 3,920 delegates provided by the state Republican Party. Some delegates completed the survey online after being contacted by email or postcard. The survey of 421 Democratic delegates was conducted April 6-12, randomly drawn from a list of 2,051 of 2,500 delegates provided by the state party. In some cases, the delegate sample sizes for each congressional district were under 100; those results are considered to carry wide margins of error.

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