Utahns overwhelmingly support “a statewide law to protect Utahns against employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” with 72% in favor
Newly released polling data shows that Utahns approval strongly of Gary Herbert’s performance as governor (74% approve, 26% disapprove) and tepidly of the Utah Legislature’s performance (56% approve, 44% disapprove).
Little support for US Senators
Both of Utah’s US Senators are underwater in their favorability ratings. Orrin Hatch, who once declared his intention not to seek reelection in 2018, draws 44% favorable against 53% unfavorable (3% undecided). Though he later hinted that he might reconsider his pledge to retire, these numbers suggest that Utahns aren’t clamoring for him to remain indefinitely.
Meanwhile, Mike Lee draws 45% favorable against 48% unfavorable (7% undecided). This represents a slight decline since October (50% favorable), though Mike Lee remains stronger than he was in the wake of the 2013 shutdown (40% favorable). These movements exceed this poll’s 2.5% margin of error.
Of course, Utah’s statewide officials generally worry more about Republican renomination than about general elections. Mike Lee’s favorability is higher among self-identified Republicans (68% favorable, 27% unfavorable), and much higher among “strong Republicans” (80% favorable, 17% unfavorable). If Republican nomination rules favor the most devoted Republican voters in 2016, then Mike Lee may have a clear path to renomination, despite his generally unfavorable showing among Utah voters generally.
Lesser known officials remain lesser known
Utah voters remain mostly unfamiliar with Sean Reyes, the new attorney general (24% no opinion, 54% favorable).
Voters are even less familiar with Greg Hughes, the new Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives (55% no opinion). Though Greg Hughes attracted plenty of critical press coverage during an ethics battle six years ago, the majority of respondents today express no opinion about him. In addition to the 55% expressing no opinion, 25% were favorable and 20% unfavorable.
Voters support non-discrimination law
Utahns overwhelmingly support “a statewide law to protect Utahns against employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” with 72% in favor (of which 51% “strongly favor”) and only 14% opposed.
Though Latter-day Saints actively worked against same-sex marriage in 2004 and 2008, LDS officials announced support for this sort of statewide law about a week before the poll hit the field. Perhaps partly as a result, 68% of self-identified Latter-day Saint respondents expressed support for a statewide non-discrimination law, with 39% “strongly favor[ing]” it. Only 15% of LDS respondents oppose a non-discrimination law, with 17% neutral.
Support was higher still among other respondents. Among the non-religious, 89% favor (and 81% strongly favor) a non-discrimination law. Among religious adherents who are not LDS, 75% favor (and 67% strongly favor) such a law.
Voters ambivalent about daylight saving time
With the Legislature considering taking Utah off daylight saving time, the poll also asked respondents about three possible options: Keeping things as they are, setting clocks permanently forward an hour, or keeping clocks permanently set back an hour. Respondents were asked to indicate their support for each separate possibility.
As it happens, all three options attracted similar levels of support and opposition. Roughly as many respondents favor keeping things as they are (37%) as favor keeping clocks permanently set back an hour (37%). Slightly more respondents favor setting clocks permanently forward (41%).
Oddly, each possibility attracts more opposition than support. No matter what we do with our clocks, or even if we do nothing, more people will be dissatisfied than satisfied.
Views about daylight saving time don’t have strong relationships with partisanship, age, or gender.
The poll, fielded by BYU’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, was administered online to a representative sample of Utahns who voted in at least one even-year general election from 2004-2014. The poll was in the field from February 2-9, the second week of Utah’s annual legislative session. Exact question wordings, along with details about sampling, response rates, and weighting, are available at the Utah Voter Poll website.