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Republican Rep. Jim Hansen continues his strong lead over Democrat Kenley Brunsdale in the 1st Congressional District, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.

Hansen's lead over Brunsdale, 52 percent to 22 percent, "is the best I've ever shown at this point in a campaign," Hansen said.Pollster Dan Jones & Associates found 52 percent would vote for Hansen if the Nov. 6 election were held today, 22 percent would vote for Brunsdale, 3 percent for someone else and 24 percent didn't know.

The latest poll reflects - when the 7 percent margin of error is considered - no real change over a similar poll taken by Jones in April. In the earlier poll, 54 percent said they'd vote for Hansen, 21 percent said Brunsdale.

"Kenley isn't even carrying all the Democrats," said Hansen. "I expect he'll start to gain soon. Usually between 30-33 percent end up voting Democratic in my district."

Hansen said Brunsdale's "poor showing" in the poll will "dry up the contributions" for both him and Brunsdale.

"People will look at Kenley only getting 22 percent, say he hasn't even cracked 30 percent, and not want to give to him. In the same way, I'll go to people and say I need funds for my race, they'll look at the polls and say, `Jim, you don't have a problem,' and maybe give me $50.

"Back in the days when a Jones poll showed me 2 percentage points ahead of Gunn McKay, I could get $50,000 in a day because my supporters were concerned," said Hansen. He defeated Mckay in 1980, 1986 and 1988. Those races were close in early polls, although Hansen beat McKay handily in 1988.

Brunsdale said he's not concerned about the poll. "Phase 1 of my campaign was to identify issues that the incumbent has ignored, and ignored his constituents along the way. We've done that. Now in Phase 2 we're taking the issues to the public, I have radio ads running and billboards going up. Things are moving along just fine and I won't be harmed in fund raising. We'll have the credibility and money needed to continue the campaign just fine."

This may be Hansen's last 1st District race. He's said before that 12 years is a good length of stay in the U.S. House and is co-chairman of a group that advocates 12-year limits to congressional tenure.



If the election in the 1st Congressional

If the election in the 1st Congressional District were held today and the candidates were Jim Hansen, Republican, and Kenley Brunsdale, Democrat, for whom would you vote?

Definitely Hansen 24%

Probably Hansen 28%

Probably Brunsdale 9%

Definitely Brunsdale 13%

Other 3%

Don't know 24%

Sample size: 204; margin of error plus or minus 7%