Following Sen. Jake Garn's announcement that he won't seek another term to the U.S. Senate next year, Democrat Scott Matheson Jr. and GOP Rep. Jim Hansen are the early leaders among those thinking about running for the open seat, a just-completed Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
And, found pollster Dan Jones & Associates, if Hansen is taken out of the Republican side of the equation - he says he's inclined to run either for governor or his old U.S. House seat next year, not the Senate - the GOP nomination has no early front-runner at all.Garn said two weeks ago that he'll retire at the end of 1992 after 18 years in office. His announcement brought a flurry of activity among potential candidates, especially Republicans.
Except for Matheson, son of the late Democratic Gov. Scott M. Matheson, and Hansen, most of those considering the Senate race are not well-known by Utahns, Jones found.
By first asking those responding to the telephone poll whether they knew of the person, and then tallying the responses of those who had an opinion of the potential candidate, Jones could see which candidates Utahns most want to run for Garn's seat.
Such early polls, of course, reflect name identification as much as anything. So it's natural that Matheson, who shares his popular father's name, and Hansen would do well. Jones asked each respondent to rank the potential candidate from one to five, with one being very much not in favor of the person running and five being very much in favor. A three ranking means the respondent recognizes the name, but doesn't care if the candidate runs or not. The higher the mean score, the greater the respondents want the person to run. "Don't knows" aren't counted in the mean score.
Matheson has the highest mean score, 3.44. Hansen is close with 3.19.
Forty percent of those who recognized Hansen said he should run, while 25 percent said he shouldn't run. Thirty-eight percent said Matheson should run; 14 percent don't want him in the race.
The rest of the pack falls well back. Seventeen percent say Geneva Steel president Joe Cannon and former Utah House Speaker Nolan Karras, both Republicans, should run. But 25 percent think Cannon shouldn't run and 9 percent prefer Karras not run.
The higher favorable ratings then go to GOP House Speaker Craig Moody and 3rd District Judge Scott Daniels, a Democrat.
Deseret News/KSL-TV POLL
Senator Jake Garn (R-Utah) announced last week that he wouldn't seek a fourth, six-year term in 1992. On a scale of 1.00 - 5.00, with one being not in favor and five being very much in favor, please tell me how you feel about each candidate running for senator.
Not in Very much Don't Mean
Favor in Favor know
DEMOCRATS 1 2 3 4 5
Law professor Scott Matheson Jr. 7% 7% 21% 21% 17% 27% 3.44
3rd District Judge Scott Daniels 7% 10% 14% 6% 4% 57% 2.81
Attorney Pat Shea 9% 8% 14% 8% 1% 62% 2.52
Douglas Anderson 8% 10% 12% 3% 1% 67% 2.47
Former S.L. Co. candidate
Kyle Kopitke 11% 11% 12% 3% 1% 62% 2.28
U.S. congressman Jim Hansen 16% 9% 20% 22% 18% 15% 3.19
Former Utah House Speaker
Nolan Karras 10% 9% 17% 12% 5% 47% 2.87
Geneval Steel Pres. Joe Cannon 14% 11% 18% 12% 5% 40% 2.72
House Speaker Craig Moody 10% 12% 19% 11% 2% 45% 2.69
Attorney Randall Mackey 9% 8% 14% 3% 2% 64% 2.44
Public Service Comm. Ted Stewart 10% 11% 15% 4% 1% 59% 2.40