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Democrat Jan Graham holds a 16 percentage point lead over her Republican rival, Scott Burns, in the attorney general race, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.

Pollster Dan Jones & Associates found that Graham has 44 percent support, Burns has 28 percent support and 28 percent were undecided in the race to replace Attorney General Paul Van Dam, who decided not to seek a second term.Graham, who if elected would be the first woman to hold statewide office, had a tough primary battle against former 3rd District Judge Scott Daniels. News stories in which Van Dam questioned Daniels' conduct during his tenure as judge likely increased Graham's name recognition among voters in a race that normally doesn't draw much attention until just before the final election. Graham is solicitor general in Van Dam's office. Van Dam did not pursue his concerns regarding Daniels.

Burns, the Iron County attorney, defeated former chief deputy attorney general Michael Deamer for the Republican nomination. But that primary race didn't have the fireworks of the Graham-Daniels contest.

Jones found that 15 percent of Utahns have not heard of Graham, while 31 percent recognized her name but had no opinion of her. Twenty-eight percent had not heard of Burns, while 39 percent recognized the name but had no opinion of him.

Jones found that Graham does well against Burns in a number of areas, including rural Utah where one would think that Burns - who comes from southern Utah - would run strong. Jones found that off the Wasatch Front, Graham leads Burns 38 percent to 26 percent.

Considering that neither Graham nor Burns is well-known, one may speculate that Graham's lead is partly due to a gender vote - more women supporting Graham knowing only that she's a woman.

But that isn't the case, Jones found. Graham leads Burns 44-28 percent among women. But she also leads him 43-29 percent among men.

Graham's lead comes from the Republicans and independents she draws to her ranks. Jones found that among those who say they're Republicans, Graham gets 25 percent support. Burns gets 47 percent support among his own party members but only 6 percent of the Democrats.

Deseret News/KSL-TV Poll

If the election for attorney general were held today, for whom would you vote?

Jan Graham 44%

Scott Burns 28%

Don't know 28%

Sample size: 610 Error +/- 4%

Conducted Sept. 29-30, 1992

Copyright 1992 Deseret News

Conducted by Dan Jones & Associated