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Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Utahns open to voting for new United Utah Party candidates

FILE - BYU political science professor Richard Davis joins with a other citizens as they announce the formation of the United Utah Party "” a new political party in Utah that aims to appeal to moderate Republicans, Democrats and independents who are dissa
FILE - BYU political science professor Richard Davis joins with a other citizens as they announce the formation of the United Utah Party "” a new political party in Utah that aims to appeal to moderate Republicans, Democrats and independents who are dissatisfied with the current two-party system "” during a press conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, May 22, 2017.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly two-thirds of Utahns say they are "not very loyal" to the Republican or Democratic parties and would consider voting for a candidate from the recently created United Utah Party, a new poll found.

"That's amazing. That means we have a potential pool of a majority of voters," Richard Davis, United Utah Party chairman, said Wednesday on KSL Newsradio's "The Doug Wright Show."

According to the UtahPolicy.com poll released Wednesday, 63 percent of Utahns said they were willing to consider voting for a qualified candidate from the United Utah Party, described as centrist.

That's compared with 22 percent who said they were loyal to the Republican Party and would prefer to vote for its candidates, and 9 percent who said the same about the Democratic Party.

The poll was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates from May 31-June 5 of 607 registered Utah voters for the online political news source and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percent.

It comes as the party is challenging the state in federal court to get a candidate on the November ballot in the race to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who steps down from Congress on Friday for a new job with Fox News and other pursuits.

Jim Bennett, the party's executive director, attempted to file as a provisional candidate but was rejected because the party has not been certified by state officials. He chose not to enter the race as an unaffiliated candidate.

The case is set to be heard July 14. Davis said while the party doesn't expect to know until sometime after the hearing whether Bennett can run, there will be United Utah candidates on the 2018 ballot.

The new party got closer to official recognition by the state Monday with the verification of the required 2,000 vote signatures.

The formation of the United Utah Party was announced last month as an alternative for Republicans and Democrats in the state who see their political parties as having become too extreme.