clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Poll: Love-McAdams race in Utah's 4th District may be too close to call

Left: Rep. Mia Love (R-UT). Right: Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams (D)
Left: Rep. Mia Love (R-UT). Right: Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams (D)
Composite photo

SALT LAKE CITY — The 4th Congressional District race between Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, and the Democratic nominee, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, is too close to call, a new poll shows.

Love is ahead of McAdams by four points, 47 percent to 43 percent, in the poll released Wednesday. But her lead falls within the margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.

"We're early. Voters haven't had a chance to look at Ben McAdams' record," Love's pollster, Scott Riding, said, calling the county mayor "the most liberal candidate who's ever run in this district."

Riding, the managing partner of Y2 Analytics, said Love's internal polling has shown "no movement" because voters traditionally don't start paying attention to a November race until the end of summer.

But McAdams' campaign manager, Andrew Roberts, said the poll reflects voter frustration with Washington, D.C.

"They're fed up with dysfunction in Washington, fed up with Congress not getting anything done," Roberts said. He said voters are responding to McAdams' efforts to work with Republican leaders in Utah on issues like homelessness.

The poll was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates May 15 through June 5, of 405 likely voters in the 4th Congressional District, which includes portions of Salt Lake and Utah counties.

It comes as voters are largely focused on the June 26 party primary elections, including in the U.S. Senate race between former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and state Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine.

Love, who was first elected in 2014 after losing a bid two years earlier to unseat then-Rep. Jim Matheson, the last Democrat to serve in Utah's congressional delegation, faced no opposition this year from within the Republican Party.

McAdams, however, was challenged by four Democrats but easily won his party's nomination at the state convention in April with the support of 72 percent of Democratic delegates.

The state's fourth seat in the U.S. House, created after the 2010 census, is considered the most competitive in the state. The race has been targeted this year by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In March, McAdams' campaign released an internal poll that gave Love just a 3-point lead. A month earlier, a poll showed her 6 points ahead of McAdams.

Riding said Love's campaign will be reminding voters of McAdams' record as a state senator on abortion issues as well as his work for both former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"It's a very Republican district," Riding said. "We've got a strategy in place. We look forward to earning every vote as the summer plays out. There's a lot of time left, a lot of people to talk to."

Roberts said voters in Utah "are tired of political theatrics" and care more about issues like rising health care costs than who a candidate supported in the last presidential election.

"You have a sitting member of Congress that is polling well below where she should be in this district, and I think that should be cause for concern," Roberts said. "I think this is a great spot for us to be in at this point in the race."

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly reported the poll of the 4th Congressional District race was conducted from May 15 through June 15. It was conducted May 15 through June 5.