Sinking Utah Poll Numbers Show Political Toll of Government Shutdown
The state’s congressional delegation is all Republican, save for Democrat Jim Matheson, who represents a Salt Lake City-area district and enjoys perennial membership in the national GOP’s Top Congressional Targets Club.
All of which make noteworthy a new poll out from Brigham Young University.
The survey found that freshman Republican Sen. Mike Lee, one of the seminal tea partyers and an architect of the current government shutdown, has plunged in popularity, with more than half of Utah voters now disapproving of his performance. In June, Lee’s favorability rating was 50%, compared with 40% in the latest poll.
As it happens, his chief ally in rolling down the gates on the federal government, Sen. Ted Cruz, has also fallen in the public’s esteem. A Gallup Poll out Thursday showed that people have grown more familiar with Cruz as a result of his shutdown crusade and also like him less: Of the more than 6 in 10 surveyed who had an opinion — up from 42% in June — just 26% viewed the Texas senator favorably. (The two played tag team last month during a 21-hour anti-Obama talkathon on the Senate floor).