Saturday, March 22, 2008

Is Utah in play?

(Photo Credit © 2008 Deseret Morning News)

The article's headline is "Utahns getting over Mitt" and talks about how John McCain is getting twice as much support as he did last month. But the poll notes that Obama's and Clinton's support remain unchanged. So all that means is that McCain is solidifying GOP support in the reddest state in the union...and he still only has 54% of the vote.

Of course, this is a dumb poll. Why? Because only one of the two remaining Democrats will be on the ballot in November, so asking people who they will support for president and listing everyone currently running is a waste of time unless you do head-to-head match ups. Another problem with this poll is that they include Nader, who got .38 percent of the vote nationally--compared to .32 percent for the Libertarian candidate, who was not polled here--and .012 here in Utah. And Utah should be prime Nader vote country, where liberals, angry that their vote doesn't count for president due to the Electoral College system, pull the lever for him in protest. So including Nader just takes a percent away from Democrats and or Undecided or Refused.

But look who is McCain's Western States Coordinator--Tim Bridgewater--the guy who twice failed to win a Republican primary in Utah for the right to lose to Jim Matheson. "People have not immediately embraced John McCain. It's taken some time," Bridgewater told the Deseret Morning News. "Utahns are rallying around him in support of his leadership on the war, the economy and the fact that people trust him." I would like to see a poll on Utahns' level of support for the war, which although assuredly higher than the rest of the country, is probably not exactly soaring.

If John McCain can't get more than 54% in Utah when the Democratic/liberal vote is split between Clinton, Obama and Nader, how is Utah not competitive in November? And how crazy is that?

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