Salt Lake City — In light of internal polling conducted by the Alliance for a Better UTAH that shows wildly differing results from the Mason-Dixon poll recently released by the Salt Lake Tribune, Better UTAH is reminding citizens that elections are decided by votes cast, not polls published.
“No matter what you may think, and no matter what any given poll says, every vote matters,” said Maryann Martindale, executive director of the Alliance for a Better UTAH. “This election season has seen nearly as many political polls as political ads, with just as much variety.”
Polls present a particular snapshot in time and are heavily impacted by the rigor of their methodology. Better UTAH has been running a series of tracking polls, following trends in various races and issues, including Utah’s U.S. Senate race, gubernatorial race, 4th Congressional District race, Salt Lake County Mayor race, county council races, and county park bond ballot measure. Better UTAH’s internal polling is similar to polls recently released by Dan Jones over the weekend.
“We sponsored these tracking polls to develop a baseline of polling data with sample sizes and methodologies that we fully understood and controlled,” said Josh Kanter, founder of the Alliance for a Better UTAH.
Better UTAH’s latest poll included 436 likely voters throughout Salt Lake County. The polling had a sampling error of +/- 4.7%. Of those polled, 57% planned to vote on election day, while 38.5% had already voted early.
Though the precise reasons for the differences between the various polls may be difficult to understand, historic errors in polling, like the famous Dewey-Truman mispronouncement, emphasize the importance of voting.
“If polls and gambling lines were perfect indicators of performance, Election Day and the Super Bowl would be unnecessary,” said Martindale.
In some instances, Better Utah’s polls show drastically different results from the Mason-Dixon polls released last Friday by the Salt Lake Tribune. For example, while results on the park bond issue were similar, Better UTAH’s results for the County Mayor race and 4th Congressional District race were substantially different, finding Ben McAdams leading Mark Crockett by three percentage points and Jim Matheson trailing Mia Love by four percentage points.
“We are releasing our polling data and methodology because we are concerned that polling data, if misconstrued, will contribute to Utah’s already abysmally-low voter turnout,” said Martindale. “Utahns shouldn’t let a poll dictate whether or not they participate in the voting process.”
Additional polling data below:
Likely voters in Salt Lake County
Likely to vote in General Election
Yes, on ED —————- 57%
Yes, early —————- 38.5%
No —————- 2.1%
For or Against $47 million park bond
For —————- 50.6%
Against —————- 38.3%
Undecided —————- 9.9%
McAdams vs. Crockett
Crockett —————- 42.1%
Lean Crockett —————- 3.3%
McAdams —————- 46.4%
Lean McAdams————— 2.2%
Unsure —————- 5.5%
Likely Voters in CD4
Matheson vs. Love
Matheson ————— 44.8%
Lean Matheson————– 0.3%
Love ————— 49%
Lean Love ————— 0.7%
Unsure ————— 1.2%
Alliance for a Better Utah | 801.557.1532 | www.betterutah.org
The Alliance for a Better UTAH is a year-round, multi-issue education and advocacy organization providing resources, commentary, and action on important public policy matters.