Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – A new Salt Lake Tribune/ Hinckley Institute of Politics poll is giving us a glance into the next race for Utah governor.
Even though he just exited the political arena, former Representative Jason Chaffetz leads the pack, but it’s early, and a lot can change in the next three years.
“At this point, it is really just about name ID and recognition. When you go out a couple of years before a race what you are really saying is, who do you know and do you like them? And right now, people know Jason Chaffetz and they like him,” said Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics.
Chaffetz built that name ID representing Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. He left that seat midterm, just a few months ago.
The poll puts him as the front-runner among early contenders with 24%.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is the leading democrat with 20%.
Other republicans include: Lt. Governor Spencer Cox with 11%, Josh Romney with 9% and Speaker of the House Greg Hughes with 3%.
Undecided voters make up 26% of the poll.
“What it means to everyone else on the list is, if you are going to run for governor, you are going to have to build your name ID, and you are going to have to do that in a substantial way and you are going to have to do that while you are raising money,” said Perry.
Chaffetz hasn’t said if he’s interested but Perry says this poll may get him thinking.
“He has a lot of options, and he’s going to start looking at those and seeing what’s best for his career. He hasn’t said at all he’s interested in it, but he’s got to be looking at that poll right now and saying, well, maybe that’s an option that’s even more possible than I may have thought.”
ABC4 Utah asked Chaffetz his thoughts on the poll. He says he appreciates it and says it’s interesting.
Perry says Lt. Governor Cox is a candidate you can’t count out. He expects him to climb higher as we get closer.