U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) will face challengers for his seat in Congress at a 2 p.m. debate today with survey results showing the incumbent to be far in the lead among likely primary voters.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) sails into today’s event hosted by the Utah Debate Commission, bolstered by internal polling data that shows him way ahead among likely GOP primary voters.
In a telephone survey of Utah’s 1st Congressional District voters conducted early in May, pollsters found Moore holding a more than 49 percent lead over the rest of the field.
Results of that survey indicated that fully 59 percent of likely primary voters favored the incumbent, while former civilian intelligence officer Andrew Badger and Morgan County commissioner Tina Cannon managed to pull only 10 percent and 8 percent of the vote respectively.
More recent polling was conducted by Moore’s staff via social media messaging to voters in at least one of the last two GOP primaries on May 26.
Of 348 survey respondents, that polling revealed that Moore was holding steady with 59 percent of the vote compared to 8 percent for Badger and 6 percent for Cannon.
Somewhat troubling, however, was the fact that voters in the undecided category had risen from 21 percent in the early May polling to 27 percent on May 26.
Nevertheless, those survey results are good news for the embattled incumbent, who made a poor showing at the GOP nominating convention on April 23.
After three rounds of balloting, Badger narrowly missed capturing the GOP nomination with 59.3 percent of the ballots cast as opposed to Moore’s 40.7 percent.
That balloting seemed to suggest that GOP delegates took a dim view of Moore’s reputation for bipartisan cooperation, while favoring Badger’s fiery rhetoric against establishment Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
But GOP delegates to the state nominating convention are often more conservative than the electorate at large.
Cannon had already qualified for the primary ballot by collecting voter signatures.
Moore is scheduled to face off against Badger and Cannon in a debate being hosted today by the Utah Debate Commission. The event is slated for 2 p.m. and will be carried live by KVNU.
Moore’s staff released a memo from the Tarrance Group late on Wednesday. The pollsters based in Alexandria, VA conducted the telephone survey of likely primary voters from May 3 to 5.
“Congressman Moore completely dominates this ballot test across the entire geography of the (1st Congressional) district and throughout the demography of the primary electorate,” the memo states, “garnering over 60 percent of the vote in both Davis and Weber counties.”
The memo also states that Moore was drawing more than 60 percent of the vote from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint voters; from voters who self-identify as “very conservative;” from voters aged 65 and older; and, from primary voters who are frequent viewers of Fox News.
Moore also captured 58 percent of likely primary voters who have a strongly favorable opinion of former President Donald Trump.
Republican primary voters have strongly positive views of Moore, with 66 percent indicating that they have a favorable view of him and 60 percent indicating that they approved of the job he is doing in Congress.
By contrast, the memo states that Badger has only 32 percent name recognition among likely primary voters in the 1st Congressional District and only 17 percent of voters have any sort of impression of him.
Similarly, Cannon has only 35 percent name recognition among likely primary voters and only 21 percent have any sort of impression of her, according to the Tarrance Group memo.
The memo also concludes that neither of the candidates challenging Moore has more than a 15 percent favorable rating.
The memo acknowledges, however, that the margin of error for this type of sample is plus or minus 5.8 percent.