Rep. Mia Love had a slight edge on her Democratic opponent for Utah’s 4th District seat, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, in a new poll.
Registered voters in the district favored Love, a Republican seeking her third term, by 6 percentage points over McAdams, 45 percent to 39 percent, according to the Salt Lake Tribune-Hinckley Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday. Eight percent said they preferred someone else — even though no one else is on the ballot in November — and 8 percent remained undecided.
The survey has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
“Of the major races in the state, this continues to be the one that is the closest,” Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, told the Salt Lake Tribune.
The results of the survey confirm the internal numbers Love’s campaign has gathered, her campaign’s polling consultant, Scott Riding of Y2 Analytics, told the Tribune.
There has been little movement in head-to-head polls between McAdams and Love since they won their primaries.
“Voters are pretty busy now” with summer vacations and other personal business, Riding said. “Usually, undecided voters in the race start to tune in about Labor Day.”
If McAdams has any shot at unseating Love, history indicates he’ll need to do well among independents in the district.
Voters in the poll who are unaffiliated with either party favored McAdams over Love by nearly a 2-1 margin, 53 percent to 27 percent.
“The mayor has done a really good job of reaching across party lines to get things done. That resonates well with unaffiliated voters, and that’s why he leads by a 2-1 margin with that group,” Andrew Roberts, McAdams’ campaign manager, told the Tribune.
Pollsters surveyed 379 registered voters in the 4th District from June 11 to 18.
McAdams currently represents much of the 4th District. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, 85 percent of district voters reside in Salt Lake County.
Love was first elected in 2014 in her second attempt, besting Democrat Doug Owens, the son of former Rep. Wayne Owens. She succeeded retiring Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who narrowly defeated her in 2012, a year when presidential candidate Mitt Romney carried the district by 37 points.