Utahns like Herbert, not legislature, according to new poll

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 21:55:10-05

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - A new poll says a majority of Utahns believe Gov. Gary Herbert is doing a good job in office, but not his counterpart, the Utah Legislature.

The findings are the result of a poll conducted by the Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah Hinckley Institute of politics. Their survey shows 55 percent of Utahns approve of Herbert, with 27 percent disagreeing.

That same poll shows only 39 percent of Utahns are satisfied with Utah’s legislature, while 43 percent are not. Hinckley Institute of Politics director Jason Perry said the findings aren’t too surprising given the debates the legislature has to take up.

“They go after some very serious issues,” Perry said. “Some of them much more stridently than others, and whatever those views are, everyone gets to absorb them.”

Perry said the entire legislature often gets painted with the same brush as one who takes on a difficult topic, or they’re criticized as a whole for a narrow ruling. In contract it’s easy for the public to judge the actions of one man.

“In terms of public opinion polls about the legislature, or congress, those are always pretty low,” Perry said.

Still, the majority of Utahns FOX 13 News spoke with Tuesday agreed with the poll.

“It seems to me there are a lot of people in there who have been in there too long, and do things the same way they’ve always done them,” said resident Scott Merrill.

Spokesman for Herbert, Jon Cox, said while they’re pleased with the results of the poll putting Herbert ahead, he points out it’s a collaborative effort to get things accomplished on Capitol Hill.

“You can’t get anything done unless you work together,” Cox said. “And Gov. Herbert doesn’t believe in governing by executive order. He believes is the three branches of government.”

The entire poll also looked at public opinions on congressional delegates, as well as presidential candidates. The results are out less than a week before the 2016 legislative session.