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Matheson nears half million dollar mark for 2012 election

Published: Friday, July 15 2011 7:29 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, reports he has raised almost $216,000 toward the 2012 elections in the second quarter of 2011. That brings his total to date to almost $491,000.

Should Matheson decide to take a shot at Orrin Hatch’s Senate seat, that puts Utah’s only congressional Democrat about $4 million behind the 35-year veteran senator. Earlier Thursday, Hatch’s campaign reported raising almost $4.5 million to date, of which almost $1.3 million came in the second quarter.

But Matheson’s 2012 campaign war chest still exceeds that of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who’s considering challenging Hatch in the Republican primary election. Chaffetz reported raising nearly $239,000 to date, with just over $123,000 of it coming between April 1 and June 30.

The race in the polls, though, tells a different story than the money race does. A mid-June Deseret News/KSL-TV poll showed voters evenly split between Matheson and Hatch.

Putting Hatch and Chaffetz head-to-head, the same poll showed Hatch somewhat favored over Chaffetz, 47 percent to Chaffetz’s 44 percent among likely GOP primary voters.

But should Chaffetz win the GOP nomination, he too may have a tough fight against Matheson in the general election. The poll showed 46 percent would vote for Chaffetz and 45 percent for Matheson.

Dan Jones & Associates conducted the statewide poll of 406 registered voters, June 13-16, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent. Dan Jones & Associates also does polling for Hatch.

Ladd Brubaker

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