Rep. Jim Matheson leads all comers in Utah's new 4th Congressional District, poll shows

Incumbency has its early privileges in new district

Published: Sunday, Dec. 25 2011 10:00 p.m. MST

Cobb, a former Sen. Bob Bennett staffer, wasn't surprised at his showing because he just started campaigning Dec. 1. He said he's focused right now on making a name with Republican delegates.

Matheson, meanwhile, enjoys high name recognition for better or worse — mostly better. The polls shows 99 percent of voters know him, with 64 percent having a favorable impression and 26 percent an unfavorable impression.

Sandstrom and Wimmer fall somewhere between the extremes.

Though Sandstrom gained notoriety for spearheading Utah's controversial enforcement-only illegal immigration law, 39 percent of voters in the 4th District don't know who he is. Of those who have heard of him, 20 percent have a favorable impression, 15 percent an unfavorable impression and 23 percent no opinion.

"I think once people really get to know me, a lot of that is going to change," he said.

Sandstrom explained that he plans to use multimedia, mailers and community meeting to get his name out.

Wimmer, a Patrick Henry caucus member who has pushed abortion restrictions and easing gun laws, does slightly better than his legislative colleague in terms of name recognition, but has a higher negative rating.

The poll shows 32 percent have not heard of him. Among those who know him, 22 percent have an unfavorable impression, 19 percent a favorable impression and 24 percent no opinion.

"That's a good thing," he said of the 65 percent name recognition regardless of the respondents' opinion of him. "That's much higher than I would have thought."

Wimmer said he plans to hold lots of cottage meetings to spread his name among the electorate.

E-mail: romboy@desnews.com Twitter: dennisromboy

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