Republican gubernatorial candidate Jon Huntsman got the endorsement Tuesday of fellow industrialist and Geneva Steel president Joe Cannon, who says private polling he did on Huntsman's behalf shows Gov. Norm Bangerter has serious political problems.
Actually, Cannon's poll, conducted two weeks ago by national pollster Richard Wirthlin, generally reflects previous polling done for the Deseret News and KSL-TV by Dan Jones & Associates.Cannon said the Wirthlin poll shows 57 percent of Utahns disapprove of the job Bangerter has done, 61 percent want a new person elected governor and 66 percent want another Republican to challenge Bangerter.
Cannon said Huntsman is getting a bum rap from some people. "When I encouraged Jon to run four months ago, he told me then that he supported the governor but had told the governor that he would re-evaluate his support in February or March. This is no stab-in-the-back kind of thing but Jon's heartfelt desire to get Utah going again," he said.
Dave Buhler, Bangerter's campaign manager, said his polling doesn't show the governor in such a critical light. "Wirthlin is the same pollster who told Dan Marriott he would beat the governor in the 1984 Republican race and the same pollster who told Robert Dole he would win in New Hampshire this year."