Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, still holds a huge lead over his Democratic opponent, Brian Moss, although the lead has shrunk a bit, the latest Dan Jones & Associates poll shows.
The survey, conducted for the Deseret News and KSL-TV, shows that if the election were held today, Hatch would get 69 percent of the vote, Moss would get 22 percent of the vote, 2 percent would vote for American Party candidate Robert J. Smith, 1 percent would vote for someone else and 7 percent didn't know.Hatch held a 50-point lead a month ago. The junior senator from Utah now holds a 47-point lead.
Jones interviewed 905 adults by telephone July 27-28. The poll has an error margin of plus or minus 3.2 percent.
Hatch has raised upward of $2 million the past several years for his re-election campaign. He recently spent about $100,000 on TV advertisements, and has more than $1 million in the bank.
Moss is the son of former U.S. Sen. Frank Moss. Hatch defeated the elder Moss in 1976 to win his first attempt at public office. Hatch defeated then-Salt Lake Mayor Ted Wilson in 1982 to win a second term.
While a number of Republican candidates, especially Gov. Norm Bangerter, are worrying this year about Republicans voting for Democrats, Hatch doesn't have that concern, the poll shows.
Hatch gets 92 percent of the GOP vote, Moss only 4 percent. It is Moss who has to worry about wayward party voters. Jones' survey shows that 30 percent of the Democratic vote is going to Hatch, only 61 percent to Moss.
Hatch's huge lead and his $1 million reserve fund has harmed Moss' fund-raising ability. Originally, Moss hoped to raise $1 million himself. But now he's trimmed that back to a $500,000 campaign. "That still is enough to get my message out," Moss said recently.
The senator has raised so much cash that he won't hold any more fund-raising events in Utah, says Bud Scruggs, his campaign manager. That will leave more local money around for other GOP candidates. However, Hatch will continue to raise money from national political action committees and will conduct a direct mail campaign in Utah and across the nation.
If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were Orrin Hatch, Republican; Brian Moss, Democrat; and Robert J. Smith, American Party; for whom would you vote?
Hatch 69 percent
Moss 22 percent
Smith 2 percent
Other 1 percent
Don't know 7 percent
Sample size: 905; margin of error plus or minus 3.2 percent