Michael Dukakis has made major gains against George Bush in Utah, coming within 5 points of Bush on the eve of the National Republican Convention in New Orleans, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
The Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential nominee clearly is riding what is known as the "convention bounce," pollster Dan Jones & Associates discovered.Jones asked 905 Utahns on July 27-28, a week after the Democratic National Convention, if the election were held today, for whom would they vote.
Forty-six percent said definitely or probably Bush, 41 percent said definitely or probably Dukakis, 3 percent mentioned someone else and 10 percent didn't know.
In a June 28-29 poll, taken before the Democratic convention, Bush had a solid lead in Utah, 51-36 percent, Jones learned. So, Dukakis gained 10 points on Bush in a month.
Utahns are in a ticket-splitting mood this year, with a number of Republicans saying they favor Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Wilson.
Republican leaders want Bush to run strong in Utah _ whose citizens haven't given a majority to a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 _ so that close races, like the 1st District's Jim Hansen-Gunn McKay contest, give the voter turnout edge to the Republicans.
Bush has touted his experience as one of his main assets. Utahns agree with that, Jones found in the recent poll, but that is the only category listed by the pollster where Bush betters Dukakis.
Who has the most experience? Seventy-four percent said Bush, 12 percent said Dukakis. But when Jones asked who has the most charisma, fifty-nine percent of Utahns said Dukakis, 14 percent said Bush.
Who is the best manager? Thirty-seven percent said Dukakis, 36 percent Bush.
Most believable? Thirty-eight percent said Dukakis, 34 percent said Bush.
Finally, who is the best speaker? Fifty-four percent said Dukakis, 19 percent said Bush.
After the GOP convention, where Bush is making sure the Republican platform takes tough stands for defense spending and against public funding for abortion, gun control and the Equal Rights Amendment, Utah Republican leaders expect Bush to make gains again in Utah - the state that gave the Reagan-Bush ticket the highest victory margins in the nation in 1980 and 1984 - 73 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
Definitely Bush 31 percent
Probably Bush 15 percent
Probably Dukakis 15 percent
Definitely Dukakis 26 percent
Other 3 percent
Don't know 10 percent
Sample size: 905; margin of error plus or minus 3.2 percent