Third District Congressman Bill Orton's approval rating is running 6-to-1 in his favor, according to a public opinion survey.

Western Wats, a Provo-based public opinion survey research house, and Valcarce & Warren, a communications strategy team, included a question about Orton in a survey they did on an unrelated topic for a client. Telephone surveyors called 300 residents of Orem and Provo between Jan. 12 and 17.They asked residents if they had heard of Orton and, if so, whether their impression of him was favorable or unfavorable.

Orton was not identified as a congressman in the survey.

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable impression of Orton, while 9 percent said they had an unfavorable impression of him. Twenty percent of those surveyed had no opinion on Orton and 12 percent said they'd never heard of him.

Among registered voters, 66 percent rate Orton favorably and 9 percent rate him unfavorably. In the poll, 64 percent of respondents said they were Republicans and 12 percent said they were Democrats.

"Orton's strength in this poll is not surprising given the media attention he was given after the election," said Peter Valcarce, research director for the project.

The survey is a sampling of the Provo-Orem area, which represents about 25 percent of the 3rd Congressional District. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percent.