Republican State Treasurer Edward Alter still trails his Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Treasurer Art Monson, by 20 points, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
Meanwhile, Alter's colleague, Republican State Auditor Tom Allen, holds a 10-point lead over Democrat Arthur Miller.The races for state treasurer and auditor traditionally are shrouded in obscurity, especially when compared to the governor and attorney general contests. For that reason, being a Republican candidate for treasurer and auditor in this, the most Republican state in the nation, has been just about enough to win.
But this year is different. Monson has led Alter, the two-term incumbent, since the beginning. While Monson's lead has shrunk some, he still is ahead, 50-30 percent, pollster Dan Jones found in his latest survey.
Allen has always led Miller, and still holds a 39-29 percent lead. But 31 percent are undecided in the auditor's race, so Allen's 10-point lead isn't as safe as it appears.
On the other hand, Alter would have to get all of the 20 percent undecided in his race to catch Monson, who is favored by half of the voters.
As might be expected, Monson gets all of the Democratic voters. But he also gets 31 percent of the votes of those who said they are Republicans. And Alter can't afford such defection among party loyalists.
In a Deseret News/KSL-TV poll published Sunday, Jones found that Attorney General David Wilkinson is in a neck-and-neck race with Democrat Paul Van Dam. Wilkinson leads Van Dam 43-41 percent.
The offices of attorney general, treasurer and auditor are separate from that of governor. But that separation isn't seen by voters, the three GOP incumbents say. Accordingly, tax protesters and others unhappy with the administration of Gov. Norm Bangerter may be taking out some of their frustration on Republicans Wilkinson, Alter and Allen, Jones' poll shows.
If the election for state treasurer were held today, for whom would you vote?
Edward Alter (Republican) 30 percent
Arthur Monson (Democrat) 50 percent
Don't know 20 percent
If the election for state auditor were held today, for whom would you vote?
Tom Allen (Republican) 39 percent
Arthur Miller (Democrat) 29 percent
Don't know 31 percent
Sample size: 600; margin of error plus or minus 3.2 percent.