Utahns want a president who will spend more on AIDS research and the Star Wars space defense but who won't raise taxes to balance the budget or spend more on social services.
Those are some of the preferences found in a Deseret News/KSL-TV poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates.Jones asked 605 Utahns what they wanted in a presidential candidate and gave them seven options.
Seventy percent said they'd favor the candidate who would spend more money on AIDS research. The deadly disease has no cure, and while only a small percentage of the populace has the disease, it is a major health concern.
Sixty-three percent said they'd favor a candidate who would continue spending on the Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars. President Ronald Reagan has long favored the controversial space anti-missile system, which some military experts say can only be built at great expense.
Sixty percent said they favor a candidate who would cut Social Security and Medicare payments to Americans not in financial need of those programs.
And 58 percent said they'd favor a candidate who would place a greater emphasis on religious values in America.
Those questioned also had strong feelings about what they didn't want to see in a presidential candidate.
Sixty-one percent said they wouldn't favor a candidate who said he'd raise taxes to reduce the federal budget deficit; 56 percent don't favor a candidate who would spend more on social programs, like welfare, and pay for it by raising taxes; and 50 percent said they wouldn't favor a candidate who would continue support for the Contras fighting against the communist Nicaraguan government.
All Utahns will get a chance to name their presidential preferences in the April 25 mass meetings, now called political caucuses. The Democrats say they will hold a straw poll of those attending their caucuses to see which candidates they favor.
Since Vice President George Bush has wrapped up the GOP nomination, Republicans won't bother with a straw poll. But they will listen to any suggestions by those attending and pass those along to state party leaders.