Beating Peter Corroon seems impossible.

It seems he can do no wrong. Poll after poll shows Corroon consistently bringing in approval ratings of 60 percent or higher.

And nothing is different today.

If the election were held today, Corroon would easily defeat Republican Michael Renckert by a 49-point margin, according to the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll.

It's a big mountain for the Republicans to climb.

"We know it's an uphill battle against Peter, but it's not impossible," County GOP Chairman James Evans said.

The Dan Jones & Associates poll shows 64 percent of registered Salt Lake County voters plan on voting for Corroon come November.

His biggest challenge is the unknown segment — 21 percent of those polled had no idea who they would vote for. Political unknown Renckert nabbed 15 percent of the support.

The survey of 236 Salt Lake County registered voters was conducted May 13-19 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 6.5 percent.

Corroon's support doesn't waver. In a March poll for the Deseret News and KSL-TV, the Democratic mayor also pulled in 64 percent, while 3 percent supported Renckert (who was listed as the second Republican candidate in the poll question). Now that Renckert has defeated his Republican opponent F. Joseph Irish in convention, his numbers have jumped considerably.

It's all about name recognition at this point, and Corroon has most of it.

It's the same story for Democratic County Councilman Randy Horiuchi.

He's a longtime politician and well-known throughout the community.

If the election were held today, Horiuchi would defeat Republican Steve Debry 51 to 34 percent.

"After that number, I'm dancing, I'm break dancing," said Horiuchi, who said the lead is the highest he's ever had this early in a race. "I'm doing a jig. I'm beyond happy."

Evans said Horiuchi shouldn't be so happy.

Polls this early in the race are decided purely by name recognition, Evans said, and Horiuchi should have higher numbers than that.

"Those numbers are not good; they show that he is vulnerable," Evans said.

The race is plenty controversial, even this early in the run.

Earlier this month, Evans said he "smelled a rat" after Debry was transferred from his position as chief of police services in Holladay.

Evans accused Democrats of making "a clumsy attempt to hurt someone who threatens their position."

Debry has said that he did not want the transfer to become political. He has since been reassigned and took over control of East Millcreek's 70-officer precinct.


E-mail: ldethman@desnews.com