Steve Greenwood
A new poll asking Americans what their impressions of each state are finds Utah in the bottom five.

SALT LAKE CITY — Where's the love?

A new poll asking Americans what their impressions of each state are finds Utah in the bottom five.

Among the most unpopular, the Beehive State trailed California, Illinois, New Jersey and Mississippi. Utahns asked about it Monday shrugged off the findings.

"They just don't know what they're missing out on," said Emily Johnson, a resident of Salt Lake City.

"I really like Utah because of the recreation," said Byrce Bullock, of St. George.

The nationwide poll was conducted by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling over the course of four months starting last October.

"Well, Utah is one of those states that had a partisan gap in terms of its favorability," said pollster Dustin Ingalls, assistant director of the Public Policy Polling. He says politics played a big role in the poll, with Republicans seeing Utah favorably by a 30 percent to 23 percent who do not. Democrats had an unfavorable view of Utah by 18 percent.

California suffered the biggest gap, 27 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.

Ingalls says Americans generally have a favorable view of most states. Most popular was Hawaii (54 percent positive versus 10 percent negative), followed by Colorado, Tennessee, South Dakota and Virginia.

The poll found Democrats' favorite states were Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Colorado and New York. Their least favorites were led by Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.

For Republicans, Alaska and Texas came out on top, but they don't like California, followed distantly by Illinois and Massachusetts.

E-mail: jdaley@ksl.com