SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Reps. Rob Bishop and John Curtis are far ahead of the competition for their seats in Congress, according to the latest UtahPolicy.com poll.
Bishop has the support of 59 percent of voters in the 1st Congressional District, compared to 22 percent for Democrat Lee Castillo and 8 percent for new United Utah Party candidate Eric Eliason.
Curtis has an even bigger lead in the poll, with 65 percent of the voters in the 3rd Congressional District backing him over Democrat James Singer, with 19 percent, and United Utah Party candidate Timothy Zeidner, with 2 percent.
Bishop is the longest-serving member of Utah's all-GOP congressional delegation, seeking a ninth term that he has said will be his last in Congress. He is said to be "testing the waters" for a run for governor in 2020.
"Rob is humbled by the level of support he has in the 1st Congressional District," Bishop's campaign manager, Kyle Palmer, said. "We are very happy to see these results come out."
Palmer said Bishop's roots as a former high school teacher in the northern Utah district mean voters relate to him. "They know who Rob is and we think they trust Rob as a result of that," he said.
Curtis, a popular Provo mayor, was elected just last year in a special race to fill the remainder of former Rep. Jason Chaffetz's term after Chaffetz resigned and became a contributor to Fox News.
The poll numbers are "a really nice validation that we're doing the right thing," Curtis said, citing his committment to holding what he said is an average of 10 town hall meetings a month in the district that spans much of eastern Utah.
He said his support may be higher than other members of the delegation because voters have seen more of him thanks to last year's special election that included a hard-fought primary.
"I've been campaigning for basically a year and a half. That's put me a bit more in the spotlight," Curtis said.
The poll was conducted Aug. 22-Sept. 6 by Dan Jones & Associates of 201 likely voters in the 1st District, and 188 likely voters in the 3rd. The margin of error is plus or minus 6.9 percent in the 1st District and plus or minus 7.2 percent in the 3rd.
The results released by the online political news source Wednesday follow findings of a close race in the 4th District, where Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, is just three points ahead of her Democratic challenger, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.12 comments on this story
Poll results made public Tuesday showed that in the 2nd District, Democrat Shireen Ghorbani is gaining on Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, although Stewart maintains a double-digit lead, 45 percent to 34 percent.
On Monday, Stewart and Ghorbani will face off at Dixie State University in St. George for the first in a series of hourlong debates sponsored by the Utah Debate Commission in advance of the general election in November.
Participation in the debates is determined by results of a separate commission poll, and the only third-party candidate that qualified by meeting the commission's threshold is Eliason in the 1st District.