2016 Utah Priorities Project: Survey of State Party Delegates (Part III)

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The 2016 election cycle is the first impacted by changes to the candidate nomination process as a result of Senate Bill 54, passed in 2014. Since a 2016 court ruling deems that the legislation was constitutional, this new process might reduce the concern that some have regarding the differences between voters and delegates.

Utah Foundation performs the Utah Priorities Project each gubernatorial election year. This is the third time that the project includes a survey of party delegates who choose candidates at party conventions. This report – Part III of the 2016 Utah Priorities Project – details the party delegates’ survey responses. It also uses responses from the voter survey to gain an understanding of how party voters and delegates are similar and how they are different.

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Democratic party delegates share the same top 10 priorities as Democratic voters. Republican delegates share 8 of 10 priorities with voters (see page 4).
  • Party delegates are more ideologically polarized than voters (see pages 6-8).
  • Of the 23 hot button issues, those related to public lands show some of the greatest contrasts between Republican and Democratic delegates (see page 5).
  • The phrase “authorized immigrants have a positive impact on Utah’s economy” is the only hot button issue upon which Republican and Democratic voters and delegates all agree. Of the 23 hot button issues, their levels of agreement on this topic were unique
    (see page 6).
  • There is some misalignment in the demographic characteristics of voters and delegates, particularly in respect to gender and age (see pages 8 and 9).

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