2016 Utah Priorities Project: Gubernatorial Candidate Report (Part II)

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For more information and explanation of the ideological section methodology, see Part I: Survey of Voters’ Issues and Concerns. To explore the data in more depth, please visit the Utah Priorities Project page.


The presidential race is not the only high-profile race this election season. In 2016, Utah will also vote for governor from a pool of 11 candidates. This report – Part II of the Utah Priorities Project – is a useful tool for Utah voters to gain a better understanding of the gubernatorial candidates’ positions.

Seven of the 11 candidates responded to the same questions as Utah voters, which voter responses are detailed in Part I of the Utah Priorities Project. This report uses data from the surveys to get an understanding of how the gubernatorial candidates compare to each other, to their own party constituents, and to Utahns overall.




  • Seven of 11 gubernatorial candidates participated in this survey.
  • Unlike voters who typically believe that Utah is “heading in the right direction,” all but one of the candidates challenging Utah’s Governor believe that Utah is “on the wrong track.” (see page 2)
  • Six of the seven participating candidates gave a rating of 5 – very concerned – to public lands. Five of the seven gave a 5 to state taxes and government spending (see pages 6-8).
  • Both Democratic candidates shared the same ideological score as the median Democratic Utah voter. The two Republican candidates who participated in the ideological section of the survey were more conservative than the median Utah Republican voter (see page 9).


  • While rankings for priorities differed greatly between Democratic and Republican voters, average ratings were almost the same for a handful of topics – state taxes and government spending, jobs and the economy, public lands, and energy issues (see page 4).



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