UTAH SENATE: Lee Has Big Advantage Over McMullin Among Likely Voters, But Tied Among Registered Voters

A new poll from Center Street PAC (www.centerstreetpac.com), a nonpartisan political action committee, shows Republican Sen. Mike Lee has a significant lead in preference over independent Evan McMullin 50% to 38% among likely voters, with 12% undecided. However, among registered voters, the two candidates are nearly tied, with 38% saying they prefer Lee to 37% who prefer McMullin, with 26% undecided.

Lee’s lead among likely voters is a result of more motivation to vote among Republicans. McMullin made significant gains in name awareness and favorability, but still lags in voter motivation. Results show 57% of Republicans are motivated to vote, compared to only 49% of Democrats and 37% of independents.

“McMullin’s message only lands with the 43% of Republicans who aren’t all that motivated to vote,” said Center Street Co-Founder Matt O’Brien. “He needs to make inroads into the core Republican base to grow his current preference numbers. Even though McMullin shakes up Lee’s support among unmotivated GOP voters, it only moves those voters to the undecided column, not firmly in his corner.”

Among unmotivated voters, McMullin holds a lead over Lee in preference 35% to 25%. Even among unmotivated Republicans, he leads 43% to 22%. However, among motivated Republicans – the voters needed for turnout on Election Day – Lee has a 50-point advantage, leading 71% to 21%.

“McMullin has done everything he can to position himself to win on Election Day. Yet he still can’t seem to break the 40% barrier in preference among registered voters,” said Center Street Chief Analytics Officer Dr. Kurt Jetta.

Of the 30% of Utah Republicans who ‘strongly agree’ January 6th rioters should be punished, McMullin’s support spiked from 29% to 47%. But there lies a problem for him. Motivation to vote rose from 72% to 85% among the 18% of Republicans who disagreed with punishing January 6th rioters, neutralizing his gains among that group.

“McMullin has all the ingredients needed to pull off an upset victory in this deep red state. He’s bumped his name ID to well over 80%, saw a huge increase in favorability, and even made a dent in Lee’s favorability among Republicans,” said Center Street Co-Founder Jacob Perry. “But his challenge is finding a way to motivate low-engagement voters to turn out without motivating Lee’s Republican supporters at the same time.” 

Center Street has developed an unparalleled data set, led by Dr. Jetta. A 30-year innovator in consumer analytics and former CEO of TABS Analytics, Dr. Jetta applies his consumer analysis developments to political analysis, allowing Center Street to determine and choose a select number of winnable races.

Center Street is a nonpartisan super PAC designed to combat the destructive tribalism threatening democracy by supporting credible candidates, regardless of political party, against extremist challengers and incumbents. Founded by former Republican strategist Jacob Perry and private businessman Matt O’Brien, Center Street advocates for the election of candidates who demonstrate stable and effective governing policies.

Methodology: Between Oct. 4-11, 2022, 515 adults 18+ were surveyed, including 406 registered voters, 239 likely voters. Of the 515 adults, 197 were Republicans, 85 were Democrats and 106 independents. All data is weighted both by age/gender and 2020 voting preference. All results will have 2020 stated voter preference aligned with Utah actual (38% Biden/58%Trump). Margin of error is 3.5%. Source: Center Street PAC via Momentiv AI.