Results of our GOP delegate survey


State delegates are charged with selecting primary candidates, but surprisingly little is known about these delegates’ opinions on important issues in Utah. Earlier this month, Sutherland Institute sent out an email survey to Republican state delegates. Seven hundred ten (20 percent) of the delegates responded. Below are a few notable findings from the survey:

Sixty-nine percent of Republican state delegates think that Utah is headed in the right direction.

Delegates approve of the work of the Utah Legislature at a rate of 62.2 percent. They approve of their representatives at just as high a rate, 61.6 percent.

Unsurprisingly, immigration continues to be a divisive issue, even among Republican state delegates. In this survey we found that 41.4 percent support HB 116, while 41.2 percent oppose the new law.

Another controversial bill, HB 477 (the GRAMA amendments bill) had only 18.9 percent supporting while 35.6 percent of delegates opposed it.

When asked to rank issues of importance, Republican delegates chose government spending as the most important issue (80.7 percent support a constitutional spending limit). Job growth ranked second, followed by immigration.

With delegates serving two-year terms, slightly more than half (50.6 percent) of Republican delegates are in their first term of service.

Utah State Democratic Party leadership did not respond to Sutherland’s requests to send this email survey to Democratic state delegates.

*Update: Here is the age distribution of survey respondents…

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  • Daniel Burton

    Question here: how could any of the delegates be delegates for less than an even numbered amount of years? Unless they were appointed due to vacancies between conventions, that would mean almost half of the delegates were appointed…? 

    • Keven Stratton

      You’re right, part of it likely is explained by appointments due to vacancies.  It could be that because they hit their two-year (or four year) anniversary in March some considered themselves to still be in the one year range.

  • Rob C

    A couple of questions:
    How many delegates responded?
    Was any demographic data collected?
    Was there any correlation between the demographic data (age, income level, education level, religious affiliation) and the breakdown on, for example, the HB 116 question?

    • Keven Stratton

      There were 710 delegates who responded which accounts for 20% of all GOP state delegates. The only demographic data we collected was age. As far as correlation between age and the HB 116 question … there wasn’t a significant correlation.

      • John Washington

        Who gave you the emails?

  • Scott Riding

    Would you be willing to publish your age demographic question? If it compares well to the BYU Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy’s delegate poll from May 2010 ( it would more convincingly establish the representativeness of your respondents.

    • Keven Stratton

      We have posted the age demographic question and it correlates pretty closely to the survey you referenced. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Too bad there weren’t questions about the redistricting process. For my taste, they are getting too fancy with that pie slice version that gives each district a “nibble” of the Salt Lake City area. Why not just slice the state like a loaf of bread and ignore the demographics? People are, after all, people.

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