SALT LAKE CITY — Are the low approval ratings for both of Utah’s senators something they should be worried about? Some analysts say, for now… probably not.
Lee & Romney: still time to the next vote
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, isn’t up for re-election until 2022. Sen. Mitt Romney, also R-Utah, isn’t up for re-election until 2024. So, analysts believe it’s far too early to determine if either of them is in political trouble.
However, some experts aren’t convinced these polls are directly tied to the senators’ performances. They believe these numbers are tied to how loyal or critical either senator has been to President Trump.
Still, Hinckley Institute of Politics Director Jason Perry believes there is more to it than that.
“It’s not just about President Trump. It’s more of a reflection of how Utahns feel about Washington,” Perry said.
Zeroing in on Romney’s numbers
Should Romney be worried he’s only getting a 40 percent approval rating from strong Republicans while Lee site at a lofty 72 percent? Again… not so fast. Perry says it would be one thing if Lee’s numbers were going up while Romney’s were going down, but that’s not the case.
“Mitt Romney did not do well among conservative Republicans at the caucus convention, either. It’s not surprising at all that he has not picked up their vote in the meantime,” Perry said.
The numbers released by Utahpolicy.com were collected before news broke of Mitt Romney’s secret Twitter profile. Under the name “Pierre Delecto,” Romney reportedly liked some Twitter posts that were critical of the president, along with other Republicans. Perry believes that people who were already critical of Romney won’t like this alternate persona, but others may not have a problem with it.
However, other analysts disagree.
“It does cause dissidence. It does cause confusion,” said University of Utah Political Science Professor Tim Chambless, who asked, “If Mitt Romney is going to be critical of the president, why not just simply be out in front, above board, straight to the point and criticize the president for his decision making?”
Chambless says he’s curious to see how Romney’s comments will affect other senators if the president is impeached by the end of the year.
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