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New poll shows low favorability in Utah for President Biden

President-elect Joe Biden speaks after the Electoral College formally elected him as president, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new poll shows 52% of Utah residents have an unfavorable opinion of the new president.

That includes 40% with very unfavorable views.

The Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll shows that 45% of Utahns have a favorable opinion of President Joe Biden, while 3% aren’t sure.

President Biden receives low marks in Utah poll

Hinckley Institute of Politics director Jason Perry said Utahns got a glimpse of what they will get from a Biden presidency from his inauguration speech.

“He talked about unity. He said without unity, there is no peace. That unity message will resonate in the state of Utah. He didn’t say we have to agree, but he talked a lot about the approach itself,” said Perry.

He says that approach for a common relationship may connect with some Utahns who do not agree with decisions or policies.

Already Mr. Biden seems to be going against the wishes of many Utahns and Utah leaders, by ordering a review of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante Monuments. Some Utah leaders approved of the actions of former President Donald Trump, reducing the sizes of the monuments, but others remain staunchly opposed

Utah’s congressional delegation, governor and some legislative leaders put out a joint statement expressing their concern with that process. It reads in part:

“We share a sincere desire to find a collaborative, broadly supported solution to the political football of national monuments in Utah, specifically Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. It is imperative that President Biden bring the State of Utah to the table and work with state and local elected leaders toward a consensus product, including a permanent solution approved by Congress. President Biden championed a message of unity during his campaign, and we stand ready to work across party lines towards a permanent solution.”

Core values resonate with Utahns

Perry said there are other hallmark Democratic issues that the Biden administration will put forward.

“It’s important for the new president who is not from the west, to understand that there are core values here, and issues that resonate to us, that are not always so present on the national political stage,” said Perry.

President Biden addressed those who did not vote for him in his speech Wednesday. Just under 38% of Utahns voted for him in November. The state’s Electoral College votes went to Mr. Trump.

Liberals in Utah more likely to approve president in poll

Of those who identified themselves as liberals in the new Utah poll, 97% have a favorable impression of President Biden, while for conservatives it was 15%. Moderates came down in the middle, with 58% having a favorable opinion of the president.

Perry says it will take time to mend fences.

“I think he has been involved in politics so long, he realizes the best path forward is to try to bring people together with a higher level sense of patriotism, not that you have to abandon your core beliefs,” he said.


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