Here are Utah Governor Spencer Cox’s latest approval ratings


Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s work approval ratings may have fallen a little over a month ago, but he’s back as he goes into the last month of his first year as governor.

That, according to a new / Hinckley Institute of Politics poll, shows that Cox continues to ride a wave of high approval ratings that have remained fairly stable over the past 11 months.

Most Utahs support the first term governor. When asked if they approve or disapprove of Cox’s work performance, 60% of Utahs said they approve but 24% said they disagree. That’s slightly higher than the previous / Hinckley Institute of Politics poll in October, in which 55% of Utahs said they approve of Cox and 26% disagreed.

More specifically, 24% said they strongly disapproved, 36% said they disapproved somewhat, 11% disapproved somewhat, and 13% said they strongly disagreed. About 16% said they don’t know.

Don Jones & Associates conducted a survey of 812 registered Utah voters from Nov. 18-30. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.44 percentage points.

If broken by a political party, 33% of Republicans said they strongly endorse Cox, while 35% disapprove of them slightly, 7% disapprove of them somewhat, and 11% say they strongly disagree (13% said they do not know). For Democrats, 11% said they strongly approve, 34% disapprove, 20% disapprove, and 22% strongly disagree. Again, about 13% said they did not know.

Last month’s survey was the latest in a series of Hinkley Institute of Politics surveys that measure Utah’s feelings about Cox throughout the year. Cox’s approval ratings jumped to 66% in March, lingered at 65% in April, and then dropped to 58% in June. That subsequent poll was conducted by Scott Rasmussen on June 18-25 among 1,000 registered Utah voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

So far, the October poll showed Cox’s lowest approval rating at 55%, though it is still the clear majority in Utah. Cox’s approval ratings remain strong and stable throughout the year, despite a slight decline.

“Government. Cox was elected with 63% of the vote and he remains essentially in the gap of error in his entire first year, said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. “They are now supporting the same percentage of people as they did then.”

Perry noted that the numbers were similar to the ratings approved by Cox’s former head, former governor Gary Herbert. “It’s just a static number for the Republican governor of Utah,” Perry said.

Despite the tumultuous year for Utah and the rest of the country, it remains in the grip of the COVID-19 epidemic because it continues to affect all aspects of life and present an array of challenges for political leaders to navigate.

“If you look at the difficult issues facing the state of Utah, any elected official will be grateful to be consistent,” Perry said.

More recently, President Joe Biden’s vaccine requirements for large employers have been a lightning rod for Republican pushbacks nationwide and in Utah.

Meanwhile, Utah remains among the nation’s coronavirus hot spots because the strongest and most contagious delta mutation has promoted state case rates and continues to bring down hospitals. Just last week, a new and more transformed Omicron mutation was discovered in Utah. Health experts have urged Utans to get the COVID-19 vaccine and be aware of how little they know about the new mutation.

However, most Utahs are satisfied with Cox’s job performance. And nationally, Cox is one of the few top most popular governors across the US Morning Consult ranked Cox as the 10th most popular governor In a country with 62% of voters approving of their work performance. From that list, most approved governors are Republicans, with only one Democrat (Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont) ranking in the top 10.

Because the Utahns are “not accustomed,” Perry said, to have governors with “very high approval ratings compared to their peers across the country.”

Asked about this year’s voting numbers at Monday’s / KSL Editorial Board meeting, Cox replied casually, “We’re taking a pass this year,” noting the chaos that COVID-19 presented to him and other governors around the US.

“It is a turbulent time. Governors across the country are certainly enjoying it. Everyone wants the governors to solve all their problems, until they try to solve something they don’t agree with, and then you’re a totalitarian, ”Cox said.

But overall, Cox said he and his administration are “really excited about where we are. All things considered, we’re excited about what we did last year. But we’re very excited to turn the page this year.”

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