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Cox on the Power Play: Republican Gubernatorial Primary Poll

Updated: Apr 30

Cox Leading in Republican Primary, Icing Out Opponents



PHOENIX (April 29, 2024)- In June, Utah Republicans will nominate a candidate to face off against opponents in the gubernatorial race on November 5th. As the primary election approaches, recent public opinion polling data from Noble Predictive Insights’ (NPI) latest Utah Public Opinion Pulse (UTPOP) finds that incumbency and performance are the winning ingredients for current Governor Spencer Cox.

 

This UTPOP, conducted from April 8–16, 2024, surveyed 600 registered voters in Utah, yielding a margin of error of ± 4.0%. The total sample included 283 registered Republicans, yielding a margin of error of ± 5.8%. 

 

Breakaway: Incumbency Keeping Competition Behind

Spencer Cox, the current Governor of Utah, leads the Republican Primary, demonstrating the power of the incumbent and showing the herculean task ahead of his challengers. At 51% support, Governor Cox crossed the coveted 50% threshold in this poll, giving him a 12:1 advantage over his opponents. No other candidate nears double-digit support with the closest competitors, Phil Lyman and Scott Robbins, at 4%. A little over one-third (37%) of voters remain undecided.

 

However, Cox’s dominance is even more striking when looking specifically among Republicans who have an opinion – 81% of GOP voters with



april 2024 utpop gop gov primary

Cox’s strongest Republican coalitions (among all Republicans):

·       Ages 65+ (69%)

·       Household income $100k+ (60%)

·       Parents with children over the age of 18 (60%)

·       Members of the LDS Church (56%)

·       Men (55%)

 

The 37% of undecided voters are prominently comprised of Republicans who are neither party-first nor Trump-first (51%), those who live in a rural geographic location (50%), and those ages 45-54 (48%).

 

“Being just a couple months out from the primary, Cox already has the majority of Republicans in his court, and no other candidate is even close to double-digit support. Based on the data, I’d say this race is practically called,” said Mike Noble, NPI Founder & CEO.

 

Slapshot Strategy: Cox Checks Trump, Scores Big in Utah Polls

Overall, Cox is held favorably by Utah voters, both in terms of favorability and job approval (net favorability +25, net approval +24). The governor maintains high job approval ratings across ideological lines and factions of Utah’s GOP electorate – particularly interesting given Governor Cox’s vocal opposition to former President Donald Trump. Unlike in other states where endorsing against Trump can negatively impact a Republican’s career, Cox sees little backlash. Even among Trump-first Republicans, Cox sees favorable approval ratings (57% approve).


 

april 2024 utpop gov approval by gop factions

 


Independent voters are also behind Governor Cox (net approval +14), and even Democrats aren’t terribly dissatisfied (-2).

 

“We see that Utah Republicans are not as turned off by anti-Trump rhetoric as some other red states – it seems that if people are happy with the job you’re doing, they can look past an anti-Trump position,” said Maddy Westcott, NPI data analyst.

 

Defensive Zone: Utah Under Cox's Leadership

Utahns are pleased with the trajectory of the state under Governor Cox's leadership. A majority (57%) of voters believe Utah is headed in the right direction, including two-thirds of Republicans and nearly half of Democrats and Independents. Such positive sentiment about the state’s direction coupled with Cox’s high job approval is a victory for the governor, especially compared to neighboring state Arizona, which has been underwater in terms of sentiment on its trajectory since 2022.


 

april 2024 utpop utah trajectory by party


“Something interesting in this data is that Utah voters rate Governor Cox’s job performance higher than the right direction of the state, looking at net results. This could indicate that there are issues about Utah’s direction that people don’t blame the governor for,” said Mike Noble. “Independents in particular. They gave a net +14 approval for Cox’s performance, but net -6 on direction of the state. Neither majority party had that large of a discrepancy.”

 

Cox, as the incumbent, has the home-ice advantage, which is only more solidified with strong approval and favorability. As the gubernatorial race unfolds, Governor Cox's strong performance and broad appeal position him as a formidable candidate, capable of navigating partisan divides and leading Utah into the future.



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*In honor of Utah’s recent acquisition of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team, we couldn’t help ourselves with the myriad of hockey puns in this release.


Methodology: This poll was conducted as an online opt-in panel survey. The survey was completed by Noble Predictive Insights from April 8–16, 2024 from a Utah statewide registered voter sample. The sample demographics were weighted to accurately reflect gender, region, age, party affiliation, ethnicity, and education. The sample size was 600 registered voters, yielding a MoE of ± 4.0%. The total sample included 283 registered Republicans, yielding a margin of error of ± 5.8%. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding. 


Media Contact:

Veronica Sutliff, Noble Predictive Insights, v.sutliff@npredictive.com, (602) 390-5248

Sydney Evenson, Noble Predictive Insights, s.evenson@npredictive.com, (602) 350-1065


About Noble Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, Noble Predictive Insights exists to transform how leaders make decisions by delivering data-based solutions and predictive insights that provide a clear path forward. We bridge the gap between research and strategy with customized strategic research, a hyper-focus on impact, and being true partners with our clients. Noble Predictive Insights (formerly O.H. Predictive Insights) is a 2023 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the Southwest region, and is ranked in the top 15 most accurate pollsters as well as in the top 5 for lowest average bias in the 2021-22 election cycle by FiveThirtyEight. For more information, please call (602) 326-5694 or visit our website at www.noblepredictiveinsights.com.

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