Rep. Matheson up 18 in Democratic poll

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) leads Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (R) by 18 percentage points according to a Democratic poll, a sign that despite the dramatic alteration the district underwent in redistricting and Love's highly touted candidacy he might not be in that much trouble this fall.

Matheson leads Love by 51 percent to 33 in the initial poll test, buoyed by a 65 percent personal approval rating and low name recognition for Love. After positive biographical statements are read about both candidates, his lead tightens a bit to 51 to 38 percent.

The longtime leader in the centrist Blue Dog Democrat coalition is well-known in the district even though it encompasses only a small part of the territory he currently represents, partly because his family name is popular in the state.

While partisan polls should be taken with a grain of salt, this is the second recent poll to show Matheson up by a wide margin. A poll from the Deseret News released last month showed him with a similar 53-38 percent lead. The Hill rates the race a "toss-up."

The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted from July 26-29 by the Global Strategy Group for the House Majority PAC, a Democratic super-PAC. Its margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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