Salt Lake City mayoral candidate and state Sen. Luz Escamilla talks with Erika Riggs, left, while knocking on doors in the Glendale neighborhood of Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
If voting trends continue, Mendenhall could have ‘commanding lead’
SALT LAKE CITY — As Sen. Luz Escamilla and Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall hurtle down the homestretch to Election Day, they spent the last few days of the campaign knocking on doors, making final appeals to voters to become Salt Lake City’s 36th mayor.
Candidates and political pundits expect a tight race — but recent polling suggests Mendenhall could pull off a win if early voting trends continue.
“Early voting results suggest that Mendenhall will likely have a commanding lead heading into Tuesday’s election,” said Blake Moore, a principal at Dan Jones & Associates. “The most important factor to watch will be voter turnout and whether Escamilla’s campaign will be successful at rallying their supporters to either submit their ballots these final few days or show up to the polls.”
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
David Saltsman talks with Salt Lake City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Erin Mendenhall as she knocks doors on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, ahead of the election.
Recent polls by Dan Jones & Associates show Mendenhall maintaining a 5% lead among active voters in the Salt Lake City mayoral race. However, of those polled who have already voted by mail, Mendenhall has a “significant, double-digit lead,” Moore said, indicating that Escamilla’s best bet to close the gap is to rally supporters to turn up at the ballot box Tuesday.
Otherwise, polls suggest if those remaining to cast a ballot follow the trend of early voters, Mendenhall’s victory will exceed 10%, Moore said.
The race is still relatively tight when factoring in the poll’s margin of error. The polling was done in two phases during October. One portion of the survey, by phone, was conducted from Oct. 2 to Oct. 17, of 351 Salt Lake City residents. The second phase, after the release of mail-in ballots, was conducted from Oct. 22 to Oct. 30 of 359 Salt Lake City residents. The margin of error of the poll’s individual phases was about plus or minus 5.2 percentage points, but when combining phases to a total of 710 respondents, the margin of error lowers to plus or minus 3.67 percentage points, Moore said.
When considering a full sample of 710 residents polled for the entire month, 41.2% said they plan to, or did, vote for Mendenhall, while 37.6% said they intend to, or did, vote for Escamilla. However, 21.2% are either undecided or unwilling to disclose their vote. As Election Day approached, the proportion of undecided voters decreased, as expected, with Mendenhall maintaining a similar lead of approximately 5%, according to the poll.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Salt Lake City mayoral candidate and state senator Luz Escamilla walks between …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News