A new survey of Utah from Public Policy Polling (D) finds a surprising result: That in this deep, deep, deep-red state, Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson could potentially be a competitive -- or even winning -- candidate for U.S. Senate.
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Matheson, a Blue Dog Democrat, was tested against incumbent six-term Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, plus GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who could potentially challenge Hatch for the Republican nomination. The result showed Matheson edging out Hatch by 45%-44%, and leading Chaffetz by 47%-42%.
The poll showed Matheson with a 59% favorable rating, to 28% unfavorable. Two other Democrats were tested -- former state Attorney General Jan Graham, and 2010 Senate nominee and state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control chairman Sam Granato --Â and they both trailed Hatch and Chaffetz by martins of about 20 points in all cases.
Of course, it should be noted that the idea of a Democratic senator from Utah does fall into the category of "believe it when you see it." And even then, you'd still have your doubts.