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Gary Herbert
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R)
Public Policy Polling (PDF) (7/8-10, Utah voters, no trendlines):
Jim Matheson (D): 43
Gary Herbert (R-inc): 45
Undecided: 12

Peter Corroon (D): 32
Gary Herbert (R-inc): 55
Undecided: 12

Jan Graham (D): 29
Gary Herbert (R-inc): 56
Undecided: 15
(MoE: ±3.6%)

A few weeks ago PPP came out with the exciting news that Rep. Jim Matheson—the Blue Dog Dem representing one-third of the state, and one of the sons in a political dynasty in a state that likes its dynasties—was extremely competitive in a hypothetical Senate race, narrowly beating both incumbent Orrin Hatch and potential alternate GOP nominee Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Somewhat belatedly, they've rolled out the second half of their Utah sample, and the results are similar: the broadly popular Matheson is the only Democrat who makes the Utah gubernatorial race competitive, while the other Democrats lag.

If you're wondering who's who, Peter Corroon is the mayor of Salt Lake County, and he also lost the 2010 gubernatorial election to Gary Herbert. Utah elects governors in presidential years, but under Utah law, a special election was triggered by Jon Huntsman's ambassadorial appointment, and Herbert, the former Lt. Governor who'd gotten promoted to follow Huntsman had little trouble keeping his appointed job (between Utah's dark-red status and the 2010 wave). Former AG Jan Graham is the last Democrat to be elected statewide in Utah. If Matheson runs for any promotion, though, I get the impression it would be for Senate, where he'd be running against the wounded winner of a GOP intramural battle, rather than a reasonably popular incumbent (Herbert has 51/32 approvals in the statewide sample, including a strong crossover 27/58 among Democrats).

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