Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Utah Priorities ProjectKUER and the non-partisan Utah Foundation are presenting ten issues identified by voters in a statewide survey during this election season. The topics range from immigration to public education to Utah's economy. The complete list and the research briefs for each issue are available at the Utah Foundation website.

Utah's Delegates Don't Quite Match Demographics, Ideologies of Voters

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch addresses GOP delegates at the Utah Republican State Convention.
Bob Nelson
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch addresses GOP delegates at the Utah Republican State Convention.

In the days leading up to state political conventions, a new report shows how closely delegates align with the voters they represent.

State delegates will meet this weekend to choose candidates to represent their political party in state and federal elections. A new report from the Utah Foundation shows that the ideologies and demographics of delegates don’t always match up to those of voters.

“Republican delegates are more consistently conservative than republican voters,” says Shawn Tiegan, Research Director for the Utah Foundation. “And the democratic delegates are more liberal than the democratic voters.”

He says that’s pretty typical with delegates.

“People are kind of pumped up about their party and they want to represent their party and those are the kinds of delegates that are chosen,” he says

The report also looked at the demographics of delegates and voters.

In both parties, the majority of voters are women, but women make up the minority of delegates. Fifty-six percent of Republican voters are female, yet women make up only 24% of Republican delegates.

“I found it distressing,” says Kathleen Anderson, a state delegate and President of the Utah Federation of Republican Women.

She says women often feel less qualified when running against a man and can second guess themselves.

“I wish that we could get more women at least attending our trainings and events so that they can gain that confidence and start putting their name forward,” she says.

Republican and Democratic delegates will meet at the Salt Palace Convention Center on Saturday for their respective conventions.  

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.