United Utah Party candidate gets a second chance to qualify for congressional debate

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

FILE – United Utah Party third congressional district candidate Jim Bennett talks to the media outside of the Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — New United Utah Party congressional candidate Jim Bennett is getting a second chance to qualify to participate in the Utah Debate Commission’s televised debate.

The commission announced Friday that a second poll will be conducted among voters in the 3rd District after Bennett missed meeting the threshold for participating in the Oct. 18 debate by less than half of a percent.

“The debate commission has demonstrated a great deal of integrity by taking this action,” Bennett said in a statement. “It’s a smart move, and it will ensure complete confidence in the results.”

A news release by the commission stated the poll made public Tuesday “was not conducted according to the prescribed approach” and a new poll following the methodology used in past elections “will produce the most appropriate results.”

The poll found that the Republican nominee, Provo Mayor John Curtis, has the lead among the eight candidates in the race to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz with the support of 50.17 percent of registered voters in the 3rd District.

Democrat Kathie Allen, a Cottonwood Heights physician, was in second place, with 19.82 percent, followed by Bennett, with 5.59 percent. The only other candidate who polled higher than 1 percent was Libertarian Joe Buchman, at 2.78 percent.

The threshold for participation in the debate is 10 percent, minus the margin of error.

In this case, candidates needed the support of at least 6.02 percent of those polled because the margin…

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