New dignity index rates candidates on how civil they are

Oct 7, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 2:44 pm
Rep. Curtis and challenger Wright are pictured shaking hands, their debate was rated by the dignity...
Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Glenn Wright shake hands after debating in the 3rd Congressional District debate at the KBYU Broadcasting building in Provo on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As mid-term elections draw near, there’s a new ranking system that scores how civil candidates are when they disagree.

The University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics and Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute helped create the index.

Jesse Graham from the Hinckley Insitute explained to KSL’s Inside Sources how to use it.

‘The dignity index is eight point index going from one — which is maybe total contempt for the other side — to eight, which is total dignity to the other side” Graham said.

He explained the points in between one and eight, saying “A four you see the other side is maybe incompetent. A three you see the other side as evil. And at two, they’re an existential threat, you know, so you can see kind of the rhetoric amping up there.”

Dignity Index Scores for the First Congressional Debate 


Dignity Index Scores for the 4th Congressional District Debate 


Portions of Thursday night’s third congressional district debate were rated by the dignity index.

For example, it rated incumbent Republican Rep. John Curtis a five when he said this about the state’s ban on transgender girls playing in sports:

“I have four daughters, I do not want a man competing with them in sports period, under any circumstances. Now, if it’s more complicated than that, I’m happy to sit down and talk about it. But I don’t see it where there’s a place for that.”

And it rated Democratic candidate Glenn Wright a four for saying this about the ban:

“It came from a segment of our society that is afraid of the LGBT community. And just, you know, they found transgender folks as the latest whipping person.”

The index has also rated other interactions between candidates, including social media interactions between Evan McMullin and incumbent Sen. Mike Lee. You can find those ratings at dinginityindex.us

Dignity Index Scores for the Utah Senate and Congressional District 2 Debates

Related: Election threats reported in Utah, as other states still see ‘unusual’ levels

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New dignity index rates candidates on how civil they are