New Poll in Shockingly Competitive Utah: Trump 39%, Clinton 24%, Johnson 12%, McMullin 9%

Trump still can't crack 40% in a state that has averaged 68% GOP this century; meanwhile the last #NeverTrump hope is nipping at the Libertarian's heels, and Darrell Castle lags Deez Nuts


Evan McMullin campaign

Public Policy Polling has just come out with new numbers from the most safely Republican state in modern presidential politics: Utah. In a six-name contest, Republican Donald Trump beats Democrat Hillary Clinton 39 percent to 24 percent, with the also-rans headed up by Libertarian Gary Johnson (12 percent), independent candidate Evan McMullin (9 percent), the Constitution Party's Darrel Castle (2), and Green Jill Stein (1). Fourteen percent of poll respondents remain undecided, which is high by national standards.

The survey represents the first blip on the polling radar for McMullin, and surely comes as a blow to Johnson, despite showing him only a tick down from his previous polling in the state. The Libertarian's campaign is headquartered in Utah, and much of his regional strategy centers around the Beehive State (on which more below). The pollsters had further sport by asking voters to assess a Clinton/Trump-free ballot, only this time with Deez Nuts and Harambe added. Results: Johnson 18%, McMullin 14%, Stein 5%, Deez Nuts 4%, Darrell Castle and Harambe tied at 3%, and "not sure" taking the cake with 54%.

But the forehead-smacking headline, even on a poll which features a 15-point advantage for Trump, remains that Utah has been even remotely competitive this cycle. Of the five statewide presidential polls taken since the end of May, Trump has yet to top today's 39 percent, while Clinton was tied in one survey and down just three percentage points in another. Johnson has remained in double digits each time, perhaps soon to be joined by McMullin.

Here's how crazy that is. Take the 2016 candidates' average percentages across those five polls—Trump 35.2, Clinton 27.4, Johnson 13.4—and compare them to the last 10 presidential results in Utah (Libertarians in bold):

2012: MR 72.6 BO 24.7 GJ 1.2

2008: JM 62.2 BO 34.2 CB 1.3

2004: GB 71.5 JK 26.0 RN 1.2

2000: GB 66.8 AG 26.3 RN 4.7 PB 1.2

1996: BD 54.4 BC 33.3 RP 10.0

1992: GB 43.4 RP 27.3 BC 24.7 BG 3.8

1988: GB 66.2 MD 32.1 RP 1.2

1984: RR 74.5 WM 24.7

1980: RR 72.8 JC 20.6 JA 5.0 EC 1.2

1976: GF 62.4 JC 33.7 PG TA 2.5

(Bonus points if you can name '92's "BG" and '76's "PG" "TA" without looking.)

As you can see, Mitt Romney's massive 48-point win in 2012 was not some kind of freaky Mormon outlier—Utahns went by similar margins for George W. Bush in 2004, and even bigger ones for Ronald Reagan twice. And unlike, say, Alaska, there's no demonstrable third-party kink, with the lone exception of Ross Perot beating his national spread by nine percentage points in 1992. Libertarians only cracked the 1.0 percent threshold in 2012, 1988, and 1980.

Utah is key to Gary Johnson's aspirations. The campaign has held rallies there, focused its regional media strategy on the Salt Lake City market, and has been endorsed by a Utah state senator. Mitt Romney in June said he would consider voting Libertarian, and Johnson tried to lubricate that decision on Friday by guaranteeing Romney a slot in his prospective Cabinet (as well as saying that Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt would be "an ideal secretary of state"). The Utah delegation was among the most mutinous at the Republican National Convention, with delegates telling Anthony Fisher they were thinking about voting Libertarian, and Sen. Mike Lee telling me that he has "never anticipated voting for anyone who is not a Republican, particularly in a presidential contest," but that Trump "has yet to win me over." McMullin's success, too, underlies that the Republican nominee, even while maintaining his lead, has a miserable 31%/61% favorability/unfavorability rating in the state.

So what's the matter with Utah? The simplest explanation is probably the best: As The New York Times recently headlined it, "Mormons' Distaste for Donald Trump Puts Utah Up for Grabs." A state dominated by a long-persecuted religious minority is a bit tetchy about a candidate who has singled out Muslims for policy discrimination and attempted to build a Silent Majority-style campaign. Mormons value modesty, restraint, and thrift; Trump values ostentatious flourishes and relentless self-branding atop an empire fueled by debt. It's no surprise, for a number of reasons (including ideological principle) that prominent Senate Mormon Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) is not supporting Trump.

So how is Trumpworld handling this? Earlier this month, the candidate himself acknowledged he has a "tremendous problem in Utah," which he attempted to chip away at with an op-ed last week for the Deseret News, where he stressed restoring "conservative values" and accused Democrats of trying "to undermine our religious liberties." But there have been less diplomatic statements emanating from his camp.

Over the weekend, Breitbart.com, the house organ for Trumpism, ran a piece by former marginal GOP presidential candidate and longtime anti-immigration activist Tom Tancredo titled "Will the Mormon Church's Support for Muslim Immigration Block Trump's Victory?" Excerpt:

The truth is more simple, as is often the case in politics, and it has nothing to do with religious freedom as practiced by Americans under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

It is an open secret in Washington, D.C. that the Mormon church supports open borders and lax enforcement of immigration laws. Many Mormon politicians have been supporting amnesty and open borders for decades. […]

ISIS leaders must be rolling in the mosque's aisles in uncontrolled laughter over the Mormon concern over Muslim immigration, considering that religious liberty is the first casualty wherever radical Islam and Sharia are enforced. […]

Why is it suddenly an affront to religious liberty to say with Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact"?

Will that kind of Trumpian belligerence make Utah competitive? Don't bet on it: FiveThirtyEight currently puts Trump's odds of winning the state at 97.4 percent. But with Johnson and McMullin both focusing their energies there, and with at least the remote possibility of forthcoming third-party endorsements by respected Utahns, there's still a Jim Carrey-like chance. Which is borderline astonishing.

NEXT: Gary Johnson on Climate Change and a Carbon Tax

Utah Gary Johnson Donald Trump Mormonism Election 2016

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105 responses to “New Poll in Shockingly Competitive Utah: Trump 39%, Clinton 24%, Johnson 12%, McMullin 9%

  1. McMullin and GayJay’s combined vote total will be awarded to the real candidate, Mitt Romney.

  2. Still not understanding that polls conducted months before the election are poor predictors of election results, eh?

    1. We have to have SOMETHING to talk about, don’t we?

      1. ^This guy gets it.

    2. Yeah, I could have sworn the writers here were giving Trump no chance in Utah as recently as last week.

    3. In the history of polling nobody has been as far behind as Trump and gone on to win the popular vote.

      1. Trump 39%, Clinton 24%, Johnson 12%, McMullin 9%

        So nobody wins Utah?

  3. They don’t seem to be Ready for Hillary!

    1. Better start air dropping lube over there to get them Ready for Her.

  4. If only Johnson had considered Deez Nuts as a running mate. What a historic missed opportunity.

    1. “Johnson/Nuts ’16”

      “2016 needs a Johnson with Nuts!”

      1. It certainly would have stiffened the limp campaign season.

      2. Certainly sounds less painful than a Johnson/Weld Presidency.

      3. “2016 needs a Johnson with Nuts!”

        *standing ovation*

        (Sorry for stealing your shtick)

    2. [golf clap for all of you]

  5. A 15 point lead is “shockingly competitive”? Ok.

    1. Not only that, but another way of interpreting these numbers is “Trump continues to increase his polling numbers in Utah as Clinton reaches all-time lows”

      I cannot imagine why they went another way with the story.

      1. Well it’s obvious that they are Democrat party plants who have been playing the really long game.

        1. Something something… KOCKTALE PARTIEZ…

          It’s not a Trump thread until someone bitches about the tone of reason’s coverage of their “daddy”.

          1. Are you retarded, or what?

    2. In a state that is usually solidly Republican and the Republican candidate is leading, but getting considerably less than a majority of support, yeah, it kind of is.

  6. (Bonus points if you can name ’92’s “BG” and ’76’s “PG” without looking.)

    Bob Geldof and Peter Gabriel.

    1. BattleStar Galactica and Parental Guidance?

    2. Bryant Gumbel and Pam Grier?

      1. +1 razor blade

  7. Look, worrying about Trump’s chances in Utah is just silly. Not only is Trump going to win every state Romney did, he’ll also flip Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, Colorado, and possibly New York.

    You’d know this if you read Scott Adams.

    1. So long as Hillary doesn’t outmaster Don.

    2. But when Hitlery wins Georgia and South, it will allow her to finally be coronated. Hahaha. I can’t believe people think Hillary will win any state as she is horrible- fucking horrible.

  8. Utah is a socially conservative state.

    That Johnson isn’t seen as an especially attractive alternative to Trump there shouldn’t bother Johnson.

    In huge chunks of Utah, you can only buy alcohol in state owned stores, you can only buy cold beer if the alcohol content is below x percent (otherwise you have to buy it warm), and in practice, the few places you can buy beer sell it in bottles that require a bottle opener–and refuse to stock bottle openers for sale!

    The reason it’s that way in Utah is because the people of Utah (mostly Mormons) want it that way.

    Just because you don’t have to wear a motorcycle helmet, get a concealed carry permit, register your gun, or do any of the other nanny state things you’d have to do on the east coast or California, doesn’t mean the Mormons there are about to break for a Presidential candidate who to prove his commitment to the race, hasn’t smoked any marijuana in almost three whole months!

    Anyway, if “only” 12% of the people in Utah are breaking for Johnson despite all that, then he should be thrilled, but I wouldn’t expect the rest of the country to act like the Mormons in Utah. Without all those Mormons to contend with, Johnson might actually do better.

    1. And how is Johnson doing in less socially conservative Wyoming? Or Alaska?

      And why does Utah offer Johnson his best chance of picking up a few electoral college votes?

      It’s weird – it’s almost like they don’t care so much about pot or beer anymore . . . (I believe Pennsylvania has state-owned liquor stores too. but not a lot of Mormons).

      1. Mormons don’t care about beer or pot anymore?

        Sometimes we want things to be true so badly, we’re willing to overlook things we wouldn’t overlook otherwise.

        I’d love it if Mormons in Utah didn’t care about beer or pot anymore.

        That would be great.

        1. As a Cali native here on an extended work residence told me the other day “I like Salt Lake because it’s not trying to be LA, New York or San Francisco.” It’s a point I’ve long made with regard to diversity of place.

          They can heap on the weird, restrictive drinking laws, bar and strip club rules, music and nightlife regulations, etc., etc. all they want. As I pointed out to her “Where else can you do normal adult things and get the rush of “getting away with something”?”

          And lo and behold, there’s this place where social conservatives have a few things their way, and people of a more progressive bent are not only NOT murdered on the street daily, but there exists a vibrant (their word) gay ‘scene’, a brisk market across the spectrum of illegal substances, and numerous artistic and cultural productions just right out in the open they don’t even hide it!

          Weird fucking place.

      2. PA has state liquor stores, as does New Hampshire and a handful of other states. In PA the liquor stores are here to stay due to union lobbying, its a different dynamic than the one in play over in Utah.

        1. “…its a different dynamic than the one in play over in Utah.”

          In Utah it’s (LDS) principles coupled with a predominantly LDS electorate.

          Pretty much everywhere else it’s all about the principals desires of the electorate be damned.

          Yet Utah is the only one where it is a ‘libertarian’ concern.

          Funny that.

          1. …principals, desires…

    2. “Just because you don’t have to wear a motorcycle helmet, get a concealed carry permit, register your gun, or do any of the other nanny state things”

      1.) Title 41. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 6. Traffic Rules and Regulations. Article 15. Miscellaneous Rules. Section 41-6-107.8. Motorcycle or Motor-driven Cycle — Protective Headgear — Closed Cab Excepted — Specifications and Standards. : “(a) No person under the age of 18 shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle upon a public highway unless such person is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.
      “(b) This section shall not apply to persons riding within a closed cab. . . .”

      2.) 53-5-704.
      (4) (a) In addition to meeting the other qualifications for the issuance of a concealed firearm permit
      under this section, a nonresident applicant who resides in a state that recognizes the validity of the
      Utah permit or has reciprocity with Utah’s concealed firearm permit law shall:
      (i) hold a current concealed firearm or concealed weapon permit issued by the appropriate
      permitting authority of the nonresident applicant’s state of residency;

      3.) Gun ownership registration is voluntary.

  9. It is an open secret in Washington, D.C. that the Mormon church supports open borders and lax enforcement of immigration laws

    Yes, that must be result of their “dark skin is the Mark of Cain” doctrine.

      1. Joseph Smith took his magical fuck-frog and rubbed it upon Brigham Young’s clit-face and behold Brigham Young was cured!

        1. something something magical underwear

  10. Short version: Why would anyone expect a Mormon state like Utah to embrace a guy that smokes marijuana?

    1. Four corners

  11. I did not know Jeff Flake was Mormon.

  12. If some combination of Darrell/Evan/Gary/Jill won enough states to keep the Donald and Shillary below 270, and the House decided to put one of those 4 in charge instead of one of the 2 headliners, would the country go ape shit crazy that the winner of the popular vote wasn’t given the baton? Would there be riots or a collective shrug of the shoulders as our focus shifts to football season?

    1. I think Paine or Kaine would cause most people to breathe a sigh of relief, even if GhostMummy and Season One Homer Simpson are both a joke.

      1. Season One Homer Simpson


    2. People never talk about the 12th Amendment when dreaming of it going to the House. Here is how it would actually work.

      The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote;

      First, only the top three electoral vote getters are eligible for election by the House. So, they could not put Paul Ryan or someone in there. And if McMullin or Stein were to pull off winning a state, they would be eligible for election and not Johnson, assuming he didn’t win a state or won fewer electoral votes, even if Johnson had twice the number of raw votes.

      Lastly, the vote would be by state, with each state delegation casting one vote, until someone wins a majority of states. Given that scenario, it seems pretty unlikely that Johnson would ever win. It would still be Hillary or Trump. One other thing, it would be voted on by the current House in a lame duck session, not the incoming house. So, it would almost certainly be Trump.

      1. I expect most state would pressure their Representatives to vote for whichever candidate won their state, possibly even quickly pass a law requiring such (though it may be of dubious constitutionality).

        1. They would but that would also favor Trump. Remember, Hillary is almost certain to win California and New York. If she did that and still didn’t get a majority of electoral votes, chances are very good that Trump would have won a majority of states but not a majority of electoral votes because he won a lot of small population states like Wyoming and Nebraska and places like that.

          1. And then Hillary would run in 2020 with the promise to overthrow both the 1st amendment, and the 12th, and eliminate the electoral college. Something lefties already hate.

            1. Is there anyone who likes the electoral college?

              1. People who don’t live in Illinois and don’t want their entire state’s voice to be canceled out by 20 million fraudulent votes cast in one district in Illinois?

                1. If you’re whining about the fact that Senators are counted toward the total — I am certainly open to increasing the number of Representatives by a factor of at least ten, and making the House more powerful. If we can’t eliminate lobbying, we could at least make it much more expensive.

                  1. I would suggest that it be a simple popular vote. Seems fairest.

                    1. Seems easiest to steal, which I suppose makes it the best to scumbags like you. Faith in elections is low enough as it is. Once red-staters believe that blue-staters are not only stealing elections in their own states, but stealing votes from the people of other states, it’s going to be the end of the country. Granted that it’s probably for the best, but I can’t see the parasite classes allowing such a separation to happen without violence.

                    2. How is it easier to steal a national election than it would be a single election in, say, Ohio, or a couple of state elections to top the EC numbers? What you’re saying makes no sense, even if you weren’t indulging in whiny rightwing nonsense. Do you guys have even the remotest memory of the role evidence used to serve in the world?

                    3. Except when your candidate loses it and you’ll be demanding the return of the electoral college.

                    4. I think the president should be elected via ranked ballot. If noone has a majority of first votes, then the weakest candidate is eliminated and his ballots redistributed according to the 2nd votes… until someone has a majority. It is simple and provably fair.

                    5. ranked choice voting would be an improvement over the current voting system

                    6. Luckily, the Founding Fathers disagreed with you. Pure Democracy is a tyranny of the majority (in this case illegals and their anchor babies, dead folks voting in 2016 and socialists who love destroying the Constitution via the Nanny State).

              2. I like it. It’s designed to make the system less majoritarian, and that’s a good thing, in my opinion.

                1. How much less majoritarian can it get? In the Senate a Montanan is worth 40 Californians. Democrats get millions more votes in House races while being in the minority. Isn’t the problem with non-majoritarianism the fact that a minority gets its way?

                  The president is the only office the whole country votes for. At the very least the office should come with the legitimacy conferred by winning the most votes in the country. There is no valid argument for why the loser in the popular vote should get to be the winner of the race. Maybe the EC made some sense in an elitist way back in the day, but since it’s now rubber stamps anyway, it doesn’t serve any useful function.

                  1. If you had your way, Tonester, we would still be litigating out the 2000 election. Gore “won” the popular vote by 500,000 votes in an election of a hundred million ballots. That’s a margin of “victory” of one half of one percent. (Easily inside anyone’s margin of error.) If the entire election were down to just the popular vote, that result would have been challenged in EVERY state instead of just three counties in one state, as actually happened. There would be a recount of the whole blessed country from sea to shining sea… (And do recall how hard it was to recount just those three counties!) Massive riots, civil unrest, perhaps even Civil War Two would be the result.

                    But hey, what’s a little blood in the streets between friends?

              3. I think Slippery Rock schedules them in football. Easy win.

      2. what also tends to get lost is that “the Senate shall choose the Vice-President from the two highest numbers on the list”.
        so even if Johnson comes in 3rd in the EC, Weld wouldn’t be eligible to be VP. I’m sure the commentariat is deeply saddened by that.

        1. Hoping that in such a weird scenario the House goes with Clinton/Johnson. Vice Presidents Johnson seem to have a knack for getting the top slot.

          1. Omg true threat, true threat!

            1. Second Amendment people omg!

              1. Are you threatening Clinton? Any mention of the 2nd Amendment in that way can expect the SS (secret service) to come see you.

      3. One other thing, it would be voted on by the current House in a lame duck session

        I’m not so sure about that part. The text of the 12th (unless I missed something) doesn’t specify a date for when the vote would take place, and since a new Congress is usually sworn in on January 3rd, then it could be conceivable that the new Congress would vote. Not that it matters, Johnson still wouldn’t win, and assuming the R’s still control the House, it would probably still be Trump.

        What would be interesting is if the D’s take the Senate and if the new Congress is the one that votes, then we could end up with a Trump. Kaine administration. And cue the music.

    3. The partisan hacks will lose their shit and throw a fit while the rest of country breathes a sigh of relief and shifts their focus to football season. Regardless of whether Canckles or The Hairpiece wins the popular vote The only difference being which partisan hacks lose their shit and pitch a hissy fit.

    4. Yes, Darrell Castle Doctrine and Egg McMuffin have a prayer of getting any kind of votes…Why even add them into the mix?

  13. Wasn’t that gorilla born in Kenya? I wanna see it’s birth certificate, damn it!

    1. Harambe? My dick is out for him or something.

  14. I don’t see how a 13 point lead is all that competitive. It is not the biggest lead ever but it is sure as hell out of the margin of error.

    My favorite conspiracy theory is that McMullin is a stalking horse for Romney. Their plan is to use the Mormon mafia to have McMullin win Idaho and Utah. Then deprived of those electoral votes, neither Trump nor Hillary gets a majority and it goes into the House.

    But wait, McMullin being a true to his word Mormon Manchurian candidate instructs the electors from Utah and Idaho to not vote for him but vote for Mitt Romney. Thus, Romney finishes third and is eligible under the 12th Amendment to be selected as President by the House. The House then gives Mitt a chance.

    That is some gold plated crazy there. And the sad fact is, Romney and Kristol are so stupid, I can almost believe it.

    1. And the sad fact is, Romney and Kristol are so stupid, I can almost believe it.

      What do you mean, Bill Kristol’s stupid!?

      Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate–an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.

    2. How does Hillary not get a majority of electoral votes even if Idaho and Utah go third party?

      1. By dropping dead in the next two months? Though we’re talking technicalities, since it would probably lead to a Kaine win instead.

        1. I’m glad we agree how utterly pathetic the right has become, reduced to nominating a barely sentient orange boob and hoping his opponent dies since he can’t win any other way. All the cousin fucking in the world surely can’t make up for the void in their souls that would bring them to this.

          1. Yep, as pathetic as the left in nominating a brazenly corrupt corporatist kleptocrat, and then squandering every remaining ounce of credibility they had in shilling for her and sweeping her endless supply of scandals under the rug of the popular consciousness until it looked like someone tossed out a used carpet onto a giant mountain of dirt.

            1. How easy it would have been for Republicans to nominate someone who could beat such a person. They failed at even that, so this absurd false equivalency tells on itself.

              I appreciate that it’s futile explaining that the vast right-wing conspiracy, having lots of time on its hands what with deciding that governing and improving society were no longer on its agenda, can dream up an infinite supply of Clinton scandals, just as they did Obama scandals, and the fact that all or almost all fail to stick is not, as you might believe, all the more evidence of them being true.

              1. I remember when criticizing people in power was considered ‘progressive’ funny how now it’s right wing craziness to scrutinize the post powerful man in the world who, despite his power, is still somehow oppressed and its ‘punching down.’

              2. “They failed at even that”

                That’s why they are called the Stupid Party.

              3. All the signs of President Trump are there. I know it will be rough for you to accept but just contribute to the Clinton foundation so you and Hitlery can cry together.

                After Trump’s landslide victory, hopefully Chelsea will realize that the Clinton’s are done in politics…done.

          2. Thought you didn’t believe in souls?

    3. Umm, if that were the plan, why wouldn’t Romney just run himself? Some people were begging him to do just that.

  15. So wait, the Johnson/Weld campaign is headquartered in………….Utah?


  16. Trump values ostentatious flourishes and relentless self-branding atop an empire fueled by debt.

    Sounds like “Murica itself. Maybe Trump really is “the President this country deserves.”

  17. Btw, the vast majority of the people in the US still want big government. They may not think of it that way precisely, but that is still the people’s preference.

    Again, it would help A LOT if GJ is more coherent. McMullin does speak with much greater deal of confidence.

    1. Does McMullin even have a VP running with him or is it a draft pick to be named later?

      1. ‘TBD’ is probably best vp candidate in the race right now.

    2. No the majority does not want big government. This is why Trump will win because maybe just maybe he will do very little as president and voters can pressure their politicians to cut cut cut.

      Or you can just go back to socialist mouthpieces who push that Americans want a big Nanny State.

  18. It only takes a plurality.

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  20. Does this McMullin guy not look like Hitler? Or is it Mussolini? Which was the bald one? I always forget.

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  22. A New Mexico Poll has Clinton at 40, Trump at 31, and Johnson at 16. Libertarian moment?!?!

    1. I just had a libertarian moment in my pants.

  23. Fucking Egg McMuffin’s only purpose was to make sure GJ didn’t win Utah. Piece of shit.

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