The last time Utah went Democrat was in 1964, but thanks the world class efforts of Donald Trump that may be about to change.
Republican Donald Trump appears to have, in his earlier words, “a tremendous problem in Utah” as a new poll shows him slipping into a dead heatas a new poll shows him slipping into a dead heat with Democrat Hillary Clinton since crude comments he made about women surfaced last weekend.
And along with the billionaire businessman’s sudden fall, independent candidate and BYU graduate Evan McMullin surged into a statistical tie with the two major party presidential nominees, according to survey conducted Monday and Tuesday by Salt Lake City-based Y2 Analytics.
“A third-party candidate could win Utah as Utahns settle on one,” said Quin Monson, Y2 Analytics founding partner.
McMullin may well have caught lightning in a bottle.
The poll shows Clinton and Trump tied at 26 percent, McMullin with 22 percent and Libertarian Gary Johnson getting 14 percent if the election were held today. Y2 Analytics surveyed 500 likely Utah voters over landlines and cellphones Oct. 10-11 The poll has a plus or minus 4.4 percent margin of error.
The news is probably worse than it seems. The poll was taken by landline which will catch a disproportionately older and poorer audience, an audience that is probably more friendly to Trump than the population at large. So there is a much better than 50-50 chance that Trump is in second or third place in Utah. If that happens, Evan McMullin could be the first independent candidate to win electoral college votes since 1968.