Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and Republicans gotta carry Utah in presidential elections.
But not this year according to the conservative editorial board of the Salt Lake Tribune which today endorsed Hillary Clinton and not Donald Trump.
“There is certainly not a perfect choice but, at this point, the only candidate who comes close to being qualified and fit for the post is Hillary Clinton,” the editorial reads. “She has shown that she is tough, yet able and willing to reach out to politicians to her left and her right in order to get things done.”
Many of the top political leaders in Utah, a state with a big Mormon population, are not supporting Trump. The paper, calling this election a “circus,” says the country can survive four years of Clinton, but not one year of Trump.
“His entire campaign was based on divisive, bigoted and insulting rhetoric,” said the editorial. “On lies about how bad things are. On a promise to fix things by basically being a dictator. It was all designed to inflame a vocal minority of us who haven’t adjusted to the fact that the America where white males brought home the bacon from secure factory jobs — and didn’t have to deal with a globe of different ethnic backgrounds — is gone for good.”
The endorsement of Clinton comes on the same day a new Y2 Analytics poll finds her tied with Trump in the heavily Republican state.
Utah has not supported a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but the Clinton campaign has been actively courting Mormon voters for months.
McMullin, a Mormon, was a late entrant to the presidential race and has focused on Utah, where he was born. It’s one of the few handful of states where the former CIA employee will be on the ballot in November. He is obviously taking a huge chunk of votes away from Trump.
“It is entirely possible that Utah does not vote for Donald Trump,” said Republican State Sen. Daniel Thatcher. He puts the odds of Trump holding the state at just “50-50.”
If another poll finds a similar result, we will move Utah from “solidly Republican” to “toss-up” on our electoral map. That is devastating news for the Trump campaign which is struggling to find a pathway to 270 electoral votes, and had counted on an easy win in Utah.