Trump’s Mormon Troubles

There’s an influential minority group that might throw a monkey wrench into Donald Trump’s presidential fantasy and it is not Hispanics. That group surprisingly enough is Mormons; or the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints, who are known as staunch Republicans.

The Mormon homeland of Utah is known as a dark red state; that has not supported a Democrat for President since 1964. Back in 1992, Bill Clinton; even came in third behind President George H.W. Bush and third-party wingnut H. Ross Perot, in Utah’s voting.

Yet this year, Trump is getting just 37% of the vote in the state to Hillary Clinton’s 25%, a Utah Policy Poll found. Libertarian Gary Johnson is polling a strong third at 16%. To make matters worse 7% of the voters are undecided and 14% say they would vote for an unknown other.

If you can do the math, you can get the picture here, if Clinton were to pick up the votes of the other and the undecided she could become the first Democrat since Lyndon Baines Johnson to carry Utah.

What’s worse for Trump is that Gary Johnson is outpolling him among Utah’s independent voters. Around 28% of independents in Utah backed Johnson, and 20% backed Trump.

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Trump Sabotages his Campaign and Drives Away Voters Yet Again

The reason Trump is doing so badly in Utah is that Mormons, who have a history of persecution don’t like him. Many of them view his anti-Muslim bigotry as no better than the anti-Mormon prejudice that drove violence and persecution against Mormons in the 19th Century.

Mormons were driven from their homes, lynched, and subjected to federal persecution. In 1859 President James Buchanan even sent the Army against them in the so-called Mormon War. Clinton is trying to appeal to them with an op-ed in The Deseret News ,the newspaper owned and operated by the Mormon Church.

This is bad news for Trump because Mormons are an important part of the population in six Western states Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona. Three of those places; Colorado, Nevada and Arizona, are important swing states.

Another Screw Trump Candidate

Things are about get worse for Trump because a conservative Mormon and Republican; former CIA operative Evan McMullin, has thrown his hat into the Presidential ring as an independent candidate. Since McMullin has little or no chance this looks suspiciously like another “screw Trump” effort.

McMullin is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who was working as chief policy director for the US House of Representatives Republican Conference. He won’t make much of a difference in most places; but in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho and possibly Colorado McMullin, can really hurt Trump.

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McMullin claims he has lined up financial support, probably from the Koch brothers who want Mormons to come out and vote for Congressional Republicans. This might be an effort to help Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) who is in a tight reelection campaign in the Denver suburbs where there is a large Mormon population.

Were he to take just 5% to 10% of the vote away from the Donald, McMullin could push Utah or Nevada to Hillary. To make matters worse, Trump is stabbing himself in the foot with Mormons.

The Donald gave a speech to a group of evangelicals on August 11, in which he called Utah a tremendous problem, The Christian Science Monitor reported. Some Mormons viewed that as promoting anti-Mormon bigotry. If that continues, Trump will have yet another group with a reason to vote for him.

One has to wonder how anybody ever considered Donald a serious presidential candidate. He seems intent on driving every group in America away from his campaign.