To sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

Donald Trump continues to poll poorly in Utah and as such, Hillary Clinton continues to try to win the support of the Mormon vote in the state. Major media outlets have been speculating about what Utah’s role in this election will be. Below are excerpts from two such articles:

CNN: “Clinton Supporters look to drive wedge between Utah Mormons, Trump” 

Hillary Clinton’s supporters in the Beehive State have launched Utah Mormons for Hillary, according to a release from the campaign, the latest attempt to court a group of people deeply skeptical of Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign has sought to draw a wedge between Mormons — a religious group that makes up about 60% of Utah, according to some estimates — and Trump, the Republican presidential nominee. Some Mormon voters have grown concerned by Trump’s candidacy, citing questions they have about his principles and comments he has made that hint at religious persecution.

The goal, according to David Irvine, a former Republican member of the Utah House of Representatives and a member of the the organization, is to convince people within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to pick Clinton over Trump by touting the former secretary of state’s values and commitment to religious liberty.
To read the full article, click here
EconoTimes: “Could Clinton win Utah?”
Over the past ten years, membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS)increased by 45.5% to be the second-fastest-growing religion in the United States behind Islam (which increased 66.7%).

Utah is the geographical home of the Church of LDS, with almost 70% of the state’s population identifying as Mormon. This is important because in August, Trump named Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of the conservative news organisation Breitbart, to be his new campaign chief.

Three days later, Breitbart published an editorial by Trump campaign surrogate Tom Tancredo that attacked the Mormon church for appearing to be against Trump’s hardline immigration policies. Tancredo wrote:

The Mormon church supports open borders and lax enforcement of immigration laws.

Four years after Romney became the first Mormon to be nominated as a major party presidential candidate, Trump’s campaign is attacking the Mormon Church, leaving many Utah Republicans looking for an alternative.

An examination of Utah voter registration by party over the past year reveals a very interesting picture. As at August 22, 2016, 78.5% of Utah’s registered voters are affiliated with the Republican Party. Factoring in population growth since December 30, 2015, the number of registered Republicans has increased 9.2%.

Although this may initially look good for the party, over the same period, the number of registered Democrats has increased 16.7%, and registered third-party voters has increased 18.9%, while non-party-affiliated voters have actually decreased by 4.5%. This indicates that many Utah voters are looking for a Republican alternative. So the question therefore is: why?

To read the full article, click here