Trump Unpopular, But Still Heavily Favored in Utah

| Tom Jensen

In a year where much has been made of voters not liking their choices for President, there’s probably nowhere that’s truer than Utah. Donald Trump has a 31/61 favorability rating in the state. That makes him the popular candidate there, by comparison, as Hillary Clinton comes in at 23/72.

Clinton’s unpopularity makes Utah probably a step too far for Democrats even in a year where Trump’s weakness as a candidate is putting unusual states on the map. Trump leads the state with 39% to 24% for Clinton, with Gary Johnson at 12%, Evan McMullin at 9%, Darrell Castle at 2%, and Jill Stein at 1%. If voters had to choose just between the two major candidates, Trump’s lead would grow to 20 points at 53/33.

Much has been made of Trump’s unpopularity with Mormons and certainly that’s a real thing- only 33% of Mormons see him favorably to 56% with an unfavorable opinion. But that still puts him in much better position than Clinton who comes in at 12/84 with Mormons. When it comes to the horse race Clinton is actually tied for third among Mormons in the state- Trump gets 44%, McMullin 13%, and Clinton and Johnson tie for third at 12%. Echoing a finding we made the last time we publicly polled Utah in 2011, non-Mormon Utah would be one of the most Democratic states in the country. Among non-Mormons in the state, Clinton leads by 16 points with 46% to 30% for Trump, and 11% for Johnson.

Even in a state where Trump’s up big, problems loom for him in the polls. 65% of voters in the state think he needs to release his tax returns, to only 22% who don’t think it’s necessary for him to. That issue continues to pose doubts about him for voters, and even among his own supporters 44% think he needs to release them with only 36% saying he doesn’t need to. Only 39% of voters think Trump can be trusted with nuclear weapons, to 48% who think he can’t be. Trump’s losing his battle with the media- by a double digit margin (45/34) voters say that the New York Times is more respectable than Trump is. And some of his recent statements are a step too far even for his supporters- Trump may want to be called ‘Mr. Brexit’ but only 6% of voters think he deserves credit for the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, to 70% who say he deserves no such credit. Even among Trump’s own voters, just 11% buy the premise that Trump deserves credit for the Brexit vote. 

We continue to find overwhelming belief among Trump voters that if Hillary Clinton wins the election it will only be because it was rigged on her behalf. 65% of Trump voters say a Clinton win will be due to voter fraud, compared to just 21% who think it will be because she received more voters. To give credit where it’s due though Trump voters in Utah, contra North Carolina and Texas, at least don’t think that ACORN will be the organization stealing the election for Clinton.

The other major races in Utah this year shape up about how you’d expect. Gary Herbert is one of the more popular Governors in the country, with 57% of voters approving of him to only 26% who disapprove. He leads his reelection bid against Democratic challenger Mike Weinholtz 57-21, with third party candidates getting a total of 7%, and 14% of voters undecided. 

It’s a similar story in the US Senate race. Mike Lee’s approval numbers are solid, on the curve of modern Senator approval ratings, with 42% of voters approving of the job he’s doing to 34% who disapprove. He leads Democratic challenger Misty Snow 51-21, with independent candidates getting a total of 8% and 20% of voters still undecided. We also tested Jim Matheson since there’s still time for Democrats to change their candidate. Matheson’s popular- a +25 net favorability rating with 46% of voters seeing him positively to 21% with a negative view. But he’d still trail Lee by 7 points at 44-37, and if there’s any Democrat who could win statewide in Utah at this point it’s probably him.

Full results here

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