How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics for Thursday, August 4, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 217th day of the year. There are 149 days left in 2016.

Mormons dislike Donald Trump so much they might tip Utah to Hillary Clinton. Republicans are reportedly exploring options for replacing Donald Trump on the ballot. A recount confirms Rep. Mel Brown lost his GOP primary to Logan Wilde.

The clock:

  • 96 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)
  • 172 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (1/23/2017)
  • 217 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature – (3/9/2017)

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. Mormons dislike Donald Trump so much it’s fueling speculation that Utah could vote for Hillary Clinton in November [Slate]. However, there’s no concrete indication that Utah is in play this year [Utah Policy].
  2. A DC Metro Transit police officer has been charged with attempting to provide material support for ISIS [Fox News].
  3. Top Republican are reportedly exploring their legal options for replacing Donald Trump on the ballot if he were to drop unexpectedly out of the race [ABC News]. The Republican National Committee forcefully denies those reports, saying Trump is the GOP nominee no matter what [The Hill].
  4. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough says Donald Trump repeatedly asked a foreign policy expert during a national security briefing why the U.S. couldn’t just use nuclear weapons. Trump’s campaign is vehemently denying the story [Huffington Post].
  5. Donald Trump has made up a big portion of the fundraising gap between his campaign and Hillary Clinton, bringing in $64 million last month [New York Times].
  6. Poll roundup: A Fox News poll gives Hillary Clinton a 10-point lead nationally [Politico]. Clinton has a 15-point lead over Donald Trump in New Hampshire [Bloomberg].
  7. A recount confirms Logan Wilde has ousted longtime Republican Rep. Mel Brown in the GOP primary [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].
  8. President Barack Obama commutes the sentences of 214 prisoners. That brings the number of commutations granted by Obama to 562, more than the previous nine presidents combined [ABC News]. Two of the prisoners receiving commutations are Utahns convicted of drug charges [Deseret News].
  9. The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked an order from a lower court allowing a transgender student in Virginia to use the bathroom of his choice [Reuters].
  10. The hot and dry summer is reviving drought conditions throughout Utah [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1914 – Britain declared war on Germany while the United States proclaimed its neutrality in World War I.
  • 1944 – Acting on a tip from a Dutch informer, the Nazi Gestapo captured 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam, Netherlands, warehouse.
  • 1987 – The Federal Communications Commission voted to rescind the Fairness Doctrine, which required radio and TV stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues.
  • 2010 – A federal judge struck down the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban in California, calling the law discriminating and unconstitutional.