How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics for Thursday, August 11, 2016

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 224th day of the year. There are 142 days left in 2016.

Mike Lee has a big lead over Misty Snow. Hillary Clinton makes a play for Mormon voters. Donald Trump calls President Obama the “founder” of ISIS.

The clock:

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

Ten talking points for Thursday:

  1. Sen. Mike Lee has a 35-point lead over Democrat Misty Snow in our newest polling data [Utah Policy].
  2. This is shaping up to be a really weird election year. Hillary Clinton pens an op-ed in a bid to woo Mormon voters in Utah [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  3. Here we go again. Donald Trump tells a crowd in Florida that President Barack Obama is the “founder” of ISIS and Hillary Clinton is the terrorist group’s “co-founder” [USA Today]. Just in case you were confused, Obama and Clinton are not the founders of ISIS.
  4. Hillary Clinton plans to release her 2015 tax returns and her running mate, Tim Kaine, will release 10 years of tax information this week in an effort to pressure Donald Trump into releasing his tax documents [CNBC].
  5. Polling Roundup: The battleground state of Wisconsin seems to be tipping into the Democratic column as Hillary Clinton has opened up a 15-point lead over Donald Trump there [Politico]. Clinton has a 6-point national lead in a four-way race that includes Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein [Politico].
  6. Former President Bill Clinton will be in Utah to raise money for his wife’s campaign Thursday [Deseret News]. 
  7. Utah native Evan McMullin formally announced his presidential bid in Utah Wednesday night [Politico, Deseret News].
  8. Environmental groups who opposed a proposed nuclear power plant near Green River have dropped their legal challenge to the facility because they say backers of the plan are short on cash [Tribune, Deseret News].
  9. West Jordan residents voice their concerns about the cost of possibly building a Facebook data center there [Deseret News, Tribune].
  10. Former Salt Lake City councilman Eric Jergensen has been indicted in New York City for being involved in a plot to steal $2.5 million from a construction project [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1934 – The first group of federal prisoners classified as “most dangerous” arrived at Alcatraz Island.
  • 1965 – Riots began in the Watts section of Los Angeles. In six days of violence, 34 people were killed.
  • 1984 – In an off-air radio voice check picked up by TV cameras, President Ronald Reagan joked, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes.”
  • 1997 – Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to use the line-item veto, a power granted by Congress the year before.
  • 1999 – The Kansas State Board of Education voted to drop the theory of evolution from the public school curriculum.