The Washington Examiner asks several Utah political insiders to explain why Beehive State voters have such a standoffish attitude toward Donald Trump—a reticence outweighed only by Utahns’ antipathy for Hillary Clinton.
Utah Republicans don’t expect Trump to lose the state’s six Electoral College votes to Clinton (or Johnson.) The state is simply too Republican, and conservative, to shift its support to a liberal Democrat like Clinton.
It’s in Utah that Trump’s pitch about voting for him to protect the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, and his other traditional GOP positions, like across-the-board tax cuts, should resonate with Republicans and overcome whatever reticence they have toward him.
Utah’s GOP establishment has been slow to come around. Hughes has been among the minority of high profile Republicans to do so early. Sen. Mike Lee still refuses to endorse Trump. Others, like Sen. Orrin Hatch, have offered only begrudging support.
But just last week, Gov. Gary Herbert, who endorsed Ted Cruz in the Utah primary, which was won by the Texas senator, offered his seal of approval, saying during a news conference that that he would becasting a ballot for Trump in November. Herbert cited Trump’s vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and the Supreme Court, as factors.
“There’s not a lot of enthusiasm for Trump, but there’s even less for Hillary Clinton,” said LaVarr Webb, a Republican consultant in Salt Lake City whose publication, UtahPolicy.com, sponsored the Dan Jones poll.