There are two big signs that Donald Trump’s campaign is in an utter panic when it comes to Utah. It’s also a sure indication that Trump thinks he needs to carry Utah, and its six Electoral Votes, if he’s going to have any chance of winning in November.
First, Gov. Mike Pence is coming to campaign in Utah on Wednesday.
Second, Trump’s campaign has started robocalling to voters in the state.
Both of those developments are certain indicators that Trump and the Utah GOP has utterly failed at their job this election cycle.
There is absolutely zero reason for GOP candidate, even one as loathsome to Utahns as Donald Trump, to have an official campaign event in Utah with 13 days to go to election day.
The only, and I mean ONLY reason Mike Pence or any other high-profile member of the Trump campaign should set foot in Utah is to collect campaign checks. Have a high-dollar fundraiser and get the hell out of dodge before anyone realizes you’re here.
Donald Trump, Jr. was in Utah a few weeks ago for just that reason. He shook some hands with Utah legislators, held a fundraiser, and then left. Just how it should be.
But, the rise of Evan McMullin, has put Utah in play because he’s taking a whole lot of Republican votes away from Trump, votes he apparently needs. That’s why the Republican nominee is spending time and money in Utah, something he can ill afford to do.
“It would be absolutely embarrassing for Trump if he had to spend one dollar or one minute campaigning in one of, if not the most Republican state in the Union. The only reason he should need to come here is to fundraise because the state is so overwhelmingly Republican.”
But, here we are. Trump’s #2 is coming to Utah, and he is campaigning through robocalls. That is the worst case scenario for the Republican nominee.
It also is a huge “tell” about his campaign strategy. Trump could afford to lose Utah to Evan McMullin, or even Hillary Clinton if he thought he had a viable path to 270 electoral votes. This tells us that any trail to victory Trump sees must include Utah. That’s a terrible place for Trump to be.
If you look at the Electoral College projections, Trump is already on pace to get pasted by Hillary Clinton. His advisors know it, and he knows it. This is the time he should be fighting like crazy to expand his electoral map to give him a fighting chance. Contesting Utah means his map is shrinking to a very uncomfortable level.
It’s a sad state of affairs when normally rock-solid Republican Utah goes from safe Republican to a “must win” for the GOP presidential nominee.