Digging into Utah’s 2016 electoral map

We all know that Salt Lake City – the state capital and its largest city – is Democratic.

After all, the mayors have been blue politically since the early 1970s.

But a New York Times interactive map showing the presidential voting in 2016 – which is broken down by voting precincts across the nation – shows some very interesting partisan activity in Utah.

And while the race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and GOP President Donald Trump is slightly skewed in Utah because of the independent candidacy of Evan McMullin (he actually won some precincts, like in Utah County and Provo City), overall it is still a fascinating look for politicos to see which areas – even neighborhoods – are hardcore Republican or Democratic, which are more up for grabs.

The map is here.

The map breaks out along colors – shades of red are Republican/Trump, shades of blue are Democratic/Clinton.

The lighter colors show plurality, darker colors moving to a majority, then 60-70 percent, then further supermajorities up the scale, all the way up to 90 percent for a candidate being the darkest blue or red.

Utah, of course, is a very red state. And the overall statewide map shows this – only pockets of Democratic blue.

In some dark red precincts in Utah, Trump won with 90 percent of the vote – overwhelming numbers.

Here are some highlights:

— There are precincts in Salt Lake City that voted 77 percent for Clinton – very Democratic areas.

Those areas are currently represented by Democrats in the Utah House and Senate – districts that were lumped together to make them even more Democratic so that Republicans could have a chance in areas further south in Salt Lake County.

Salt Lake County itself is a mixed bag, very Democratic to the north, more Republican to the southwest – Herriman and Draper and such.

Clinton won the county as a whole, 42-33 percent.

The county mayor, sheriff and district attorney are Democrats, but Republicans control the County Council.

There are some blue areas along the county’s east side that currently have moderate Republicans legislators – areas that a good Democratic legislative candidate should have a shot in.

West Valley City and Taylorsville are mostly slightly Democratic, but some of these areas have Republican House and Senate members – no doubt due to carefully gerrymandering by the GOP-controlled Legislature back in 2011.

Besides winning in Salt Lake County, Clinton took Summit County, home to the liberal Park City, by an even greater margin, 50-35 percent.

She won in one Park City precinct with 77 percent of the vote over Trump.

Moving out of Salt Lake County one sees that Davis County, while Republican, is much less so than Utah County – a whole lot of deep red down there.

Downtown Ogden is blue. Democrats regularly held Utah House seats up there, but haven’t for a decade or so.

Tooele County is solid red. Back in the day, there used to be one or even two Utah House Democrats from Tooele, even a senator.

No longer. With the loss of so many U.S. Army jobs out in Tooele County, it has become a safe Republican area.

Moab is blue, but Grand County as a whole still voted for Trump/Republican.

Price and Helper are no longer blue. Once a safe Democrat area with union coal miners making up large parts of the population, the area is now red – with Republicans holding its House and Senate seats.

Springdale, outside of Zions National Park, is blue – all those artsy folks down there.

So is Boulder Town and Torrey Town – same deal. So-called “outsiders” have been moving in as retirees or “snowbirds” come in seeking shelter from harder winter climes.

And we all know about San Juan County, where there have been court challenges over gerrymandering various county seats.

Very blue inside the Navajo nation, red outside of it. The county voted for Trump, 48-37 percent.