Utahns definitely do not want to see Donald Trump win the GOP nomination or run as a third-party candidate in 2016.
If Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were to face off in 2016, Trump would defeat the former Secretary of State by 9-points. However, nearly 1/3 of Utahns say they would support someone other than those two, opening the possibility of a third-party spoiler in Utah next year.
Our newest UtahPolicy.com survey conducted by Dan Jones & Associates finds Trump would be the choice of 38% of Utahns while 29% say they would vote for Clinton. Another 29% tell us they would prefer another candidate.
Those numbers suggest there could be a repeat of 1992 in Utah when Bill Clinton finished in third place in the Beehive State behind George H.W. Bush and Reform Party candidate Ross Perot. If a viable third-party candidate were to enter a matchup featuring Trump and Clinton, it's entirely conceivable that she could finish in third place, just like her husband. In fact, these numbers are eerily close to the 1992 results, when Bush won 43% of the vote to Perot's 27% and Clinton's 24%.
Utahns also don't want to see Trump capture the GOP nomination in 2016. Nearly half of those surveyed (49%) said they "definitely" do not support the real estate magnate as the GOP nominee, while another 18% say they "probably" would not support him as the Republican standard bearer. Given those numbers, we probably should not expect Trump to visit Utah on a campaign swing any time soon.
Trump has hinted he might run as a third-party candidate if his bid for the GOP nomination falls short. Utahns would not be in support of an effort like that. More than 3/4 of respondents to our survey say they would not be in favor of Trump running for president outside of the Republican party. A whopping 62% say they would "definitely" not support Trump as a third-party candidate.
If the only choices were Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or some other candidates, a majority (60%) of Utah Republicans say they would vote for Trump while 28% of GOP voters would opt for another candidate.
Trump also shows strong support among voters who consider themselves part of the Tea Party, crushing Clinton in that group by a 59-4% tally. 35% of Tea Party voters say they would vote for someone other than those two.
Not surprisingly, Democrats in Utah would overwhelmingly vote for Clinton over Trump by an 89-2% margin.
The real battleground in that race would be for the allegiance of independent voters and those who don't consider themselves part of the Tea Party.
Independent voters narrowly pick Clinton over Trump by a 31-28% score. However, 37% of that group say they don't like either of those choices and would vote for another candidate.
Among voters who don't consider themselves part of the Tea Party, we see similar numbers, with that group preferring Trump over Clinton 35-33%. A little more than a quarter (28%) say they would vote for another candidate.
The survey was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates from August 7-14, 2015 among 500 adult Utahns. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.99%.