Could a Clinton finish third in Utah again? A new UtahPolicy.com survey suggests Hillary Clinton could be on a path to repeat the ignominious defeat suffered by her husband Bill in Utah 22 years ago.
Our survey shows Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is surging among Utah voters, picking up 6 points in the last month. During that same time, support for Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump has stagnated.
In the latest numbers from Dan Jones & Associates, Trump leads the pack with 37%; Clinton pulls in 25% while Johnson gets 16% support. Green Party nominee Jill Stein gets 1%. 14% mentioned some other candidate while 7% remain undecided.
In our mid-June survey, Trump pulled in 36% and Clinton had 27%. Johnson scored 10% while Stein had 2%.
Our survey began the first night of the Republican National Convention and continued through last week. During that span, Trump delivered his wildly unpopular acceptance speech and openly feuded with the parents of a fallen Muslim-American soldier. It is unclear whether these events had any effect on Trump's poll standing.
A Salt Lake Tribune poll taken earlier than the past two UtahPolicy.com surveys showed Clinton tied with Trump at 35% with Johnson at 13%. That survey energized Utah Democrats, giving them hope that a Democratic presidential candidate might be competitive in Utah for the first time in half-a-century. Speculation further intensified when news broke during the Democratic National Convention that former President Bill Clinton would make a campaign stop in Utah on Thursday of this week.
The last two UtahPolicy.com polls suggest Clinton needs to worry about being caught from behind by a third-party candidate.
It wouldn't be the first time. In 1992, Bill Clinton finished in third place behind George H.W. Bush and businessman Ross Perot in Utah. That year, Bush failed to get a majority in the Beehive State, winning 47% of the vote. Perot got 27%, and Clinton won 24%.
Republicans in Utah have seemingly fallen in line behind Trump after rejecting him during the party's March caucus when he finished in 3rd place. Now, 63% of Republican voters say they support the businessman who won their party's nomination. In our June poll, 57% of Republicans said they would vote for Trump.
Not surprisingly, Utah Democrats are nearly united in their support of Hillary Clinton. 86% of Utah Democrats say they plan on voting for her in November. Clinton was crushed by Bernie Sanders in the March presidential preference vote, fueling speculation that Clinton might have trouble recovering after she locked up the nomination.
Johnson's surge looks to be powered by independent voters who are starting to drift toward the Libertarian nominee. 28% of Utah independents say they plan to vote for Johnson. That's a 13-point jump from June when Johnson was at 15%. Just 20% of Utah independents support Trump.
Johnson is seemingly not making inroads with Utah Republicans. In June, 9% of Republicans said they would vote for the former New Mexico governor. Now he gets 11% from that group.
The March vote for the Democrats also allowed independent voters to take part, many of whom showed up to vote for Sanders. Those Sanders independents do not seem to be defecting to Green Party candidate Jill Stein who is trying to lure Sanders supporters to her camp. Just 3% of independent voters and 3% of Utah Democrats say they support Stein.
Women voters are much less supportive of Donald Trump than men. 43% of men in our survey said they would vote for the Republican nominee, while just 32% of women agreed. 28% of women support Hillary Clinton while just 22% of men do.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey was conducted July 18 - August 4, 2016, among 858 likely Utah voters with a margin of error +/-3.34%