Utah, one of the most conservative states in the country, might be the state that keeps McConnell out of the position he most covets, Senate Majority Leader. Yes, Utah is very conservative, but the state has resisted the whole Trump movement more so than other conservative states. Smartly, the Utah Democratic Party decided not to run a candidate against MAGA Mike Lee and instead threw its support behind very conservative Evan McMullin, hoping to deny MAGA a majority. It is working, or at least as well as can be expected at this point. McMullin could beat Lee.
From the conservative Deseret News:
Engaged in a fierce battle in the U.S. Senate race in Utah, a new poll shows Republican Sen. Mike Lee and independent challenger Evan McMullin neck and neck with a little over six weeks to Election Day.
The latest Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey found 36% of Utahns would vote for Lee and 34% for McMullin if the election were held today. Another 16% don’t know who they would vote for, while 13% would mark the ballot, which includes two third-party candidates, for someone else.
According to the poll, those who identified themselves as “very liberal” and “moderate” represent the highest percentages of undecided voters.
Liberals and moderates are not voting for Mike Lee under any circumstances. It would seem that Lee cannot factor in any of those votes. But some of the liberals and moderates may do what the Utah Democratic party did and vote to keep the Senate out of MAGA hands by throwing their support to McMullin.
McMullin is a true conservative of the George Will type. He will not be voting for any Build Back Better anything, nor women’s rights. But McMullin has said that he will not caucus with either party. If McMullin wins, a vote that McConnell believed to be in the bag will be missing. Tossing Mike Lee out of the “51” that McConnell needs could be the deciding factor.
As for why Utah has rejected Trump more than any other conservative state? It appears that the large LDS population has stuck to its values while seeing Trump for who and what he is. Trump is a lot of things, but he isn’t conservative, nor does Trump live a life that a highly religious population would find tolerable. That is the guess.
Utah may keep the Senate out of Republican hands because of Donald Trump.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact with any concerns.