Utah, the swing state? It seems like a long, long time ago that Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders won the Utah caucuses. Ancient history. Utah’s always been a peculiar state, and the people who the majority of Utahns wanted to represent their parties both lost.
Two polls now show that the state of Utah is in play. If you average the SurveyUSA and Gravis polls, it shows that Donald Trump at 32%, Hillary Clinton at 30.5%, and Gary Johnson at 14.5%. These polls were conducted before the Orlando shooting.
Trump has yet to show any sign of pivoting to a general election. He’s still retweeting conspiracy theories, attacking people’s heritage, doubling down on banning all Muslims from coming here (temporarily!), and embarrassing any Republican leader who endorsed him and has self-respect. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is under a criminal investigation over her email server. I repeat what White House press secretary Josh Earnest said: “Criminal investigation.”
The ray of hope this week came from Utah’s own lieutenant governor Spencer J. Cox, who made more than a few people wish he was running for governor now after his speech on the Orlando shooting. If he wants Sen. Hatch’s senate seat in 2018, it’s his.
Meanwhile, Mia Love is at risk of losing her Congressional seat only one term after winning it. Challenger Doug Owens is ahead in the latest poll.
What can the Republican party do to save itself? Never in the history of polling has a Republican (or Democratic) presidential candidate had an unfavorable rating of 70%. Even in Trump’s allegedly best demographic – white men – he has a 52% unfavorable rating. And at this point, it’s not about the fact that he can’t win; it’s about the fact that he is destroying the GOP brand beyond recognition.
When the delegates meet in Cleveland, they and Reince Priebus and party leaders can choose to go another way.
As for me and my house in November, Gary Johnson’s looking pretty good.