Search This Blog

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Mormons & Other Practicing Christians Dislike Trump

At The Washington Post, Philip Bump asks why Trump is doing poorly in Utah. It's not just that Mormons hate him:
Daily prayer and regular church attendance are two of the components of the Barna Group's definition of a "practicing Christian." Barna, a California-based research firm, conducts regular surveys of the religious lives of Americans. In February, it looked at how different groups viewed the Republican contenders. No group had a more negative view of Donald Trump than "practicing" Christians.
What may be prompting the stiff resistance to Trump, then, isn't just that Utah is home to a lot of Mormons -- it's that those Mormons are more religious and that religious voters are more likely to view Trump with hostility.
The good news for Trump is that most of the states with the largest groups of regular churchgoers have already voted. Most are in the Bible Belt, as you might expect -- a region where Trump did very well. Political beliefs are more complicated than they might appear at first glance. Sort of like religious ones.
In fact, he would lose the state in November.  The Deseret News reports:
If Donald Trump becomes the Republican Party's nominee, Utahns would vote for a Democrat for president in November for the first time in more than 50 years, according to a new Deseret News/KSL poll.
"I believe Donald Trump could lose Utah. If you lose Utah as a Republican, there is no hope," said former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a top campaign adviser to the GOP's 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney.
The poll found that may well be true. Utah voters said they would reject Trump, the GOP frontrunner, whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the Democratic candidate on the general election ballot.
While Clinton was only slightly ahead of Trump — 38 percent to 36 percent — Sanders, a self-declared Democratic socialist, holds a substantial lead — 48 percent to 37 percent over the billionaire businessman and reality TV star among likely Utah voters.
"Wow. Wow. That's surprising," said Chris Karpowitz, co-director of Brigham Young University's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. "Any matchup in which Democrats are competitive in the state of Utah is shocking."