ST. GEORGE – The results of two new polls released Thursday place Donald Trump at the head of the pack of presidential hopefuls in Utah, with Hillary Clinton in second place and Evan McMullin in third.
The numbers are a reverse from some recent polling trends that have placed McMullin close to, or slightly ahead of Trump.
The results of a new Monmouth University poll puts Trump at 37 percent in Utah, with Hillary Clinton following behind at 31 percent, and McMullin at 24 percent. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson came in at 4 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent.
“It’s been nearly 50 years since a third party candidate won any state’s electoral votes. That streak should remain intact,” said Patrick Murray, director of the non-partisan Monmouth University Polling Institute, on the Manmouth website regarding the new results. “While McMullin has cut into Trump’s partisan support, the independent candidate has not broken out of third place.”
The other poll, conducted by Heat Street/Rasmussen Reports, puts Trump at 41 percent, Clinton at 31 percent, McMullin at 21 percent, and Johnson as 3 percent. The margin for error is plus or minus 4 percent.
“Utah Republicans appear to be coming home to Trump as his race with Clinton tightens,” according to the Rasmussen Report.
“Utahns are pragmatic, when push comes to shove, Utahns come through like they always do,” said James Evans, chairman of the Utah Republican Party. “They understand that a vote against Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton. Utah does not want to see a continuation of the Obama administration which is exactly what Hillary Clinton would be.”
Earlier this week several Utah GOP leaders held a really at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City asking Republican voters thinking of backing McMullin to “come home” to the Republican Party and support the party’s nominee.
Among those calling for Utah Republicans to support Trump were Rep. Chris Stewart and Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The McMullin campaign issued the following statement in regards to Thursday’s polling results:
There have been several polls released, and the majority show us ahead or statistically tied with Donald Trump and beating Hillary Clinton. We’re the only campaign running a real ground game in Utah and talking directly to thousands of Utah citizens every day. We believe momentum is on our side and that a majority of Utahns are rejecting Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
In this election, Utahns will have to make a very important decision about whether they will vote for Trump or stand with our campaign that is centered on timeless conservative principles. The reality is: Utah will likely either go to me or to Donald Trump. Utahns can vote for more of the same or they can choose to stand up for something better. I believe the positive, uplifting campaign that Mindy Finn and I have been running offers the people of Utah the only good alternative to the two deeply-flawed and corrupt major party candidates.
Both the Monmouth University and Rasmussen Report noted that the majority of the Utahns polled believe Clinton will ultimately win the election.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.