Utah up for grabs in race for president? Seriously?


We’ve been “treated,” if that’s the right word for it, to the most unconventional presidential election campaign in memory.

Let’s ponder this bit of intelligence from the campaign trail.

Utah might become one of those “battleground states.”

Yes, that well might be happening as Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump battles Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.

You see, Trump has said some things that offend Utahans.

Big deal, you say? He’s offended lots of folks all along the way. Veterans, people with disabilities, Latinos, women, Muslims.

Oh, yes, about those Muslims who have been singled out by Trump. That’s where the Utah story starts to take root.

Mormons comprise a large majority of Utah residents. They understand — and recognize — religious bigotry when they see it. Their forebears went through lots of discrimination and persecution when they settled in Utah. Indeed, there remain remnants of it to this very day.

Trump, of course, has proposed banning Muslims from entering the country. He is fostering a fever-pitch fear of terrorists by injecting an element of religious profiling. How do you think that plays with a key Republican voting bloc that knows a thing or two about such profiling?

Utah also hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson was elected in that historic landslide. That’s 12 presidential elections.

Mormon culture also fosters an overwhelmingly pro-family environment. Devoted Mormons embrace conservative lifestyles. They aren’t likely too keen on the flamboyance and opulence that Trump flaunts as he traipses across the country.

You want an unconventional election result? The bizarre nature of this campaign would be buttoned up quite nicely if Donald Trump were to actually lose Utah to Clinton.

Consider, too, that 2012 Republican presidential nominee (and devout Mormon) Mitt Romney — a fairly iconic political figure in Utah — has declared his unwavering opposition to Trump’s candidacy.

If Utah becomes a contested battleground for Trump and Clinton, you likely can bet the farm that the Democratic nominee is going to win this election in a gigantic rout.

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