In another statistical 3-way tie in Utah, Evan McMullin, the Mormon independent candidate, is marginally second to Donald Trump and beating Hillary Clinton.
The topline results are Donald Trump 32, Evan McMullin 29 and Hillary Clinton 28. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, has all but vanished at 4% and his voters may be tempted to switch to McMullin to stop Trump winning. Green party candidate Jill Stein no longer registers, so there is not much room for Clinton to grow off her voters. Others are 2%, with don’t know at 4%.
Rasmussen Reports polled 750 likely voters by telephone Oct 23-24.
It is the latest in a string of polls to show Clinton third in Utah with McMullin either fractionally ahead, or fractionally behind, Donald Trump in the state, and may prompt Utah Democrats to vote McMullin in order to stop Donald Trump.
Utah Democrats have not seen their vote count tactically for many years. While Clinton is unlikely to win the state, it is possible to prevent Trump from taking those all-important electoral votes.
Utahns also want GOP leaders, many of whom have disavowed Trump, to actually switch their endorsement to McMullin. In our last survey we found that the state’s voters approved of GOP leaders dropping Trump. Now they want them to go the extra step and endorse the McMullin-Finn ticket.
Should Utah’s Republican Party officially endorse Independent candidate Evan McMullin instead of Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election?
14% Not sure
We also polled on the favorable / unfavorable ratings of each candidate. These make unpleasant reading for any candidate but McMullin:
Trump’s overall favorables are 31, his unfavorables a massive 68%, with 1% undecided and 1% unsure. Clinton fares even worse, with favorables of 26% and unfavorables of 72%, 1% undecided. Johnson has the same favorables overall as Trump, 31%, but far fewer of his fans like him a great deal. He does have smaller unfavorables at 53%; 10% are unsure about him and 7% have not heard of him.
McMullin, scoring second in the three-way tie, has both the highest not heard of rating at 9% and the highest favorables. He has 51% favorable, an absolute majority even with 9% who don’t know who he is. His unfavorables are 32, and 8% are undecided.
For McMullin, winning over tactical votes, and getting his name known across Utah are key to victory in the mountain state. If a major Republican from Utah, and particularly Mitt Romney, were to endorse McMullin, it would almost certainly mean he would become the first independent to take a state since the 1960s. For Democrats, the reliably conservative and pro-life McMullin might not be their cup of tea, but they are nonetheless in a position to help Clinton in the electoral college by voting McMullin-Finn and denying Trump Utah’s reliably GOP votes. The strong unfavorables of both Trump and Clinton indicate possible switchers to McMullin, but with only 6% voting for others or undecided, the race is tight.