Donald Trump might just lose one of the most reliably red states in the nation. A new poll released late Tuesday night showed voters in Utah, which has gone to a Republican in the last 10 elections, are split among Trump, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and third-party candidate Evan McMullin.
The poll comes amid a whirlwind of other troubles for Trump in the state. A number of Republican leaders in Utah — including its governor, a senator and three House representatives —pulled their support the GOP nominee. And Wednesday the Salt Lake Tribune, the newspaper for Utah's largest city, officially endorsed Clinton over Trump.
"It is time to get serious," the Tribune's editorial board wrote. It noted that while Clinton has developed an image of dishonesty, Trump "built a campaign on insults and bigoted statements, finally losing any right to be taken seriously with the recent release of a video in which he was heard to brag about his ability to get away with sexually assaulting women."
"There is certainly not a perfect choice but, at this point, the only candidate who comes close to being qualified and fit for the post is Hillary Clinton," the editorial board wrote.
The endorsement comes just hours after the shocking poll, which is a major shift from a Tribune survey that found Trump was up nine percentage points at the end of September. The Deseret News/Y2 Analytics poll this week found that Trump and Clinton each registered 26 percent support, while Independent conservative McMullin was nearly a statistical tie at 22 percent support. Libertarian Gary Johnson, meanwhile, registered 14 percent support. The poll spoke with 500 likely Utah voters and was conducted Oct. 10-11 with a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
The poll found 94 percent of Utahns had heard the recently surfaced tape of Trump seemingly bragging in 2005 about sexually assaulting women. "A majority of voters statewide and specifically Mormons, as well as a near majority of Republicans, say Trump should drop out of the race," wrote the Deseret News.
That could be a major advantage for McMullin, who was born in Utah, is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is a Mormon. Some 60 percent of Utahns belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Utah also has a population overflowing with young people, a demographic that has largely rejected Trump, but also strayed away from Clinton in favor of third-party candidates.
It's unclear which candidate will win Utah, but there's a large population revolting against Trump. "It's quite the cacophony of voices coming from this state," said Quin Monson, Y2 Analytics founding partner, according to the Deseret News. He claimed the response to Trump from the largely Mormon state has been more severe than the rest of the country. "Utah continues to be quite different in its rejection of Donald Trump," Monson said.