Donald Trump is not exactly the most popular Republican presidential candidate ever in Utah, but he still leads the polls in the Beehive State:
New Utah poll (from PPP):
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) August 23, 2016
No other Republican candidate could possibly be happy with 39% support in one of the most conservative states in U.S., but for Trump this is actually quite acceptable. Not because 39% itself is a great result, but because his opponents — first and foremost Hillary Clinton, of course — do even worse.
Only 24% of Utah voters say they intend to vote for the former first lady. That’s less than one in four. It shows how incredibly despised she is by conservatives. Utah voters would rather support Trump (who is basically everything Utah Republicans are not: a bully, indecent, immoral, a braggart), Gary Johnson (a liberal Republican) or Evan McMullin (an outsider with little to no shot at winning) than the Hillster.
And that brings me to another point: is it possible that the third-party candidates will actually end up hurting Hillary rather than Trump? Trump has a clear base of support; his fanbois aren’t going anywhere. Hillary, on the other hand, is terribly unliked, even among her own party’s base, who believe her to be a crony capitalist and Republican in disguise. If that’s what Democrats think of her, it’s not hard to imagine that she’s even less liked among independents.
Those independents might decide to vote for her nonetheless if it’s a horse race between her and Trump — because they despise him even more. But when given several other options, they could very well decide to abandon her as well. Hillary-hating (or despising) Democrats and independents will likely prefer Gary Johnson over her. Yes, he’s a liberal, but that’s what they like. Besides, he admits he enjoys smoking weed! What’s there not to love if you’re a former Bernie Sanders supporter or a left-leaning independent who’s fed up with the Clintons?
Many commentators have already written off Trump because of his abysmal favorability ratings, but what if large swaths of voters who are currently opting for Hillary in the polls switch to a third-party candidate in the weeks and months ahead? That’s not exactly an impossible scenario since Johnson will likely be included in the presidential debates.
Just when you thought this campaign couldn’t get any crazier (and more fun!), something new happens that completely rocks the boat.
I’m loving it.