United States presidential election in Utah, 2016
Results by county showing number of votes by size and candidates by color
The 2016 United States presidential election in Utah was held on November 8, 2016, as part of the 2016 General Election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. Utah voters chose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting the Republican Party's nominee, businessman Donald Trump, and running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence against Democratic Party nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
On March 22, 2016, in the presidential primaries, Utah voters expressed their preferences for the Democratic and Republican parties' respective nominees for President. Registered members of each party only voted in their party's primary, while voters who were unaffiliated chose any one caucus in which to vote.
Donald Trump won the election in Utah with 45.5% of the vote. Hillary Clinton received 27.5% of the vote. Evan McMullin received 21.5% of the vote.
Background[edit | edit source]
|Elections in Utah|
The incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, a Democrat, was first elected president in the 2008 election, running with Joe Biden of Delaware. Defeating the Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, with 52.9% of the popular vote and 68% of the electoral vote, Obama succeeded two-term Republican President George W. Bush, the former Governor of Texas. Obama and Biden were reelected in the 2012 presidential election, defeating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 51.1% of the popular vote and 61.7% of electoral votes. Although Barack Obama's approval rating in the RealClearPolitics poll tracking average remained between 40 and 50 percent for most of his second term, it has experienced a surge in early 2016 and reached its highest point since 2012 during June of that year. Analyst Nate Cohn has noted that a strong approval rating for President Obama would equate to a strong performance for the Democratic candidate, and vice versa.
Following his second term, President Obama is not eligible for another reelection. In October 2015, Obama's running-mate and two-term Vice President Biden decided not to enter the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination either. With their term expiring on January 20, 2017, the electorate is asked to elect a new president, the 45th President and 48th Vice President of the United States, respectively.
Caucus elections[edit | edit source]
Democratic caucus[edit | edit source]
Four candidates appeared on the Democratic presidential caucus ballot:
Republican caucus[edit | edit source]
Three candidates appeared on the Republican presidential caucus ballot:
|Utah Republican caucus, March 22, 2016|
|Candidate||Votes||Percentage||Actual delegate count|
|Source: The Green Papers|
General election[edit | edit source]
Political landscape in Utah[edit | edit source]
The state of Utah has given its electoral votes to the Republican ticket in every election year since 1968 and only once voted for a Democratic candidate in elections since 1952. The state has a majority Mormon population which voted 78% to 21% for Mitt Romney in 2012. This very heavily contributed to Mitt Romney winning the state by a margin of 73% to 25% in the 2012 election. However, Donald Trump's criticism of Romney's Mormon faith on the campaign trail in 2016 angered many Republican voters. Polls suggest that Utah may be a strong state for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson as a protest vote against Trump. As a result, Larry Sabato's online election forecaster, Sabato's Crystal Ball, downgraded their rating of the Utah contest from "Safe Republican" to "Likely Republican" on June 23.
Evan McMullin, a conservative independent candidate, had also been viewed by voters in Utah as another alternative, given that it is also his home state. According to one poll released on October 12, Trump and Clinton were seen as virtually tied in Utah at 26%, with McMullin polling at 22%. McMullin's rise was the result of further Republican backlash against Trump following the release of a controversial video from 2005 showing Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. In a HeatStreet poll conducted from October 15–16, McMullin was polled in second place with 29% of likely voters, coming behind Trump who polled at 30%, and ahead of Clinton who polled at 28%. In a poll conducted by Emerson College from October 17–19 with a sample size of 700 people, McMullin placed first with 31% ahead of Trump by a 4% margin, who had 27% of support, while Clinton polled in third at 24%. This was the first conducted statewide opinion poll of the 2016 election where a third party candidate has placed first.
Had McMullin won Utah, he would have become the first third party candidate to ever win the state, the first third party candidate to win a state since former Alabama governor George Wallace of the American Independent Party in the 1968 presidential election, and the first third party candidate to win an electoral vote since 1972, when a faithless elector in Virginia cast a vote for Libertarian Party candidate John Hospers instead of Richard Nixon. McMullin would have also likely become the first third party candidate to win a non-southern state since Progressive Robert M. La Follette Sr. in the 1924 election, when he carried Wisconsin. Because McMullin is not affiliated with any specific political party, he would have become the first nonpartisan candidate since George Washington to win a state in 224 years since Washington's reelection in 1792, and ultimately the first nonpartisan candidate to win a state west of the Mississippi River.
Polling[edit | edit source]
Candidates on the ballot[edit | edit source]
The following candidates were listed on the ballot:
- Donald Trump & Mike Pence (Republican Party)
- Evan McMullin & Nathan Johnson (Not affiliated with any Party)
- Hillary Clinton & Tim Kaine (Democratic Party)
- Gary Johnson & William Weld (Libertarian Party)
- Darrell Castle & Scott N. Bradley (Constitution Party)
- Jill Stein & Ajamu Baraka (Green Party)
- Rocky De La Fuente & Michael Steinberg (Reform Party)
- Rocky Giordani & Farley Anderson (Independent American Party)
- Alyson Kennedy & Osborne Hart (Socialist Workers Party)
- Monica Moorehead & Lamont Lilly (Workers World Party)
Candidates not on the ballot[edit | edit source]
The following were certified by the state as "write-in candidates", which means that votes given to these persons would be counted:
- Stephen Paul Parks
- Mike Smith & Daniel White
- Laurence Kotlikoff & Edward Leamer
- Tom Hoefling & Steve Schulin
- David Limbaugh & Bo Gingrich
- Dustin Baird & Brandon Russell
- Andrew D. Basiago & Karen D. Kinnison
- Emidio Soltysik & Angela Nicole Walker
- Tony Valdivia & Aaron Roy Barriere
- Cherunda Fox & Roger Kushner
- Sheila "Samm" Tittle & R. Charles Casper-Kacprowicz
- Robert L. Buchanan & Jason A. Washington
- Marshall Schoenke & James Creighton Mitchell Jr.
- Janet Reid & John E. Reid
- Jamin Burton & Victor Neves
Results[edit | edit source]
|style="background-color: Template:Independent (politican)/meta/color; width: 2px;" |||[[Independent (politican)|Template:Independent (politican)/meta/shortname]]||Evan McMullin||243,690||21.54%|
By county[edit | edit source]
Analysis[edit | edit source]
This section possibly contains original research. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Utah gave the Republican nominee a 45% plurality and thus awarded him six electoral votes.[original research?] Utah had given 2012 nominee Mitt Romney his largest margin of victory over Barack Obama and had not voted Democrat in a Presidential election since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. However, conservatives split their votes between Trump and Utah native Evan McMullin, a Mormon himself who shared the conservative values of many Utah voters.[original research?]
According to exit polls, Donald Trump won the Mormon vote, 51-39, over Evan McMullin, with Clinton getting only 14%.[original research?] Mormons are a key demographic here, comprising 62% of the electorate and tending to be very socially conservative. Trump won both men, 50-25, and women, 39-34. Trump won the white vote, 47-25, but lost the Hispanic/Latino vote to Clinton, 61-25. He also swept all ages and income levels in the state (though the candidates tied among millennials, 36-36).[original research?] While Clinton won white college-educated women 37-35, Trump won white college-educated men and white people without college degrees, as was a trend nationwide.
Clinton managed to win in Salt Lake County, Utah, where the capital Salt Lake City is located, and in neighboring Summit County, Utah, containing Park City and other settlements in the northeast corner of the state.[original research?] However, Trump swept the rest of the counties, many of them rural and having large Mormon and conservative populations.[original research?] He won a majority of the vote in Utah County, Utah, which contains the city of Provo. Clinton actually finished third behind McMullin in just over half the state's counties.[original research?]
Utah was one of only eleven states where Hillary Clinton improved on President Obama's performance in 2012, in large part because Trump lost substantial support to conservative independent candidate Evan McMullin, who received 21.3 percent of the vote.[original research?] Whereas Republican Mitt Romney had swept every county in Utah in 2012, Hillary Clinton won Salt Lake County and Summit County.[original research?]
Compared to all other states, Utah moved heavily away from the Republican Party, having the lowest conservative state rank (#17) since 1948.[original research?] Trump won the state by 17.9%, severely down from Romney's 48.04% winning margin in 2012 (although Romney is a Mormon, and Utah is the only Mormon-majority state). Utah's Democratic two-party vote increased by 33% – much more than Texas, the second largest Democratic trend, which was 10% more Democratic.[original research?]
Evan McMullin's 21.3% of the vote is the strongest third-party performance in a single state since Ross Perot's performance in Maine during the 1992 presidential election. He finished second ahead of Clinton in fifteen of Utah's twenty-nine counties,[original research?] becoming the first candidate since Perot in 1992[lower-alpha 1] to finish ahead of one major-party nominee in any United States county-equivalent.[lower-alpha 2][original research?] Only Strom Thurmond in the Deep South in 1948, along with, in the 1920 election, Parley Christensen in Washington and South Dakota plus James Edward Ferguson junior in Texas, have previously managed this whilst not being on the ballot in most states.[original research?]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Democratic Party presidential debates, 2016
- Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016
- Republican Party presidential debates, 2016
- Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016
References[edit | edit source]
- "2016 Primary Schedule – 2016 Election Central". Uspresidentialelectionnews.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
- "2016 General Election Results" (PDF). 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- "United States House of Representatives floor summary for Jan 8, 2009". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
- "Federal elections 2008" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- "President Map". The New York Times. November 29, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- "Election Other – President Obama Job Approval". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Byrnes, Jesse (2016-06-15). "Poll: Obama approval rating highest since 2012". TheHill. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- Cohn, Nate (2015-01-19). "What a Rise in Obama's Approval Rating Means for 2016". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- "Joe Biden Decides Not to Enter Presidential Race". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Bickel, Joshua. "How the Faithful Voted: 2012 Preliminary Analysis". Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Schleifer, Theodore (19 March 2016). "Trump on Romney: 'Are you sure he's a Mormon?'". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Azari, Julia. "The States That Love (And Hate) Third-Party Candidates". FiveThirtyEight. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- Kondik, Kyle; Sabato, Larry; Skelley, Geoffrey. "The Electoral College: Map No. 2". Sabato's Crystal Ball. University of Virginia Center for Politics. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
- "UT Statewide Presidential Polling October 2016 Memo - Y2.pdf" (PDF). Dropbox. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
- Dennis Romboy. "Poll: Trump falls into tie with Clinton among Utah voters". Deseret News. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
- Mensch, Louise (2016-10-17). "EXCLUSIVE: Evan McMullin Utah Poll: Independent Conservative Ties Trump". Heatst.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
- "Emerson College Polls: Utah breaking for third-party candidate McMullin. Trump loses ground in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Ayotte (R-NH) and Blunt (R-MO) are tied in Senate bids, while Toomey (R-PA) is holding on." (PDF). Media.wix.com. Emerson College Polling Society. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
- "Utah Election Preliminary Results". Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
- "Statewide Federal Election Results". Utah Election Results. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- "2016 election results: Utah Exit polls". www.cnn.com. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
- David Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 2016 Presidential Election Statistics
- Scammon, Richard M. (compiler); America at the Polls: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics 1920-1964 p. 487 ISBN 0405077114
- Scammon; America at the Polls; p. 400