While several recent polls from Utah have suggested Donald Trump is recapturing his lead there, an astounding new survey from CBS News and YouGov finds him with a 17-point lead over Hillary Clinton, far beyond what other polls suggest.
Independent write-in candidate Evan McMullin, whose campaign is almost entirely dedicated to attacking Trump, plays a major role in the CBS/YouGov poll… but he might be hurting Clinton at least as much as Trump. In fact, he’s tied with Hillary Clinton in Utah.
Donald Trump leads with 37 percent, while Hillary Clinton and Evan McMullin draw 20 percent each, followed by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson with 7 percent and Jill Stein of the Green Party with 1 percent.
The CBS/YouGov poll was taken between 10/12 and 10/14, with a 5.7 percent margin of error. By way of comparison, a slightly older Monmouth poll covering October 10 through 12, with a sample size less than half what CBS News and YouGov used, reported Trump 34 percent, Clinton 28 percent, McMullin 20 percent, Johnson 7 percent, Stein 1 percent. Either these two polls are in significant disagreement about Trump’s strength in Utah, or Republican voters in the state are beginning to swing back to Trump.
According to CBS News/YouGov, Utah voters are highly engaged in the presidential race, with 65 percent saying they have paid a great deal of attention to the campaign, and fully 91 percent saying they will definitely vote.
The “negative vote” factor is strong in the state. 56 percent of Trump’s voters said they supported him “mainly to oppose Hillary Clinton,” while 48 percent of her voters said the same with respect to Trump.
A slightly higher percentage of respondents said they would never consider voting for Clinton than Trump (85 percent to 75 percent.) Clinton also fares slightly worse on the question of voters disliking her “as a person,” although Clinton and Trump both generate strong personal dislike (74 percent Clinton, 69 percent Trump.)
Sixty-five percent of respondents said Clinton was running for President primarily to “help herself and her friends,” while only 12 percent thought she wanted to help the country, and 17 percent said it was a mix of both. For Trump, 41 percent said he was running to help himself and his friends, 30 percent said he wanted to help the country, and 22 percent said it was a mix of both.
Another poll question reveals Trump gained more ground with Utah voters than Clinton after the second presidential debate. 24 percent said they felt more positive about Trump versus 38 percent more negative, while for Clinton only 10 percent said they felt more positive, and 47 percent had a negative reaction. Respondents were evenly divided on whether the third presidential debate could alter their voting decision.
Clinton partisans will be galled to discover Utah voters told CBS News and YouGov that Trump was slightly more prepared to be Commander-in-Chief than she is (35 percent Trump, 31 percent Clinton.) The strongest responses for descriptions of Trump were for “Would bring change to Washington” and “Is a risky choice”… but choosing Clinton was seen as almost as risky.
As for the big negative stories hitting both campaigns, 75 percent said Clinton’s email scandal and the WikiLeaks revelations reveal that “her motives in private are different than what she says in public.” For Trump, only 14 percent said the 11-year-old videotape of him using offensive language made it impossible for them to support him, while 52 percent agreed the tape was offensive but it didn’t change their vote, and 30 percent thought “people are making too much out of it.”
Considering how much support Trump seemed to consolidate in this poll, respondents were surprisingly ambivalent about whether the Republican Party should rally behind him and help him win the election (43 percent), do nothing and let Trump run on his own (20 percent), or try to convince him to drop out of the race (34 percent).