A new poll conducted by Y2 Analytics for Deseret News shows Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tied for first in the typically red state of Utah. Deseret News is owned by the Mormon Church and Donald Trump has struggled with Utahans and Mormons throughout the election, dating back to the primaries. Trump placed third in the Utah primary.
Trump and Clinton are both tied with 26%. The surprising element, however, is third place candidate Evan McMullin. McMullin was a late addition to the presidential candidate who is running as an anti-Trump conservative. McMullin is from Utah and a Mormon and has been emphasizing the state during his campaign.
“Utahns have a special place in this election. What we kept hearing would be impossible, has now happened. Citizens from the Beehive State can turn this election around. I’m proud to stand with them and to be a part of this unbelievable momentum guiding the 21st century into a new generation of leadership,” McMullin said in a statement.
Should McMullin win the state, it would be the first time since 1968 that a state was not won by either a Democratic or Republican candidate. McMullin’s strong showing could cause headaches for the Trump campaign which is struggling with a shrinking map and create an additional variable for the Clinton campaign that is looking to flip several red states blue.
The Deseret News previously called on Trump to drop out off the race and the Salt Lake Tribune endorsed Clinton on Wednesday. While the state has not voted Democratic since 1964, the paper endorsed President Obama in 2008 and 2012.