How Utah Became a Battleground State And Why it Matters

The Beehive State has only voted for a Democrat twice in a general election, the last time being in 1964. Presidential candidates from both parties normally spend little or no money running ads or making calls in Utah because the Democrats stand no chance, and the Republicans have it in the bag. However, this election could change that trend. Trump still holds a small lead in Utah, however, he is within just a couple points of Hillary Clinton and unaffiliated candidate, Evan McMullin, who is running as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump. 

What does this election mean for Utah? First off, your vote finally counts! I know you're told that your vote always counts, but let’s keep it real: if you are a Democrat in Utah you aren’t going to get your way the majority of the time. This year could change that, and the vote may turn out to be extremely close. Hillary isn’t the only candidate that could make history by claiming Utah; Evan McMullin getting the Utah vote would be just as historic as the Democrat, because an Independent candidate hasn't won a state in a presidential election since 1968. That being said, McMullin is only on the ballot in 11 states leading many voters to believe a vote for him is a wasted vote because it gives Hillary Clinton more potential to win the presidency. 

Utah Democrats and Independent voters are hoping this election is the start of a new trend in Utah, and not just the consequence of a poor Republican candidate. These voters feel that more diversity in Utah candidates and elected officials will give a voice to residents who aren’t your cookie-cutter conservative. Staunch Republicans on the other hand, are upset with voters who refuse to vote for Trump. They don't necessarily think Trump is the ideal candidate, but they believe that a vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Clinton. A lot can still happen before election day, but come November 8th, Utah could play a key role in choosing our next president, and make history at the same time.

 

Editor's Note: All articles for Her Campus at the University of Utah are the opinions and beliefs of the writers and do not reflect Her Campus at the University of Utah, the University of Utah or Her Campus as an international magazine.