This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A new poll shows Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, is siphoning support from Donald Trump in Utah and could make the state a tossup in November.
This comes from Florida-based Gravis Marketing, which conducted the automated telephone survey of 1,519 registered Utah voters May 31 and June 1.
Gravis found that Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, had the support of 29 percent of the respondents, while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, snagged 26 percent. Johnson, who has based his third-party campaign in Salt Lake City, logged 16 percent. That left 29 percent of respondents who picked "other."
In response, Johnson tweeted, "I love Utah."
The Libertarian hopeful has argued to be included in more polls. If he gets above 15 percent in national polls, he'll be able to participate in the presidential debates.
But Doug Kaplan, managing partner at Gravis, didn't poll deep-red Utah to get a sense of how Johnson is doing. He surveyed here because he was curious to see if Trump's backing had grown since he finished a distant third in March's GOP presidential caucus in the Beehive State. It doesn't appear he has picked up much support.
"Thanks primarily to the 'Never Trump' movement of Mitt Romney or other influential Utah politicians and LDS Church members, the Mormon vote could have a significant impact on who is selected as president," Kaplan said in a release. "It's hard to see Hillary Clinton winning Utah, but Gary Johnson or the inclusion of another third-party candidate could hand her those [six] valuable electoral votes."
Trump has found Utah to be hostile territory. Members of the state's predominant faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have recoiled at his plan to temporarily block Muslims from entering the country. They also view his persona as distasteful.
Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, has vowed to vote against Trump no matter what, but the rest of the state's GOP leaders have somewhat grudgingly gotten behind the candidate. Out of the state's six members of Congress, only Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Mia Love have not endorsed him.
Excluding Johnson, the latest poll found Trump with a 36 percent to 29 percent edge over Clinton, who got trounced in Utah's Democratic presidential caucus by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
This is the first poll in Utah since early May, when Dan Jones & Associates, polling for UtahPolicy.com, found that Trump had built a 13 percentage point lead over Clinton.
The Gravis poll also found that Gov. Gary Herbert has an approval rating of 52 percent and would easily beat Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz 56 percent to 29 percent if the election were held now.
The survey also pitted Weinholtz against Republican Jonathan Johnson, who is challenging Herbert for the GOP nomination. In that question, Johnson received 40 percent to Weinholtz's 29 percent.
The overall poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.