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Hillary Clinton could win Utah, but it might not be all that bad if she doesn't, her running mate said Thursday, as long as Donald Trump falls short in the Beehive State as well.

In an interview with ABC4 Utah on Thursday, Sen. Tim Kaine said the Democratic ticket is taking an anybody-but-Trump stance when it comes to Utah's six electoral votes.

"Obviously, the best would be if those votes were in Hillary's column, and we have a chance to make that happen," Kaine said. "But if they are not in the GOP column that's definitely a plus for us. Even if it were to be in [independent candidate Evan] McMullin's column."

The Virginia senator wouldn't say whether he or Clinton may visit the state, but noted they are reassessing their travel plans after the backlash to a lewd video of Trump.

"We're 3½ weeks out and a state that we didn't think was in play now is, and there's a couple other states like that, too," Kaine said.

The vice presidential nominee noted that much of Trump's problems in Utah are tied to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have taken issue with some of the Republican's positions, such as a call for a temporary ban on Muslims.

"There is no religious group in the country," Kaine said, "that understands more about what it is to be persecuted for your religion than Mormons."

Kaine's interview with the Salt Lake City-based station comes the same day a Mormons for Hillary group planned a phone bank hoping to rally support.

The chance that Clinton could win Utah seemed unfathomable not that long ago, but two recent polls showed her either tied with Trump or 5 percentage points behind.

McMullin is the outsider who seems to have garnered the most support from conservatives and independents. He's a Mormon, born in Provo and educated at Brigham Young University who previously was a foreign policy staffer for House Republicans. The polls have McMullin at roughly 20 percent.

Matt Canham

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