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Obama does have a Utah base

Published November 5, 2012 7:44 am

Politics • It's not an election-winning bloc, but it's overwhelmingly for the incumbent.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In Utah, President Barack Obama has the support of 87 percent of the Democrats but he's way behind with men and women, Republicans and independents. There is, however, one other group he is winning — the non-Mormons.

The Tribune poll conducted the last week of October found Obama leading non-Mormons 59 percent to 33 percent.

Now, some of you may think this is obvious, but consider this: non-Mormons support Sen. Orrin Hatch over Democrat Scott Howell, 55 percent to 33 percent and Gov. Gary Herbert over Democrat Peter Cooke, 52 percent to 37 percent.

So why the flip-flop when it comes to the presidential race? We are not sure but our best guess is that some moderate non-LDS Democrats are willing to support Republicans on the state level but can't bring themselves to do it in the big race.

Romney only gets 9 percent of Utah Democrats, while Hatch and Herbert lured 26 percent in the Trib poll.

Don't expect Chairman Hatch • Hatch is poised for a big victory — and defeat — on Tuesday night. He is a huge favorite to win a seventh, and, according to him, a final, term in office, cementing his place in Utah political history.

But Hatch has staked much of his campaign on the Republicans taking over the Senate, making him the likely next chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

And that seems pretty far-fetched at this point.

Democrats have outperformed competitive Republicans in Virginia, Connecticut and Florida, while conservative candidates appear to have bungled big leads in Missouri and Indiana over comments about rape and abortion.

Add it up and the prognosticators at Real Clear Politics and The New York Times' Five Thirty Eight blog predict the Democrats actually gain a seat, instead of losing the four seats required for Republicans to take control.

If this holds, Hatch won't get to call himself chairman for at least a few more years.

Morning email • Snack on Political Cornflakes, our morning dish of political news. Email cornflakes@sltrib.com to join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter@SLTribPolitics and check politicalcornflakes.com for regular updates.

Burr and Canham report from Washington, D.C. They can be reached at tburr@sltrib.com or mcanham@sltrib.com or via Twitter: @thomaswburr or @mattcanham.






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