Wednesday, October 12, 2016

From the State of Deseret stunning poll results, a LDS newspaper story favoring the Clinton Campaign - what you really need to know

Today when I saw the above poll graphic in a Deseret News story headlined Poll: Trump falls into tie with Clinton among Utah voters I knew there was significant news unfolding in the State of Deseret.

But as you will see at the end of this post, I discovered another story on the Deseret News website that went beyond anything I anticipated.

About the Deseret News it's both simple and complicated. If you know the history of "Deseret" you likely understand the full impact of today's news. If you don't and you are a Clinton supporter, you need to know that history and a bit more about Mormon history including some trivia.

In 1849 settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (you probably know them as Mormons) who had trekked across the American West to Salt Lake City proposed a provisional state of the United States, the State of Deseret:

The provisional state existed for slightly over two years but was never recognized by the United States government.

The name derives from the word for "honeybee" in the language of the Jaredites, a group believed by Mormons to have been led to the Americas during the time of the construction of the Tower of Babel (see Ether 2:3, Book of Mormon). LDS scholars have suggested an etymology by associating the word "Deseret" with the ancient Egyptian dsrt, a term referring to the "bee crown" of the Lower Kingdom.

What's important here is the  news story about the poll came from the Deseret News, Utah's oldest continuously published daily newspaper, owned by Deseret News Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, a holding company owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has the largest Sunday circulation in the state (and the second largest daily circulation behind The Salt Lake Tribune).

Per Wikipedia:
The Deseret News also publishes a weekly compact-sized insert, the Church News, and the Mormon Times insert, both of which are included in the newspaper (in the Saturday and Thursday editions, respectively); the two inserts are also distributed as a separate publication outside of Utah. The Church News includes news of the LDS Church and has been published since 1931, while the Mormon Times is about "the people, faith and culture associated with the church". Since 1974 the Deseret News has also published the Church Almanac, an annual edition carrying LDS Church facts and statistics edited by Church News staff.

The editorial tone of the Deseret News is usually described as moderate to conservative, and is often assumed to reflect the values of its owner, the LDS Church. For example, the newspaper does not accept advertising that violates church standards.
The story in the Deseret News explains:
...Independent candidate and BYU graduate Evan McMullin surged into a statistical tie with the two major party presidential nominees, according to survey conducted Monday and Tuesday by Salt Lake City-based Y2 Analytics.

"A third-party candidate could win Utah as Utahns settle on one," said Quin Monson, Y2 Analytics founding partner.

McMullin may well have caught lightning in a bottle.

...A majority of voters statewide and specifically Mormons, as well as a near majority of Republicans, say Trump should drop out of the race, according to the poll.

The poll shows that 94 percent of Utahns have watched or heard about the video in which Trump had an extremely lewd conversation about women caught on a hot microphone in 2005. Y2 Analytics managing partner Scott Riding called that high percentage "astounding" for political news.

A cascade of rank-and-file Republicans and GOP leaders in Utah abandoned their support for Trump soon after the video became public. A BYU political science professor described the reaction in Utah as a "full-scale revolt" against Trump.

Gov. Gary Herbert and Utah Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart were among those announcing they would no longer vote for their party's nominee. The Deseret News called for Trump to resign his candidacy.

Boyd Matheson, president of the conservative Sutherland Institute, said there's a distinction in Utah that's becoming more apparent nationally that voters aren't going to settle for political rhetoric on either side of the aisle.

Monson said the "implosion" of the Trump campaign has led to the GOP nominee's share of the vote falling and support migrating to Johnson and more so McMullin. Clinton's numbers have stayed about the same.

Born in Utah, McMullin, a former CIA agent and policy director for U.S. House Republicans, entered the race in August as a conservative alternative to the majority party candidates.

McMullin soundly beats Trump among those in the poll who identified themselves members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Matheson said McMullin has a unique window over the next five days to come out with an agenda and invite Utahns to be part of something. If so, he could scoop up the Johnson "placeholder" votes, as well as take some from Trump and Clinton.

"There's a plausible path that Evan McMullin could win Utah," Matheson said.
In other words, the journalism voice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that there is a strong possibility that Trump would be denied Utah's four Electoral College votes! And that would be ok. Of course, four days ago they published this editorial In our opinion: Donald Trump should resign his candidacy.

But this has far more meaning than just Utah take a look at this map:

The Mormon vote in most of these states is significant when a Presidential race is close.

In my opinion, back in June there were only two states on this map that the Clinton Campaign could rely on - Washington and Hawaii.

Today Clinton comfortably can  rely not only on Washington and Hawaii, but on Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico at least partially because most Mormon voters will choose to not vote for Trump.

Most likely won't vote for Clinton, but she will win those states because Trump cannot get a plurality of votes.

Arizona should be firmly in the Trump column along with Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska. But because a large number of traditional Republican voters, particularly Mormons, will not vote for Trump and because Arizona has a very large Hispanic population, Clinton might get a plurality in Arizona.

It's all still iffy since we have four weeks until the election. But the Deseret News also had this story on its website this morning  'Mormons for Hillary' video released by Clinton campaign offering this additional information for those of us who don't recognize the people in the video:
The LDS Church as an institution is politically neutral. Members are encouraged to be active in the political process.

The video includes former Utah Republican State Rep. Sheryl Allen; former Utah GOP State Rep. General David Irvine; Democratic candidate for Utah State Senate and mother of two Celina Milner; and members of the group Utah Mormons for Hillary.

Yes, today you will read on "Progressive" websites stories like Mormons are embarrassing the rest of the Religious Right by abandoning Trump or in the New York Times two days ago Utah’s Top Mormons in ‘All-Out Revolt’ Against Donald Trump, but it doesn't "feel" real until you see what appear to be routine stories backing up that revolt in the Deseret News.

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