A new poll released by Emerson College shows independent Presidential candidate Evan McMullin leading Donald Trump by four points and Hillary Clinton by seven in the state of Utah. If he wins Utah he would be the first non-major party candidate to win a state since 1968.
Since first making a polling splash with a poll earlier this month that showed McMullin statistically tied with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton he has a Real Clear Politics polling average of 24.4 percent compared to Trump’s 30.8 percent average and Clinton’s 25.2 average.
The Emerson poll shows that Republicans in Utah are looking for an alternative. McMullin polls at 31 percent with Trump following at 27 percent and Clinton at 24 percent. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson who had decent polling numbers as a 3rd party candidate appears to be losing supporters to McMullin. Johnson only pulled 5 percent support during this poll and has been in single digits in the last four polls taken.
Those who voted against Trump during the Utah Republican Caucus, Emerson notes, are breaking toward McMullin.
Utah, which has voted for Republican presidential candidates in every cycle since 1964, is a cause of concern for the Trump campaign. It appears that the divisive GOP primary, which was won by conservative Senator Ted Cruz with 69%, has left voters looking for an alternative to the GOP nominee. For example, 51% of Cruz primary voters are backing McMullin while 29% are voting for Trump. Among Utah’s Republican primary voters who supported the second-place finisher, Ohio Governor John Kasich, only 4% say they plan to vote for Trump in November.
McMullin is also polling well among young voters.
McMullin draws his strongest support from young people, ages 18-34. He is winning 36% of their vote while Trump and Clinton each get 22%. Trump leads McMullin 35% to 24% among those who are 55 and over.
This poll follows a HeatStreet/Rasmussen poll that showed McMullin beating Clinton for second place and trailing Trump by one point. Trump polled at 30 percent while McMullin polled at 29 percent and Clinton at 28 percent.
The CBS/YouGov poll released had Trump leading Utah by 17 points, but it is an outlier as Louie Mensch at HeatStreet pointed out.
An earlier YouGov poll tracker, published by CBS news over the weekend showed Trump with a 17 point lead over Clinton in Utah, but the script only prompted respondents with the names of Trump and Clinton, then only if they selected ‘someone else’ offered them Johnson, Stein or McMullin (McMullin scored 20% in that poll).
The HeatStreet/Rasmussen poll confirms Emerson’s findings that McMullin is pulling in young voters. Among voters 18-39 McMullin leads 34 percent to Trump’s 26 percent and Clinton’s 25 percent. Among voters aged 40 to 64 Trump just leads McMullin by 31 percent to 29 percent. Among voters who are 65 years of age or older Trump leads Clinton by four points 36 percent to 32 percent. McMullin only polls 21 percent among those voters.
The poll numbers that should concern Trump is that only 45 percent of Republicans polled support him. McMullin has the support of 38 percent of Republicans polled. Among independents Trump trails both Clinton and McMullin by five points who are tied at 28 percent.
In terms of favorability rating McMullin leads the pack with a positive 51 percent favorability rating with only 26 percent having an unfavorable rating. Only 31 percent of Utahns have a favorable opinion of Trump with 68 percent who say they view him unfavorably. With Clinton only 28 percent of Utahns have a favorable opinion of her why 72 percent say they have an unfavorable view of her. Johnson who dropped to five percent in this poll also had a negative favorability rating. Only 34 percent of Utahns have a favorable opinion of the former two-term Governor of New Mexico with 46 percent having an unfavorable view of him.
If the last two polls are any indication McMullin is on track to win Utah.