On McMullin, Trump, and the alleged hypocrisy of Mormon voters

On McMullin, Trump, and the alleged hypocrisy of Mormon voters November 9, 2016


Maya ruins in Mexico
Professionally, Mark Wright is a Mayanist. (Wikimedia Commons)


My friend and colleague Mark Wright posted this comment on his Facebook page, and I reproduce it here with his kind permission:


So Utah went Trump, despite my vocal efforts against him since the primaries. The votes for McMullin were not merely “protest votes”; there was no way it would turn blue, and McMullin seemed the best chance at preventing Trump from taking it, and I proudly voted for McMullin as he loudly decried the racism, sexism, and xenophobia that so many in the GOP seem to embrace (but to be very clear, I know many people–even in my own extended family–who voted for Trump who are none of those things). Before we start decrying the hypocrisy of Mormons for allowing a Trump victory here, let’s take a second to look at some numbers. 

There are 1.4 million registered, active voters in Utah
Of those, 677k are Republican, 160k are Democrat

In 2008, Romney took 73% of the vote with 740k votes, and Obama got 24% with 252k votes.

Yesterday, Trump won Utah with only 46% of those who cast ballots, with a total of 375k votes, Clinton came out with 27.8% with 222k, and McMullin picked up 163k votes and 20%, and Johnson got 3% of the vote and nearly 26k votes. 

And although Trump won 46% of the vote, I want to highlight that only 26% of active, registered voters in Utah voted for Trump, compared to Romney, who got 52% of the total vote. Trump only got 55% of the *Republican* vote, compared to Romney, who got pretty much all of the Republican vote and then some. Clinton got 222k votes in a state with only 160k registered Democrats, and McMullin got 163k as an Independent. Voter turnout was down by about 207k, or 14% of total registered, active voters, but Clinton still got nearly as many total votes as Obama in 2008, and she got nearly 28% compared to Obama’s 24%. 

What I’m saying is, even though Trump won Utah, it was *not* because Mormons secretly embraced him, and on a massive scale. 74% of active, registered voters in Utah did not vote for him. 

I understand this is of little consolation because Trump did walk away with the electoral votes and he won the presidency, but I’m just asking that we please look at the numbers before we start bemoaning the hypocrisy of Mormons. There was a massive tidal shift here yesterday, and I think that is a reason for hope.



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