Not that anyone needs any more suspense tonight, but I’ll be keeping a curious eye on Utah’s election results. By all accounts, Kerry will lose big there. In fact, according to this site, Utah is shaping up to be the most pro-Bush state in the union, just as it was four years ago. Of course, remarkably dismal showings by Democrats are not unheard of in Utah. In 1980, Utahns turned out Jimmy Carter and handed Ronald Reagan the biggest landslide (72/20) in Utah history since Roosevelt’s win in 1936. And in 1992, Utah was, famously, the only state that preferred both Bob Dole and Ross Perot to Bill Clinton.
It wasn’t always like this. From 1932 through 1948, Utah went solidly Democratic (Roosevelt and Truman), to the great consternation of prominent church leaders like Heber J. Grant and J. Reuben Clark. But since the 1952 election, the only Democrat to win in Utah has been Lyndon Johnson in 1964 — and even that year Barry Goldwater did better in Utah than he did nationwide. What does this tell us? For one, that with respect to presidential elections at least, Utah is the most reliably Republican state in the nation. And the only state that really gives Utah a run for their money on that score is Idaho. For harmony’s sake, I’ll avoid the bigger questions this raises, but while you are living and dying with the Florida or Ohio tallies tonight, sneak a peak to see if our lovely Deseret lives up to its reputation.