The Hidden Moderate Utah: The Political History of the War within the Mormon/Republican Relationship
KeywordsPolitical Science; Religion; History
Politics; Religion; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Conservatism; Liberalism; Elections; Republican Party; Democratic Party; Mormon; Utah
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AbstractAs one of the “reddest” states in the Union, Utah is often presumed a foregone conclusion electorally alongside other strong Republican states. However, Utah does not share the same political history as other “Bible Belt” states; since the 1890 renouncement of polygamy by the LDS Church, there exists a moderate impulse that guides Utah down a unique political course, in which being a traditional red state is not necessarily so certain. This paper attempts to demonstrate this by showing the historical fight against right-wing extremists in Utah, the greater success of Mitt Romney and other Mormons nationally in blue states than in red states dominated by conservative evangelicals, and the more recent attempt by the Democrats and the LDS Church to engage moderate Utah Mormons with both parties.