GK_ wrote:Pretty sure not all of his opponents have been Mormon. Do you believe he'd get just as many votes and win by landslides in some cases if hatch was a Protestant running against a Mormon here in Utah? It's not the sole reason, but being Mormon and a BYU graduate sure helps.
As an active LDS, I couldn't begin to tell you the religious affiliation of most of Hatch's opponents over the years, nor of most any other politician. At this point I even forget which ones graduated BYU or spoke about a mission. Herrod served in the Marines, but I don't know if he served a mission, nor even if he is LDS for sure.
I know that LDS heavy Davis county has elected and re-elected Curt Oda to office. I know he is not LDS only because of close personal association on RKBA issues. He and I even disagree on alcohol laws. Doesn't keep me from asking him to come speak to my boy scouts once a year, nor keep him from doing so. He drives all the way down to Sandy to tell a bunch of LDS boy scouts about their form of government.
No doubt Romney's church membership helps him in Utah. I find that as offensive as his church membership hurting him in some other States.
Certainly there are those who fondly remember Hatch as their LDS Bishop. I doubt that accounts for any more votes than those who might have a personal relationship with one of his challengers.
For quite some time, the Democrat party has been the "anti-LDS" party in Utah. They are now realizing that is foolish given the demographics and they are working to change that.
GK_ wrote:Fun Fact:
The last Democrat Senator from Utah was the guy Hatch beat initially. Frank Moss. Guess how Moss won in the first place? The republican vote was split.In 1958, Moss ran for the U.S. Senate against two-term incumbent Arthur V. Watkins, a close ally of both the Eisenhower administration and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (see also Mormon), and also against J. Bracken Lee, a non-Mormon and former two-term Utah governor (1949–57), who was running as an independent after losing to Watkins in the Republican primary. The Republican vote was split in the general election, largely over local dissatisfaction with Watkins' having chaired the committee that censured Senator Joseph McCarthy, and Moss won election with less than 40 percent of the vote.
So by your own admission, non-LDS J. Bracken Lee was able to win the Statewide governor's race TWICE, AND was popular enough to split the GOP vote while running as an Independent after losing the GOP primary, but you think that Utah voters are automatically biased against non-LDS candidates?
Here is another fun fact, Utah was a fairly Democrat State until the Democrat party took the hard left turn in the 60s. The same GOP that persecuted the Southern States with reconstruction was also responsible for persecuting Utah over the mormon polygamy issue. It was the GOP that passed the Edmunds Tucker act and other laws that disenfranchised the LDS Church, seized church property, and put men into prison for peaceful, consensual polygamy. It was the GOP that denied Utah Statehood for so long. It was the GOP that took away the vote from women and denied polygamous men the vote (effectively preventing a lot of active LDS from having any vote at all).
Go look at the list of territorial and State governors. We were, at most, a swing State for most of our history.