Mormon voters disdain Trump; Trump Jr. doesn’t get why


Mormons have proven to be difficult for Donald Trump to sway, but his son says Mormons have more in common with Trump “than with any other candidate.”

Donald Trump Jr. visits the BYU campus to talk about his father’s campaign. Trump Jr. believes that Mormons have a lot in common with his father Donald Trump than they think. (Alex E. J. Mohammad)

Donald Trump Jr. said the LDS view of Trump’s character is actually the “greatest misconception probably amongst the LDS community” and in Utah.

“You know there’s a lot more in common with Trump, and all the people I know in the state,” Trump Jr. said. “I know a lot of people of the faith and, you know, I get it. And they get me. And they’re like, ‘If only people could see that side of him more often.'”

Trump Jr. also alluded to the Word of Wisdom since his father doesn’t drink and never has. He also talked about work ethic and family values as shared values between his father and Mormons.

“If they saw that side of Donald Trump, they’d say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s a lot like my family; this is a lot like the way we conduct ourselves,'” he said.

He said his childhood was infused with work ethic and integrity, which is why he says honestly that his father is a “family guy” and he wishes Utahns could see “that side” of his father.

Chris Larson
A protestor who asked to remain unnamed holds anti-Trump banner outside the Infinity Event Center where GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke on Friday, March 18, 2016. (Chris Larson)

But the feeling isn’t totally mutual. High profile politicians like Mitt Romney have actually encouraged Utahns to vote for “anyone but Trump” and have taken the time to call him a fraud and a racist. Hundreds attended a Salt Lake City rally on March 20, and most of them were protesting. When Trump challenged Romney’s character at the rally, tensions escalated throughout the venue.

Buzzfeed article on March 21 attributed Mormons’ well-known disdain for Trump to a general stubbornness, calling Mormons “one of the most stubbornly anti-Trump constituencies in the Republican Party — a dynamic that will likely manifest itself in Utah’s presidential caucuses next week.” And the numbers are proving it.

The U.S. has already seen Trump lose to Ted Cruz by 59 points in Wyoming — the third most Mormon concentrated state in the union — and 18 points in Idaho — the second most Mormon concentrated state in the U.S.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as his son Don Trump, foreground, speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as his son Donald Trump Jr., foreground, speaks at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4. (Associated Press)

A poll conducted by Y2 Analytics  included 500 Utah caucus-goers who placed Trump in third place behind Cruz and John Kasich. In fact, 29 percent of the Republicans who participate in the survey said they would actually write in another candidate. Despite Mormons being the most Republican group in the U.S., seven percent would actually cast a vote for a Democratic candidate before voting for Trump.

Mormons’ skepticism of the billionaire seems to be rooted in Mormon culture and politics because the LDS Church encourages compassion within politics.

“First we need a just and caring law balanced with the values and principles that we love our neighbors, that families stay together, and enforce just and compassionate laws,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf told the Deseret News in 2014.

The church also released a strong statement about religious freedom shortly after Trump declared he would “build a wall” and ban Muslims from entering the country.

While Trump could “sit back and play golf for the rest of his life,” his son believes his father chose to run because he really loves America and wants everyone to have the “same opportunity” that he had.

Donald Trump Jr. speaks about his father’s candidacy. He believes Mormon voters’ skepticism comes from seeing the brash side of his father Donald Trump instead of the “family man” he knows. (Alex E. J. Mohammad)

Whether people support Trump or not, Trump Jr. believes that voters know if Trump is elected to office “he’ll actually get something done.”

“The job of the president should be to take care of Americans first, not to take care of the rest of the world,” Trump Jr. said. “If he has a fault, it’s he’s too loyal.”

The First Presidency has encouraged all members in Utah to participate in their local caucus, regardless of their political affiliation.

March 22 is the day the Utah Democratic and Republican Parties will hold presidential voting and the Utah Constitution Party. The Utah Independent American and Libertarian Parties will hold state caucuses later in the year.


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