Trump Stands To Lose Another State To Cruz

Ted Cruz could potentially sweep the delegate pool in the state of Utah if the latest polling is any indication.

In order to win all the delegates in the Republican race in Utah, Ted Cruz has to take more than 50 percent of the vote.

According to the latest poll conducted by Y2 Analytics between March 17 and 19, Cruz has 53 percent support, followed by Ohio Governor John Kasich with 29 percent, with the frontrunner, businessman Donald Trump, scoring a distant third place with only 11 percent support.

If this trend plays out in the caucus on Tuesday, Cruz could take all 40 delegates. According to the unusual rules of the state, delegates are assigned proportionally unless a candidate takes more than fifty percent of the vote.

It’s an unusual year for Utah, as not only are they shifting for the first time ever from a primary run by the state, to a caucus vote run by the state parties, but they are also going to allow online voting.

In a huge move for the state, interested voters will be allowed to vote for their preferred candidate online. The last state to do this was Michigan in 2004, which allowed voting in a Democratic party caucus online. Concerns about the time commitment required to attend a caucus as opposed to the traditional primary vote was what spurred on the decision.

“We knew that not everyone wanted to come to caucus just to vote for their presidential candidate,” said James Evans, chairman of the Utah Republican Party in the Wall Street Journal. “We wanted to give them another option.”

It remains to be seen if this will have an effect on the outcome of the election, but the Y2 Analytics favored Cruz for turnout as well. When asked to respond to how likely they were to attend a caucus, Cruz had 57 percent support amongst those saying they were “very likely” to attend.

It appears that Trump is troubling Utah’s Republican voters, with 81 percent of those polled believing their party is “on the wrong track,” and 64 percent affirming the belief that nominating Trump will weaken the party.

In an effort to regain lost ground, Trump hit back with an ad campaign and a tweet calling Ted Cruz a liar, spotlighting his backtracking on remarks about immigration, and how he once appeared to support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Cruz has picked up unlikely support from possibly the most notable Mormon politician, Mitt Romney, which could also help with the majority Mormon population in the state of Utah. It could be read, however, as less of an endorsement of Cruz, and more of an invitation to join with him in strategically blocking Trump. Romney did not go so far as to use the word “endorse,” but he did say he would vote for him, reasoning that “the only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.”

Cruz has not always had kind words for Romney himself, once accusing Mitt of being “the mushy middle,” but he was quick to respond to the former Massachusetts governor with a quick tweet saying “Thank you Governor!” and, according to CNN, telling reporters that although it was not a full endorsement, that he will “take that, and take that happily.”

[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]