SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah just handed Donald Trump the thing he often says he hates: a loss.
In fact, Utah just handed Donald Trump the biggest loss he has experienced in politics.
Donald Trump came in third place once before. That was Minnesota, where Marco Rubio took first with 36.5 percent. Ted Cruz came in at 29 percent and Trump finished a respectable third at 21.3 percent, with Carson and Kasich trailing distantly.
Utah was different. As of this writing, Cruz holds 69.2 percent of the vote compared with John Kasich’s 16.8 percent and Trump’s 14 percent.
Trump is a full 55 percent behind Ted Cruz. Third out of three. If Ted Cruz could give votes as gifts, he had enough for three of his friends to also beat Donald Trump!
Quin Monson, a professor at BYU and founder of the polling firm Y2 Analytics, predicted a Cruz landslide in a survey released on Saturday, March 19th.
The prediction: Cruz with 53 percent, Kasich with 29 percent and Trump with 11 percent.
“We were closest with our prediction of Donald Trump’s results,” Monson said.
Trying to explain the unusual Utah political result, Monson said a lot of it is about the LDS Church.
“It's likely that between 80 and 90 percent of caucus goers were Latter-day Saints on Tuesday night, and with that particular group, especially active, practicing Mormons, Trump doesn't appeal to them across a number of dimensions,” Monson said.