New digital Clinton ad targets Mormon voters

Source: Review Journal

Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a digital ad on Tuesday reaching out to Mormon voters in Nevada and Utah.

The move demonstrates the high hopes the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign has that Mormon voters will support Clinton over Donald Trump, especially after his comments about groping women in a decade-old audiotape.

The 1-minute, 39-second spot, titled “We are Mormons for Hillary,” features Republican and Democratic Clinton supporters from Utah reading excerpts from Clinton’s book “It Takes a Village.” The book focuses on what communities can do to help children.

Throughout the West, Mormons are a traditionally conservative voter base that tends to support Republican candidates. But there are exceptions, including Nevada’s own Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church’s official name.

This election’s dynamic has grown increasingly complex even in Utah, where voters — the majority of them Mormon — have reliably elected a Republican in every election since 1968. Prominent Utah Republican Mormons, including the Beehive State’s Gov. Gary Herbert, have condemned Trump’s comments, stirring speculation that Mormon Republicans may shun Trump and vote for Clinton or a third-party candidate like Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Andrew Jolley, a Clinton supporter who lives in Las Vegas, said in an interview he’s supporting the former secretary of state because of her long record of public service.

“I was born and raised Mormon,” said Jolley, a third-generation Nevadan. “I have been a Democrat ever since I was in my early 20s and I’ve always felt there should be more room for differing political views within Mormon culture, so that’s always been a frustration of mine.”

He added: “In some senses I’m a little bit frustrated that it’s taken such a horrible candidate as Donald Trump for Mormons to feel they can have a view that is different from mainstream Mormons.”

Nevada has 182,125 members of the LDS church, about 6 percent of the state’s overall population, according to church figures. About 105,000 Mormons live in Southern Nevada. Nationally, the church has about 6.5 million members.

Trump’s comments also may alienate Mormon women like Kelli Despain, an independent voter from Las Vegas.

“As a mom to three children, including a daughter, I want to ensure that our choice for president is someone my kids can view as a role model,” she said. “In light of the many things Donald trump has said to disparage women and the behavior he has displayed, I will be casting a vote for Hillary Clinton. He does not share my values as a mom, wife, woman of faith, or small business owner. I believe many other women of faith will also be voting their conscience this November.”

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