Missionaries in a Lift

Deborah Friedell

Mormons vote for Republicans – everyone knows that. But they don’t like Trump. ‘Mormons place a high premium on being nice, and Trump is not nice,’ Matt Bowman, the author of The Mormon People, told ThinkProgress. After Mitt Romney said that Trump was a ‘phony, a fraud’ last March, Trump told a rally in Salt Lake City: ‘I have many friends that live in Salt Lake City – and by the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them. Are you sure he's a Mormon? Are we sure?’

While he was dying, Bob Bennett, the former Republican senator from Utah, told his wife and son: 'Are there any Muslims in the hospital? I’d love to go up to every single one of them to thank them for being in this country, and apologise to them on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump.’

Utah, which is about 60 per cent Mormon, hasn’t gone blue for more than fifty years: campaigning there usually seems like a waste. Last month the Clinton campaign opened a field office in Salt Lake City, and on Tuesday it launched ‘Mormons for Hillary’.

Yesterday I shared the lift at Hampstead Tube with six Mormon 18-year-olds on their first mission trip abroad. 'Are you from Utah?' I asked the one standing nearest to me, and by the time we’d made it up to the station, the group had told me they were all supporting Hillary – but they had no idea they could vote absentee. They listened to me go on about how to register, that the deadline was soon, and that they really truly needed to vote, please vote, please tell their anti-Trump friends on other mission trips abroad that they could all vote absentee. I was feeling incredibly proud of myself. Then: 'This is clearly very important to you,' one of the boys said as we left the station. 'Now will you listen to me talk to you about something that's important to me?'


  • 22 September 2016 at 9:12pm
    Vance Maverick says:
    Well, your eternal salvation is pretty undeniably more important than your vote for the next President. Or it would be, if there were agreement on how to achieve it, or indeed whether it's a real thing.

  • 26 September 2016 at 12:36pm
    Michael Martin says:
    As someone who resides in the state of Utah (and is not Mormon), I have seen little of the vocal or blatant discontent against Trump other than a lack of car stickers and political signs in yards. Truth be told, the silent talk seems to be more on retaining their GOP (Republican) grip on the local legislature and in Congress (the female black GOP representative, Mia Love, is now receiving outside money and is slowly pulling ahead in her incumbent race for a 2nd term in the House). Anti-Trump? It's out there but only via a bite on the tongue, the urge to vote GOP as strong a temptation as drinking a Coca Cola (now apparently okay to do despite the caffeine content since the Church purchased part-ownership in one of the soda plants, or so it is rumored). What we non-Mormons have heard is that the vote will be a write-in for Johnson, if they vote at all...but voting for Trump is not likely. Local (free) papers say that our state has a chance to turn presidential blue (Democratic) for only its 2nd time in can only wait and see as the Church parking lots are full (despite what you hear about our Constitution's separation of church and state, political influence is quite substantial in such gatherings).

  • 4 October 2016 at 4:58pm
    Martin says:
    With the depth of the lift shaft at Hampstead, this could have been a joke: "Six Mormons got into a lift. Seven got out."