Will Mormons go with Clinton or sit this round out, and does it matter?

In the last few days, the #NeverTrump movement has resurfaced an older poll from Utah suggesting that "[i]f Donald Trump becomes the Republican Party's nominee, Utahns would vote for a Democrat for president in November for the first time in more than 50 years."

According to the poll, in the Clinton-Trump head-to-head, Utah voters would choose Clinton by a narrow 38%-to-36% margin.  If the Democratic candidate is Bernie Sanders, the poll suggests that Sanders will beat Trump 48% to 37%.

Senator Mike Lee from Utah, a Mormon, has said Trump "scares me to death" and may not endorse Trump.

If the Mormons decide to go #NeverTrump, does it matter for Trump's election chances?  Probably not.  In fact, it may even help him.

According to Pew Research Center polling, the public's negative feelings toward Mormons, who make up only about 2% of the U.S. population, are almost as negative as those held against atheists and Muslims and below the much more positive views toward Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals, Buddhists, and even Hindus.  Losing the LDS wing of the GOP may cost Trump less than he gains by minimizing the role of a relatively unpopular religion within the party.

The public's view of Mormonism means the GOP will not win general elections with Mormons at, or near, the head of the party – perhaps a lesson they should have figured out before 2012, which was an entirely winnable election had Mitt Romney not been the public face.

It would be odd if Mormons voted Democrat this time around, anyway, since Democrat-leaning voters rank Mormons as their least favorite faith, below Muslims and atheists.  For Mormons, choosing the Democrat Clinton over the Republican Trump sounds like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

In terms of their location, Mormons are predominantly concentrated in Utah and southeastern Idaho, where they make up 55% and 19% of the state populations, respectively.  Out of 538 electoral college votes, Utah gets six (1.1%), and Idaho has four (0.7%).  The election will be won or lost in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio, who hold 47 electoral college votes by comparison.

Consequently, Mormons have negligible bargaining power with Trump.  They are viewed negatively by the general public and are borderline despised by Democrats, they constitute only a tiny proportion of the total population, and their core voting bloc is concentrated in two states whose contribution toward the overall electoral college is effectively irrelevant to the election outcome.

If the Mormons walk on the GOP, it almost certainly won't signify a general negative trend.