"In a Solidly Conservative State [Utah], a Loyal Core of Support for Bush," the NY Times reports.
So, his most solid support comes from people who believe that Native Americans were descended from a Hebrew prophet, Lehi; that a fourth-century AD prophet called Mormon etched ancient Hebrew teachings and the history of the North American people on gold plates, in ancient Egyptian-Hebrew characters, and buried them in upstate New York, where Mormon prophet Joseph Smith found them in 1823; Smith, with God's help, translated this Book of Mormon--after which an angel took the plates away, which explains why no one ever saw them again....Jesus visited and preached in North America Himself...God has a body of flesh and bone...George W. Bush is an honest, forthright, God-fearing man...
"People say they are willing to overlook major problems, or not blame Mr. Bush for trouble spots, because they like his personality," the Times article notes, quoting a few Utahans:
"I'm not sure of anything he's done, but I like that he's religious--that's really important."
"I like George Bush because he is God-fearing, and that's how a lot of people in this area feel."
"He's strong, and he doesn't waver."
"I like his honesty." (Iraq is "a grave and gathering threat" to America? "The vast majority of my tax cuts go to [people at] the bottom end"? We won't create deficits? I've been very candid about my past? I'm a uniter, not a divider? We're not spying on Americans? There was no warning, "no inkling" of a terrorist plot before 9/11?)
A textbook case of the idiocy and danger of religious faith.
And yet: Utah is one of just two states where Bush's approval rating remains above 50%: It's at 51% in Utah, 52% in Idaho (and 50% in Wyoming). "'When you get down to almost 50 percent in Utah, that's the canary-in-the-mine-shaft of all warnings for Republicans,' said Kelly Patterson, director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young. ... No state has had a bigger swing in opinion polls this year than Utah, with Mr. Bush's approval rating falling 15 points this spring." Bush took 72% of the vote in Utah in 2004. In Provo, about 8 of every 10 voters are registered Republicans. Last year, Provo was rated the most conservative city in America.