IT WOULD have been unthinkable to question Utah’s political allegiances one year ago. The state last sent its vote to a Democratic candidate for president when Lyndon Johnson was in office—in 1964. But the publication, on October 7th, of a video from 2005, in which Mr Trump boasts about grabbing women’s genitals, may break the spell in the conservative western state. Recent polls show Mr Trump holding only a slim lead over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
With only six electoral-college votes on offer, Utah is less a deathblow to the Trump campaign than a disturbing signal. Recent polls show bad deficits in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Colorado—states considered important for Mr Trump. The margins for Mrs Clinton, previously favourable but slim, have swelled since the tape’s release.
Florida, the state most likely to decide the election, is showing a four-point preference for Mrs Clinton. Heavily populated, it is rich in delegates, with 29 of the 270 electoral-college votes needed for victory. The state leans slightly more Republican than the rest of the country. A loss in Florida for Mr Trump is likely to be followed with defeats in the more difficult terrain of New Hampshire and Wisconsin. Without Florida, Mr Trump’s chances of winning the presidency dwindle to 5%, reckons FiveThirtyEight, a data-journalism outfit.
An analysis of Americans’ reactions to the video’s revelations done on behalf of The Economist by Crimson Hexagon, a social-media analytics firm, showed widespread revulsion at his remarks. Regardless of age, gender or region, the predominant sentiment of about 75%, who joined in a discussion of the video on Twitter, was one of disgust. The effect of the tape is likely to have been bolstered by claims, made by several women after the tape’s release, that Mr Trump had behaved as he had boasted. He has said that he hasn’t groped women.
In the case of a landslide Clinton win, Republican losses are likely to extend beyond the White House. As partisanship and polarisation have increased in America, fewer Americans split their tickets and vote for candidates of different parties. Only 4% of avowed Trump supporters say they will vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, polling data from YouGov shows.
Clinton followers are averse to Republicans in similar proportions. Betting-market odds that the Republicans lose control of the Senate have tracked Mr Trump’s polling slump, rising 28 percentage points in the last month and now standing at 72%.
Mrs Clinton, for her part, has largely withdrawn from the campaign trail, voluntarily ceding the spotlight to her opponent’s regular self-immolations. It appears that her campaign is focused on running up the score now, spending millions in Indiana and Missouri, both of which favoured Mitt Romney by nearly 10% in 2012. It has also dispatched prominent surrogates like Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders along with $2m worth of funding to Arizona, historically an unfriendly land for Democrats. The latest poll in the state shows her with a 2% lead—within the margin of error, but it should have never been that close in the first place.