(KUTV) It's pretty unusual for a Democrat running for president to make a targeted pitch to Mormon voters in what's been a reliably red state.
But this election cycle is anything but usual.
In an op-ed published Wednesday in the Deseret News, Hillary Clinton made multiple references to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Republican politicians in an effort to persuade Utah voters to dump Donald Trump and look to her instead.
"As Americans, we hold fast to the belief that everyone has the right to worship however he or she sees fit," Clinton wrote. She said Donald Trump's controversial comments about banning Muslims from the United States show he "doesn't seem to grasp" the idea of religious freedom.
Clinton, arguing that Trump "lacks the morals" to be president, clearly sought to use language and terms familiar to Mormons in her op-ed. She cited a quote from former LDS Primary General President Rosemary Wixom about individuals being "unstoppable" with God. She also pointed to several Mormon prophets -- including current church president Thomas S. Monson -- who "have noted the inifinite blessings we have received from the Constitution of the United States."
The LDS church declined Wednesday to comment on Clinton's op-ed.
Clinton also cited Gov. Gary Herbert and Mitt Romney -- both popular in Utah -- as politicians who have stood up to Trump and denounced some of his rhetoric.
Trump has struggled to gain a foothold in Utah, but he still maintains a lead over Clinton among likely voters, according to a recent UtahPolicy.com poll. Meanwhile, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is gaining traction in the state, the poll showed.