Utah which is seen as a solidly red state and will easily vote for Romney in November, will still see some votes cast for Obama, and most of them will come from the Salt Lake area.

That’s where the University of Utah is located and where the student body is one of the most liberal in the entire state.

That was reinforced this week with the release of a straw poll conducted by the Hinckley Institute of Politics, that showed Barack Obama was the favorite of students over Mitt Romney by a wide margin.

Obama was favored by almost 53 percent of the students with Romney finishing a distant second with nearly 38 percent of the vote among students.

Despite the presence of the Mormon Church which is headquartered in Salt Lake, and is one of the most politically conservative religions, the city and its surrounding area has trended liberal for years.  The recent mayors have been extremely liberal, and it is the only Democratic congressional district in the state, though that might change this year thanks to redistricting and a strong challenge by Saratoga Springs mayor Mia Love against incumbent Jim Matheson.

In the poll Matheson beat Love 51-28 percent, only underscoring the liberal tendency of the students.

While 30 percent of the students identified themselves as Democrats versus 29 percent as Republicans, 49 percent they favored Democrats in the state legislature versus 40 percent for Republicans.  That’s in contrast to the actual legislature, which is more than 75% controlled by the GOP.

So while the students may be out of step with the rest of Utah, they are right in line with the sentiments of Salt Lake.

The presidential campaign hit a new low this week with the release of an ad by Obama SuperPAC Priorities USA Action suggesting that Mitt Romney was at least partly to blame for the death of a steelworker’s wife.

The ad featuring former steelworker Joe Soptic leaves viewers with the impression that GST Steel which was was owned by Bain Capital closed the Kansas City plant that Soptic worked at and the subsequent loss of insurance contributed to the death of his wife in 2006.

While the death of Soptic’s wife is tragic, there is more to the story than the ad tells.

The plant closed in 2001, but Romney had left active management of the firm in 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics.  In addition to this, it turns out that Soptic’s wife actually had her own insurance through the company she was working fr and only lost that coverage when she left the company.  Her lack of insurance had nothing to do with Bain Capital or Romney, but you wouldn’t know it from watching the ad.

Soptic’s wife left her job sometime in 2002 or 2003 and the cancer was discovered in 2006 and she died 22 days after diagnosis.  Once again, while this is tragic it occurred long after Romney left Bain.

Negative campaigning is part of the political landscape and is here to stay.  However there are boundaries or at least should be and this ad clearly crossed them, by fudging the facts enough to try and convince voters that Romney was responsible for the death of a former employee’s wife.

Is the Obama campaign so desperate that they have to have their SuperPAC stoop to this level of attack to try and win the election?

What’s even more surprising about the ad and the controversy it has created is the fact that CNN of all people actually fact-checked it and found it off base.

Maybe there’s hope for CNN after all.