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.