SALT LAKE CITY, March 25 (UPI) -- The fallout from Utah's lopsided Republican primary last week continues, with local GOP officials plotting course if a front-runner who fell flat in their state makes for a drag on the party ticket.
While Donald Trump has taken firm control of the Republican primary nationally, Utah was a rare blemish. He only took in 14 percent of the vote and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz amassed 69 percent -- by far the largest margin of victory in the campaign for any Republican candidate.
And with that huge margin, Utah Republicans are left to wonder, if Trump goes on to win the nomination, will his deeply unpopular image among many Mormons create a turnout problem in a taken-for-granted red state?
Early data suggests it is possible.
A poll released by Deseret News prior to the Utah caucuses found Republican antipathy toward Trump runs so deep, many would consider voting for a Democrat before him. No Democrat has carried Utah in a general election since 1964.
James Evans, the Utah Republican chairman, told Politico the state party is developing "Plan T" in the event Trump is the nominee. It would involve reminding traditional conservative Republican voters in Utah there are still important races to be won, even if they do not relish the idea of voting for Trump.
The fallout from the bitter campaign in Utah is being felt in the presidential race, as well. A racy ad online directed at conservative Mormons, which showed Melania Trump posing nude in a GQ magazine picture prompted an angry response from the candidate, which he directed at his opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Trump threatened to "spill the beans" on Cruz's wife, Heidi
The Melanie Trump ad was concocted by an anti-Trump super PAC, not the Cruz campaign. Trump's attack on Heidi Cruz was widely condemned under the notion that spouses should be off-limits for attacks from other candidates.
Elected officials in Utah are also distancing themselves from Trump. Rep. Mia Love, the first female black Republican ever elected to Congress, hails from the state's Fourth District. Love is facing a rematch of her 2014 campaign, where she narrowly defeated the son of a former Democratic congressman by 4,000 votes.
Prior to Utah's caucuses, Love said she would be voting for Cruz.
"Because I believe we need a president with less bravado and more real courage to act on conservative principles, I will be casting my vote Tuesday for Ted Cruz," Love said.