Utah Governor Election Night Results 2016: Republican Gary Herbert cruised to re-election

AP

Utah Governor Gary Herbert was expected to easily beat his opponent on Tuesday. Herbert, a Republican, beat Democrat Mike Weinholtz in his third gubernatorial election in the conservative state, the Associated Press reported. 

Herbert first became governor of Utah in 2009 when then-Utah Governor John Huntsman became U.S. ambassador to China. Herbert was elected governor in a special election in 2010 and elected to a four-year term in 2012. 

Herbert won in 2012 by a margin of 31 percentage points, and the state has not elected a Democrat as governor since the early 1980s.  

Utah's governor Gary Herbert just won reelection. Source: Rick Bowmer/AP
Utah's governor Gary Herbert just won reelection.  Rick Bowmer/AP

Donald Trump has struggled with Utah's sizable Mormon population, yet his campaign on track to win the state. RealClearPolitics predicted that Trump would beat Democratic candidate Clinton by 15 points. Notably, it's expected Trump will win by a much smaller margin that Mitt Romney four years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported.   

An early November poll showed Herbert with a nearly 40 point lead over his Democratic challenger.