Our take: Utah may have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1964, but its conservative trends are newer.

Its majority Mormon population makes the state very conservative on social issues, and in 2012, Utah is probably a safer bet to vote for Mitt Romney, himself a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, than the District of Columbia is to vote for President Obama.

But the constancy of Utah's conservative instincts in presidential elections is only recent, and it obscures a more moderate inclination on some issues. The reason Utah is so Republican in presidential elections — the influence of Mormonism on Utahs culture and politics — is also one of the reasons the state has taken less hard-line positions in other arenas, like immigration.