Here's what Campaigns and Elections had to say about Utah in it's 2006 postmortem.
Utah is about as Republican as you get; it has voted for Republican presidential candidates by the highest percentage of any state in the past eight elections. The heavily Mormon state is governed by conservative Christian principles and values; those who want to be elected in Utah must espouse those values. Democrats have a hard time getting anywhere in this state. In the 1992 Presidential election, Ross Perot beat out Bill Clinton by two percentage points.
In one town in the Beehive State, even dog ownership is politics. In the ski town of Alta, an ordinance limits the number of dogs to 12 percent of the human population, or 42 dogs in this small town, but the mayor can allow special exceptions out of compassion or good cause.
I think they're pretty much dead on here, but the key is this part.
The heavily Mormon state is governed by conservative Christian principles and values; those who want to be elected in Utah must espouse those values.
Now in this state people just assume that the candidate who is most in line with those values will have an R next to their name on the ballot, but that's not necessarily the case and sometimes is just plain untrue. In order for a progressive movement to take hold in this state, Democrats have to show they have moral values, and contrast them with some of the morally laxed actions of Republicans both in Utah and nationally.
Does this mean we elect pro life, anti gay marriage, pro church in schools socially conservative Democrats, probably, but not necessarily. But even if that's the best we can do for now, Democrat majorities nationally would ensure that none of these issues actually came to the legislation table (e.g. an abortion ban would never get to a vote in a Democrat controlled congress), which would further the progressive cause (see Crashing the Gate).
So while this report is, in my opinion, accurate, and bad news, it's not an end game, there are avenues we can take to gain some footing to get Democrats elected locally and state wide in Utah. Or am I just being overly optimistic?