Conservative Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, who entered the race just two months ago as a virtual unknown, is soaring in the deeply Republican-dominated state of Utah, surging to a near statistical tie with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
McMullin, a former CIA counter-terrorism agent and House Republican chief policy director, is at 22 percent of the vote in Utah, only four points behind Trump and Clinton, who are tied at 26 percent. The poll, conducted by Y2 Analytics on October 10-11, among 500 Utah voters, carries a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent, indicating that McMullin is in a basic statistical tie with Clinton and Trump.
If Evan McMullin could pull off an upset win in Utah, it would truly be historic. The last third-party candidate to win a state was George Wallace in 1968.
“Utahns have a special place in this election. What we kept hearing would be impossible, has now happened,” Evan McMullin said about the new Utah poll. “Citizens from the Beehive State can turn this election around. I’m proud to stand with them and to be a part of this unbelievable momentum guiding the 21st century into a new generation of leadership. I look forward to the work we can and will do with the help of the state of Utah in the final weeks leading up to election day. This is just the beginning and we will continue to grow our movement well beyond Utah,” he announced.
Most significant in the release is that just 52% of Utah voters know who Evan McMullin is, a strong indication that he has the opportunity to see his numbers rise as his name ID grows.
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, who has stumbled as of late in answering foreign policy questions from reporters, polled at 14 percent.
The poll comes in after the release of 2005 video showing Donald Trump cavalierly bragging about sexually assaulting women which has greatly harmed Trump among voters in Utah. The poll revealed that over half of those polled want the bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor to drop out of the race.
Leading political figures in Utah, like Senator Mike Lee , Congressman [score]Jason Chaffetz [/score], and Governor Gary Herbert, have called for Trump to exit the stage. Both Chaffetz and Herbert reversed their earlier endorsements of Trump (Lee had not yet endorsed). An avalanche of other top Republicans also pulled back their endorsements, including 2008 presidential candidate John McCain.
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McMullin, a conservative, has readily admitted that while he is fighting to win, it is likely that his best hope to stop Trump and Hillary would be to keep either from reaching the required 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, where the race would then, according to the Constitution, be thrown the race into the hands of the House of Representatives, the institution designed to be closest to the people since they can be voted out of office every two years, who would then pick the next president.
Who knows what would then happen, but with Donald Trump’s lukewarm support in the Republican-dominated House, really anything could happen at that point.
“I heard a preacher the other day say, ‘If you’re voting for the lesser of two evils, you’re still voting for evil.’” McMullin recently told The Washington Post. “This country needs better leadership,” he said.
After serving in the CIA for 11 years, Evan McMullin graduated from the Wharton School of Business and spent time as an investment banker, working in mergers and acquisitions at the Goldman Sachs investment firm, “working with all kinds of companies, helping them thrive in the global marketplace.”
From there, McMullin served as a senior adviser on national security issues and as a policy director for the House Republican Conference. He said during that experience he “learned what reforms this government — our government — needs so that it can be more responsive and accountable to the American people so that it listens better to the American people.”
Donald Trump mightily struggled in the Utah GOP primary, losing badly to Texas Senator Ted Cruz , who won with almost 70 percent of the vote.
h/t Deseret News