Our “Political Insiders” say Utah native Evan McMullin’s independent bid for the White House won’t accomplish much.
We asked how his candidacy will affect the race this year. Most of those who responded to our survey said he wouldn’t make much of an impact at all, and mostly be a bit of political trivia in a few years.
About 10% of the Republicans on our panel alone with 29% of Democrats and 21% of our readers say McMullin could siphon enough votes away from Donald Trump in Utah that it could tip the state toward Hillary Clinton.
Selected anonymous comments:
“I really don’t think there will be any great impact. I suppose he’ll take some Trump votes from Republicans who can’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton, but probably Utah won’t have a majority for her, and with any luck at all won’t have a majority for Trump.”
“A gimmick that will earn him goodwill when he runs in 4 years. Still, I appreciate any conservative who stands against Trump.”
“As much as I hope he does well, he is a complete unknown who is entering the race way too late in the game.”
“A person’s vote is a very personal choice. McMullin gives the option of someone to vote for an honest, decent, character, which the other three main options to not allow. Hillary will win anyway, so it will be a personal triumph to vote for someone decent.”
“It seems unlikely to me that he will get enough coverage to make much of a difference. Among that small number of us who really focus on politics we can form opinions about what it means to vote for him, but among the general voting electorate who do have opinions about the two primary candidates I think he will struggle to get 1 in 50 who even knows who he is and what he stands for.”
“He could win Utah if he gets an enthusiastic endorsement from Mitt Romney.”
“I wish the guy would have thought of his candidacy in April or something. Whether or not it would have had any impact on what is happening is a total shot in the dark (movie reference for the Millennials). Don’t misunderstand me. He may not necessarily be the answer, but if he could insert a little civility and actual policy discussions or debate, it would be a heck of a lot better than what we have (two 7th-Grade girls bickering about why they didn’t get invited to the big slumber party). I’m not sure at all if Mr. McMullin will cause any tipping, but if he can give some positive tips to our two Bickerons (old radio show reference, Millennials) on how to behave towards each other and leave the baiting to fishermen, he would have served a valuable purpose in this sorry mess. The way things go, he could end up being a Jeopardy question the Ken Jennings (Utah Jeopardy big winner, Millennials) would not get in a million years.”
“In Utah McMullin will takes most votes from Johnson, not Trump or Hillary.”
“Who? He’s more of a long shot than Jill Stein. He will probably finish 7th or 8th nationally.”
“Trump might still take Utah, but McMullin’s candidacy might give Utah to the Democrats for the first time in years.”
“Pretty arrogant move. Where was he during the primaries?”
“Just when you thought the POTUS field couldn’t have any more idiots in it, this guy appears when it’s too late to matter and plays the “I’m doing this because my conscience told me to.” Yeah, right. It’s almost as laughable as when Lt Gov Cox looks at the camera and says he didn’t want to be LG — “the Governor begged me to do this.”
“Can he get enough support to join the presidential debates? He’s a good speaker and more knowledgeable and savvy than the other two candidates. If he could break into the debates, it could change everything.”