If, among swing states, Trump wins Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, he’ll have 273 electoral votes, three more than the 270 he needs to win. If he wins Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Iowa, he’ll have 272 electoral votes. Likewise if he wins Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Nevada. If he wins Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Hampshire, he’ll have 270 exactly. If he wins Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, and New Hampshire (the states political prognosticator Nate Silver had him leading in before the Khizr Khan dust-up), he and Hillary will be tied, 269 each. There are a few other scenarios along these lines, wherein a) Hillary has too few votes to win outright, and b) Trump ends up with fewer than 275 electoral votes. These are the most likely ones.
In any of these cases — and none is outside the realm of possibility — Mr. McMullin could force the election to the House of Representatives by winning Utah, which has six electoral votes (in a 269–269 tie, of course, the election would go to the House anyway). And McMullin winning Utah is well within the realm of possibility: Mitt Romney won 73 percent of the vote there in 2012; in current Utah polls, Trump is averaging just 38 percent. In the primary, Trump lost Utah in a landslide, and — with the Utah electorate tending to be Mormon and straitlaced — he remains, for a Republican candidate, tremendously unpopular. McMullin, on the other hand, is being supported by a Romney-supporter super PAC. McMullin is a Mormon; he went to the Mormon school BYU, and he’s a former Mormon missionary; he’s also a Utah native.
If McMullin could force the election to the House, he has a decent chance.