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By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Evan McMullin May Win Utah, Throw Presidential Election to the House of Representatives

McMullin, the Choice of Christian Conservatives, Appears Poised to Overtake Clinton, Trump in Utah

 

November 1, 2016

The 2016 presidential campaign of Evan McMullin was announced on August 8, 2016. Evan McMullin, the former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and a former CIA operations officer, is running as an independent candidate

They've had it and they're not going to take it any more.

Evangelical Christians and social conservatives always had a tenuous relationship with Republican Nominee Donald Trump. They are turning to a clean cut, former Navy Seal in such large numbers, that he has recently polled 20% of likely voters in the State of Utah. Trump polled 32% and Clinton 26% in the Monmouth University poll, released 10/13. Leaders of the Mormon Church have condemned Trump over the tape with Billy Bush released Friday. Mitt Romney pulled 73% of 2012 voters in largely Mormon Utah.

Once a footnote to the campaign, Christian conservative Evan McMullin now has a chance to make his mark in the race. This is in large part to that famous 2005 Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump bragging about "Grabbing" er, women, to Billy Bush.

"Trump's lewd tape appears to be cutting into his standing among social conservatives, nowhere more so than in Utah, where the Mormon faith holds sway and tolerance for the latest revelation of Trump's lasciviousness has pushed his already strained relationship with state Republicans past the breaking point," Says Politico. "That, combined with a broad rejection of Hillary Clinton, is good news for McMullin." http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/donald-trump-tape-evan-mcmullin-229712#ixzz4N05UgMaH

“I’ll make a prediction: He’s going to win the state,” said Dave Hansen, a political adviser to Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), on Wednesday. “I think people don’t want Trump and they don’t like Clinton out here, and he is kind of the unknown, but people like him. He’s a safe place to go to cast their ballot.”

Jill Stein and Even McMullin appeared on Brett Baer's Special Report on FoxNews Sunday night, 10/16. "You've got to compete to win states in our system. Johnson and Stein are competing to win States. We're focused on the Mountain West with our message: I'm the only Conservative in this race. We're limited government people, Mindy Finn and I, we stand for the foundational principals of our country, that we all are created equal, and that we have a right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our odds are long, but they may get better. Otherwise, we're standing for principal. Donald Trump is an absolutely horrendous, terrible candidate. He has no business representing the Republican party, or being President of the United States," said McMullin.

"We're starting a new conservative movement here. We're not looking for validation from Mitt Romney. Across the board, Republicans are putting power and party over principal and country. Finn and I are building a new conservative movement, and we've seen incredible response," said McMullin.

Like Libertarian Gary Johnson, McMullin is running his national campaign out of a Salt Lake City Headquarters. He is the former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and a former CIA operations officer.

McMullin, who is focusing more on Utah than any other state, is a 40-year-old Mormon who spent a decade at the CIA and later became the policy director for the House Republican Conference. “People are finally realizing the truth about Trump,” he said during an interview at his campaign headquarters yesterday afternoon. “I imagine there are dozens more of these women out there, sadly.”

If Johnson or McMullin were to prevail in Utah, they would be the first third party candidates to take any state since 1968, 48 years ago.

McMullin holds pro-life views. According to his campaign website, he opposes "a culture that subsidizes abortion on demand." His website also states that "Americans can and should work together . . . to reduce unintended pregnancies and encourage adoption, even if they may have different opinions on abortion rights."

McMullin has stated that although he believes in "traditional marriage between a man and a woman", he "respects" the United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and thinks it is "time to move on" from the issue of same-sex marriage. He also stated that he would not make appointments to the Supreme Court with the intent of overturning Obergefell.

McMullin is pro-free trade, and wants to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open. He supports border security but not mass deportation; and supports the Republican House plan on tax reform.

McMullin agrees with the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that covers those with preexisting conditions, but believes that "we also need to do better than ObamaCare."

Regarding national security, McMullin said, "A free America requires the strongest and most capable military and intelligence infrastructure in the world. The bravery and commitment of our men and women in uniform is unquestioned; we need to provide them the technology, training, and support to defeat the threats of today and secure our nation in the future."

McMullin told ABC News that he believed Donald Trump's public comments were frustrating U.S. counterterrorism efforts. "What he doesn’t realize is that we actually depend on Muslims to do counterterrorism, to wage war against terrorists.” Trump's remarks concerning Muslims “decreases their willingness to work with us, with other Muslims, and that impedes our ability to destroy ISIS.” McMullin also criticized Trump's alleged closeness with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and McMullin accused Putin of engaging in a campaign to destabilize European and North American countries.

In 2014, McMullin helped to bring Caesar, a defected Syrian military photographer who leaked 55,000 images depicting abuses by the regime, to speak before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to The Christian Science Monitor. McMullin clashed with State Department officials he suspected were holding up the hearing. McMullin claimed that State Department officials wanted to have a closed hearing.

On August 11, McMullin got on the Colorado ballot. The campaign is working to get on the ballot in states that have access deadlines on or after August 15. The campaign says it will sue States with earlier access deadlines, with plans of getting on the ballot in those states.

On August 14, it was announced that the Independence Party of Minnesota selected McMullin their presidential nominee. On August 15, McMullin announced that he was on the Utah ballot.

On August 22, McMullin's chief strategist Joel Searby sent a memo with his campaign strategy. The campaign plans to block Hillary Clinton from reaching 270 electoral votes, thus sending the election to the House of Representatives. Searby believes that, "Once in the House, against the backdrop of Trump and Clinton's deeply divisive positions and after a strong electoral college showing, we believe Evan's unifying message will prevail."

On August 23, McMullin was added to the Idaho ballot. On September 2, Politico reported that McMullin will appear on the ballot in Virginia. On September 7, McMullin was nominated by the ballot-qualified Independence Party of South Carolina. On September 23, McMullin announced write-in access in Alaska, Montana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

McMullin will be on the ballot in about 12 states, and a write in candidate in another 28.

On October 6, McMullin announced that Mindy Finn would be his running mate. Finn will not appear on most ballots with McMullin; instead, paper candidate Nathan Johnson of San Diego, California is listed as his running mate. McMullin had not chosen a running mate at the time he filed for ballot access in most states and used Johnson, a personal friend of his, as a name on the ballot.

Following the release of crude recordings by Donald Trump in mid-October, McMullin surged in the polls in Utah -- tying statistically with Trump and Hillary Clinton at 22%, 26%, and 26% respectively, with Libertarian Gary Johnson also performing strongly at 14%.

McMullin will be on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

 

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