Electoral votes for a third party, but not Libertarian

I expect a lot of Libertarians are excited about Trump’s problems and figure Johnson may be a beneficiary. Well, maybe, but not in Utah.

This NPR article points out that the pussy-video is really turning Utahns against Trump, but they don’t like Hillary any better. A very recent poll has the two roughly tied with about 26% each. But the next highest candidate is not Gary Johnson, but rather an unknown (I certainly had never heard of him before) independent named Evan McMullin who has 22%. It wouldn’t take much more erosion of Trumps position to give this guy the win in that state.

As far as I can tell, McMullin’s main advantages there are

  1. He’s not Trump
  2. He’s not Hillary
  3. He’s Mormon.

(I’d add that he’s conservative, but that would be redundant with #3.)

This post is just a heads up so you guys aren’t caught by surprise if he does win Utah. I note that FiveThirtyEight doesn’t track him, and I expect most polls do not either. He’s only on the ballot in about a dozen states and, even if he takes Utah, it’s unlikely to be a spoiler and keep Hillary from winning.

He has one back door path to The White House.

If by some magic he wins Utah and its 6 Electoral votes AND neither Hillary nor Trump make it to 270 (again, I said magic)…

Then the House gets to choose the next President…from among the three top EV finishers (Isn’t it cute they assumed this would happen often? The founding fathers are just aDORable.).

That could give the Republicans in the House an out to not select Trump should they wish.

And the way things are going, House Republicans have no reason at all to choose Trump. He’s burning bridges with them (or at least with Ryan) as fast as he can.

But I don’t believe in magic. Barring a major stumble or another October Surprise, Hillary doesn’t need that state to win. If the guy does take Utah, he’ll be just another asterisk in the history books, along with the faithless electors that crop up from time to time.

That’d be a great way to permanently damage public trust in American democracy and her political institutions.

Well, it’s the constitutional procedure. Unlike 2000, where it seemed that the Supreme Court was making up as they went along (and even said their decision was not to be used as precedent), this method is clearly defined. It’s really a third party’s only path to the White House.

Harry Reid is a Mormon.

Really, that’s the whole reason Kristol & Company ginned up this campaign – they were trying to forestall the possibility that the Trumpster Fire would enable the Libertarians to scoop up enough protest votes to gain some cred and start peeling off fiscal conservatives who dislike the Talibornagain and Amerimperialist wings of the party.

Well, he’s not a very good one. :slight_smile:

Utah is one of the most Republican states. Possibly the most, although Idaho gives them a run. And the majority of Utahns are Mormon. These two facts about that state are not a coincidence.

Just FYI, with recent polls now giving McMullin a significant share, FiveThirtyEight has just started including him in their Utah models.

Yes, I just noticed that myself. He’s not on their Idaho models, where you’d expect him to get at least some votes. (There’s quite a few Mormons in Idaho.) But Idaho seldom gets polled (only one so far in this month and that before the pussy-video) so that’s not surprising. If someone does poll Idaho now, I expect Trump’s support has taken a nosedive just like it has in Utah.