Immediately after writing my last post, I realized that I wasn’t taking my own advice. I advocated looking for and supporting candidates who are honorable and God-fearing people. Even if that means “throwing away your vote” (there’s actually no such thing) and voting for a third party candidate. Others might have different beliefs than I do. But based on what I believe, I felt that I should support Evan McMullin for president. However, that was not what I was doing. It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.
Gary Johnson vs. Evan McMullin
Many of you might know that I had decided to support former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson – mostly because of moral disgust over Trump and Clinton. I even campaigned a bit for Johnson. When Evan McMullin entered the race, I considered supporting him, but decided against it because I thought he didn’t have a shot (even less of a shot that Johnson has). I figured that Gary Johnson was a humble and an honest man and would do well at decreasing the federal budget, even though I felt uneasy about some of his positions. But after finishing my last post, I turned to my wife and said, “Honey, I don’t think I can support Gary Johnson anymore. I agree a lot more with McMullin than Johnson, and I believe McMullin is a God-fearing man.”
I didn’t know what to do. My desire was to help Johnson win Utah if he had a shot, but I felt like I needed to support McMullin on principle. And then the world turned upside-down.
According to the Deseret News, a new poll conducted in Utah by Y2 Analytics (and one of my professors, Quin Monson) suggests that “McMullin may well have caught lightning in a bottle.”
Evan McMullin is in a statistical tie for first place with both Clinton and Trump in Utah. Hillary and The Donald both hold 26%, McMullin claims 22%, and Johnson holds 14%. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4%, which essentially means it’s too close to call. Several weeks ago, McMullin was polling around 1%. This large increase is due in part to the recent #TrumpTapes that have sent the GOP into a tailspin.
This news certainly changes the game in terms of electability of a third party in Utah. After the news hit, I did a little more digging into Evan McMullin to see if my gut was correct. After looking into his policy positions, he and Johnson are pretty similar. However, McMullin’s successful foreign policy experience outweighs any candidate’s. And right now, America needs someone with good foreign policy experience at the helm.
Why Does It Even Matter?
With new scandals from Trump revealed almost every week, McMullin is only going to rise in Utah and elsewhere. And I’m going to do my part to not only try to stop Trump or Clinton, but to vote my conscience.
For too long we have been told that we need to choose between the lesser of two evils when it comes to presidential elections. But that is simply not true. You do not “owe” your vote to any candidate. You get to decide who earns your vote.
In the political world, Utah is not often thought of as a battleground state. However, this election is changing all of that. If Utah’s electoral votes go to Evan McMullin, the 12th amendment to the Constitution could be triggered, and the vote would go to the House of Representatives. The only way that would happen is if neither Clinton nor Trump receives 270 electoral votes.
Now this is a BIG if. My instinct tells me that Clinton will win the election outright, but that doesn’t change my mind. If Utah votes independent, that will send a message to the whole nation: “We are sick of the lies and the lack of morals. We will not roll over and just take it. If you want our vote, then shape up.”
Even if McMullin wasn’t polling so well in Utah, I would probably vote for him anyway because he is moral, honest, and trustworthy. His views on policy also line up with mine. His biggest hurdle to winning Utah’s electoral votes right now is that not enough people know who he is. For those of you who are in this boat looking for an alternative to ClinTrump, I recommend reading an article by The Washington Post about Evan’s decision to get in the race. Additionally, I encourage you to look into Evan McMullin’s platform just as I did, and make your own conclusions based on the data.
When it comes down to it, Utahns have a chance to make a difference (and history) this election. Although I didn’t support McMullin in the beginning I have decided to throw my vote his way on November 8th. This has taken some thought, deliberation, and analysis of the available data. I believe he has the best chance at winning Utah’s electoral votes (possibly a better chance that Clinton or Trump), and I believe that he is an honorable and a God-fearing man. However you decide to vote on election day, here’s to voting your conscience.