Evan McMullin brings his campaign to political science class

Photo by Collin Cooper

As the race for the White House is drawing to a close, independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin and his running-mate Mindy Finn made a campaign stop at a political science class at UVU Oct. 28.

Despite becoming a presidential candidate less than three months ago, McMullin has been surging in Utah as the polls show him in a close race between Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The Provo native entered the race for the White House late, which has caused him to miss the deadline to enter his name in several state ballots. McMullin said his strategy is to deny Clinton and Trump from getting to 270 electoral votes, forcing the House of Representatives to select the next president.

McMullin acknowledged his chances of winning the White House are slim saying, “it is not just about Nov. 8, but about starting a new conservative movement.”

McMullin said he hopes to start a new conservative movement with his campaign is about welcoming people of all races, religions, and is friendly to women and millennials.

“This new conservative movement will be a force for good, if however, is not willing or able to do that, and it’s going to continued down a road of ‘Trumpism’, which is a road of populism and of white nationalism, that’s not something we can be supportive of as constitutional conservatives,” McMullin said.

Jay DeSart, election forecasting specialist and professor at UVU, predicted Clinton winning the election with 326 electoral votes and discussed McMullin’s possibility of winning Utah.

“He’s hurting Trump a lot more than he’s hurting Clinton,” DeSart said. “If anything, he’s going to make it even harder for Trump to get to 270, which our model is giving him a less than 1 percent chance of doing anyway. I also suspect that his impact is largely going to be limited to Utah. In what limited polling I’ve seen from other states where he is on the ballot, he’s not really registering at all.”

Dan Howell, a senior at UVU, said he is voting for McMullin on election day.

“I acknowledge that it is a Hail Mary pass, that it is unlikely that he will win but I still feel confident about making that decision based off someone who will do the best job as president,” Howell said.

Freshman student, Kimberly Sylvester said, “I don’t think my vote for McMullin is a wasted vote, because a vote for Trump or a vote for Clinton is a wasted vote because it’s for one of those two.”

If McMullin wins Utah, it could mark the first time a third-party candidate wins a state since George Wallace in 1968.

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