Evan McMullin. Photo courtesy of Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin can beat Donald Trump in Mormon-dominated Utah

Evan McMullin. Photo courtesy of Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin. Photo courtesy of Evan McMullin

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(RNS) BYU political scientist Quin Monson was quoted in The Globe and Mail as saying that “Any Republican with a pulse should be able to get into the 60-percent range” in Utah, whereas Donald Trump has been averaging half that in the state's recent polls.

Monson called Trump's showing “a meltdown of epic proportions.”

Heck yeah, it's epic. It wasn't that long ago that a Republican presidential nominee didn't even have to campaign in Utah. The Mormon vote was guaranteed.

Not this year. Across the internet, stories abound about Trump's utter failure to earn the trust of Utah voters, about two-thirds of whom are Mormon.

An Emerson College poll released last week showed late-surging independent candidate (and fellow Latter-day Saint) Evan McMullin topping the polls in Utah with 31 percent, Trump with 27 percent, and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at 24 percent.

One of the most interesting revelations of the survey was how many -- or, I should say, how few -- of the supporters of Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who came in first and second place in Utah's GOP primary, have since fallen in line behind the party's nominee. Just 29 percent of Cruz's supporters in Utah went on to back Trump, and only 4 percent of Kasich voters. More than half of Cruz's supporters have cast their lot with McMullin.

A UtahPolicy.com poll showed McMullin and Trump neck-and-neck, with Trump barely edging out the independent candidate. Two and a half weeks before the election, a Utah victory is well within reach for McMullin, whose star is rising quickly even as Trump's is self-destructing.

RELATED: The conservative savior many Mormons hope will crush Donald Trump

And Mormons have been speaking out individually against Trump. After the last debate, LDS mother of six Alyson Draper wrote a public Facebook post in which she described the traumatic experience of a late-term abortion to save her life, which she described as "the worst moment" of her life and "nothing like" what Trump had described in the debate.

New York magazine featured "7 Popular Mormon Bloggers on Why They Would Never Vote for Donald Trump," including several who have voted Republican in the past but simply cannot countenance his crassness, his assaults on women, and his remarks about immigrants.

Some Mormons are voting for Clinton, who -- at between 24 and 28 percent of the Utah vote in recent polls -- is doing better than many Democratic candidates have in the perennially brick-red state.

McMullin, the principled conservative appealing to many right-leaning Mormons, is on the ballot in 11 states.


Does he have a shot at taking Utah? You bet he does. He is gaining momentum fast in this, the homestretch.

Traditionally, some voters who say early in the race that they support an independent candidate will eventually fall in line behind one of the two major party nominees when they actually go vote. But they do this because of a sense of futility, a fear that their vote will be "wasted" on a third-party candidate.

There's no futility in the minds of Utah voters, because Evan McMullin actually has an excellent chance of winning.

It is a symbolic victory for conservative Mormons, given that Clinton has all but locked up the national election and McMullin is assuredly not going to the White House.

But Mormon voters will take a symbolic victory that allows them to maintain their integrity over blind loyalty to a once-great political party that has recently devolved into racist rhetoric, name-calling, and the excusing of sexual assault.




  1. Maybe Evan McMullin will beat Trump.
    Maybe Evan McMullin won’t beat Trump.
    Nobody knows yet.

    But the fact is that McMulllin is getting a free pass from the media, simply because he IS playing the spoiler against Trump. McMullin is outright helping HILLARY to win next month, so he gets a free pass instead of responsible scrutiny.

    But that sharp scrutiny WILL be waiting for McMullin if tries to run for anything — even **dogcatcher** — in any future election. No free pass. He won’t be flying under the radar next time.

    McMullin says he’s a “conservative”, but that’s a misleading Falsehood. ****McMullin openly supports Legalized Gay Marriage, including any future Supreme Court nominations he may offer.****

    For this election, his Falsehood Mess won’t hurt him much. But next time around, running against “normal” party politicians, there will be NO free pass. McMullin will be seriously questioned, his falsehoods scrutinized, and then he will be correctly thrown out the political door a-PACKING !!

  2. McMullin is the only conservative in the race.There may be one or two issues that you may disagree with, but that pails in comparison to the many disagreements that I have with Trump and Hillary. In Ohio wright in McMullin (no 13 on the election sheet at the poling places)

  3. This simply tells us that Mormons, who always vote as a block, have moved from their Republican candidate to their Mormon candidate. There is nothing bold, courageous, or telling about his movement, other than that Mormons continue to be sheep that follow.

  4. McMullin doesn’t openly support gay marriage, in fact he specifically stated that he is against it. However, he has acknowledged that it’s probably time to move on from the issue.

    In light of the many falsehoods told by both Clinton and Trump, calling McMullin some kind of “Falsehood Mess” is just a little ridiculous. Trump kind of breaks the record for number of lies told in a single campaign.

  5. I’m voting for McMullin here in Oregon. Gonna write him in with pleasure.

    I’m extremely proud that the home state I love is rejecting Trump. Utah is leading the way, and (as someone said), is acting as the conscience of the nation.

  6. How exactly does the fact that Utah voting is split fairly evenly between Trump, Clinton, and McMullin show Mormons are sheep that follow? Sheeple, I have seen in other blogs, or Mormon Suckers. This is a copout argument. Actually, it’s no argument at all. It’s a pathetic, whiny rant. The fact that Mormon voting patterns are different than the rest of conservative Christianity, the fact that there is a fairly even split between 3 candidates, the fact that so many Mormons were warning against a Trump nomination long before Romney spoke out and even longer before McMullin announced his candidacy – none of this points to Mormons being sheep that follow.

  7. So, McMullen is basically 2Rump, but has wisely chosen to limit his baggage to carryons.

  8. Let’s hope Jana’s right. I’m grateful to McMullin for giving so many an alternative to vote for (though not me, unfortunately), and proud of Utah for coming as far as it has. If Utah goes for McMullin come November, that will be at least one bright spot in probably an otherwise uniformly dreary evening.

  9. Even if McMullin wins Utah (as he undoubtedly will), that is unlikely to change the overall outcome of the presidential race. I applaud Utah’s electorate for voting their principles however.

  10. When Hillary Clinton, with the help of you McMullin voters, win the White House and strips you of all your religious freedoms, makes you marry the Polygamy and LGBT community in your temples, just remember, you helped with that decision with your stupidity! McMullin has admitted the only reason he’s in the race is to stop Trump! Why are you guys so against Trump? Cause in his personal life he’s said hard things? Idiots out there, who don’t understand this isn’t a republican vs democrat race, it’s a nationalist vs globalist race, will spell the end for America the great. It’s all because a Mormon, who you don’t know who he truly is or what he truly believes, decided to run.

  11. The election polls tell me some interesting facts; Bush Jr. got 80% of the LDS vote, Romney got 78% of the LDS vote, +-5% error. This tells us 2-things: 1. The LDS faithful are a very conservative group. 2. The LDS faithful stick with “their” people.

    So, why then are the LDS faithful coming out against Trump, I see 2 reasons: Mitt Romney, (a big government liberal, don’t believe me look at his spending records while governor of Massachusetts where he expanded the state budget by $5.2 billion, and inserted socialized medicine, where it failed), is telling you to not support Trump. 2. Romney inserted a candidate and claims he’s conservative, though we really don’t know a ton about him or his policies. Which leads me to believe you’re supporting him because he’s LDS, you can’t support him on his policies because we don’t really know what those policies are.

    So MucMullin is getting your vote because he’s LDS? Really? Does it matter that we don’t know a ton about the guy, where he stands on issues, other than openly supporting gay marriage because his mother is gay which tells me he leans left and he would appoint liberal SCOTUS judges that legislate from the bench, or the fact he said he is in this race to “stop Trump”?

    We know one thing about McMullin, he was a CIA Analyst. What do they teach everyone at the CIA? Oh yeah, how to convincingly lie.

    Seems to me that a lot of you LDS faithful are so caught up with judging Trump, that you’re not seeing the forest for the trees. You’re helping elect a woman that will strip you of your 1st, 2nd, and 10th amendment rights. But hey, you can claim you voted for the morally superior candidate. Great, Great Job!!

  12. McMullin does openly support gay marriage, as his mother is gay and married to a woman. It doesn’t bother me at all that in the past DT has said mean things. Do you not understand that by supporting McMullin you’re guaranteeing a Clinton presidency? Do you not see the outcome of that presidency?
    Here’s an interesting game, I’m going to post 10-reasons I’m voting for Trump, without using Google. I want you to try and do the same thing with McMullin, but ya can’t.
    1. Immigration policy
    2. Trade policy
    3. Tax policy
    4. Rebuilding the military
    5. Promise to clean out the swamp
    6. Defense of our 1st, 2nd, and 10th amendments to the Constitution
    7. Building the wall
    8. Protecting religious freedom
    9. Removing the ACA
    10. Removing common core, States Rights.

    Now you try it with McMullin. They all have to be things he said he was in support of publicly, not things you wish he was in support of.

  13. Your first point is valid. The LDS faithful are, as a whole, a very conservative group.

    You second point is confusing. By saying we stick to “our” people, are you talking about conservatives, Republicans, Mormons…? Because if you are saying Mormons, that makes no sense when, according to your own numbers, a higher percentage of LDS voted for Bush (who is not Mormon) than for Romney (who is Mormon). If you are saying conservatives, you would probably be right. But Trump isn’t conservative, so the fact many Mormons aren’t supporting him should be no surprise. If you are saying Republicans, that would normally be true also. But Trump has been very clear about upending traditional Republican stances, so once again it’s not surprising many Mormons don’t support this particular Republican candidate.

    I know of exactly zero people who are voting for McMullin because he is a Mormon. It’s because of his political stances (which he explains on his website, so it’s not like they are a mystery). It’s obviously true that being Mormon himself helped raise awareness among Mormons of his presidential bid. But that isn’t WHY they are voting for him.
    It’s also true that he wouldn’t even register on the Utah polls (he wouldn’t even be running) if Republicans had nominated *literally* any other Republican candidate. A LOT of Republicans and Independents said they would not vote for Trump if he was nominated, which is why he was the ONLY Republican who was significantly behind Clinton in every poll during the primaries. Mormons seem to be one of the only groups who is actually sticking to what they said. Which is very Mormon of them.

  14. The possessive pronoun of “their” that I use is talking directly about LDS people. Read the sentence again, it should be very clear.

    “Because if you are saying Mormons, that makes no sense when, according to your own numbers, a higher percentage of LDS voted for Bush (who is not Mormon) than for Romney (who is Mormon).” The poll I cited had a +- 5% error. So in essence both Romney and Bush got the same % of LDS votes.

    You’re a smart guy with an articulate response to my post, I want you to tell me 10 ways in which Trump wants to upend “Traditional Republican Stances,” please. I consider myself a very staunch republican, but I don’t agree with them on All the issues.

    I would agree with you on your point that, people are not voting for him just because he’s LDS, IF it wasn’t already proven that your people (the pronoun ‘your’ is talking about LDS faithful) will disregard political views and vote for people who belong to their religion, (Mitt Romney is a perfect example as it’s proven he’s a huge government, huge spending liberal).

    McMullin has came out and directly said the only reason for him to be in the presidential race is to stop Trump from winning Utah… whom does that help? Hmm… Don’t believe me? You can see it for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LduQ4o36eY

    Trump holds 2-records, the most vote for him, the most votes against him. I see this a lot with both republicans and democrats, the fact that they cannot realize the consequences to their actions, (we’re seeing it more and more as millennials get older). If you would truly research and understand where Trump stands vs where Clinton stands, as a conservative or republican there would be no doubt in your mind who you need to vote for. But, I think that you don’t understand, or maybe don’t see the results of an America under and after Hillary Clinton. And that’s why you’re helping her win the election by voting 3rd party.

    Under Clinton you will lose your 1st Amend. rights to free speech. Don’t believe me research how often the term “hate speech” is used to shut people down. You’ll lose your 1st Amend. right to freedom of religion. Just look at how Hillary and Kaine are coming out against Catholicism; do you not think Mormonism wouldn’t be next? You’ll lose your 2nd Amend. right to keep and bare arms. Hillary has already came out and said she will elect liberal SCOTUS judges to legislate from the bench. And has said, “The Supreme Court got it wrong!” talking directly about the 2nd Amend.. You’ll be directly funding, through your tax-dollars abortion, including up to the day of birth, (Abortion is Murder in all cases. It makes me sick that a lot of LDS people support it.) Your tax-rates will go through the roof. Our military will be raped, more than it has been under Obama. The ACA will be expanded with the goal of bringing single payer health care to the USA, in essence destroying the greatest health care in the world. Clinton will continue to be Clinton and selling our national secrets to the highest bidder. You think she’ll ever tell the truth just once? Nope. Do you honestly believe Clinton gives a crap about the middle class? Laughable… but that’s what people are doing when they throw away their votes and vote for a guy, who he himself, says cannot win. You’re helping to elect Hillary and destroy America… but hey, you voted your conscience.

  15. 1) Trump supports additional countries developing nuclear weapons.
    2) Trump doesn’t support large-scale changes to medicare/social security, which has long been a goal of traditional Republicans. He doesn’t support tax hikes either, which is very Republican. But the combination is no realistic solution to growing national debt, which traditional Republicans consider a must.
    3) Trump has said NATO is obsolete and has threatened abandonment. It’s one thing to propose changes. It’s another to talk about completely abandoning an alliance that has arguably been the biggest deterrent to a WW3.
    4) Trump has taken a much harder stance on even legal immigration than Republicans have traditionally. Many in the Republican party have followed. But don’t expect Mormons, many of whom spend 2 years in other countries, to be so quick to shut the door.
    5) Trump has proposed killing families of terrorists.
    6) Trump has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims, very clearly an attack on religious freedom.
    7) Trump has taken a much harsher stance on trade than traditional Republicans.
    8) Trump has given mixed stances on raising the minimum wage, to the point I’m not sure anybody knows what his final stance is. Traditional Republicans have always held fast on saying dramatically raising minimum wage will make things worse for unskilled workers and small business.
    9) Trump’s call for laws making it easier to sue news outlets and reporters is hardly a defense of 1st amendment rights.
    10) Talking up Putin and proposing to work with him in Syria, which may help counter ISIS, but would also obviously aid Russia’s global influence (hardly a traditionally Republican or American goal) and help Assad, who crossed the “red line” without repercussions. And Trump wants to actually help him after he crosses that red line?

    Now ask me a hard question.

  16. The major reason many Republicans (not just Mormons) will not support Trump is he represents abandonment of
    -basic decency in speech and actions (it goes way beyond the issue of PC)
    -religious freedom not just for the Christian majority, but for religion in general
    -American exceptionalism, not American superiority complex (which means striving to do what’s RIGHT, not just what’s advantageous to us)
    -high morals (used to be called Christian morals, except so many Christians seem eager to abandon them in the pursuit of financial and positional advantage. In fact they don’t just abandon them, they speak against those who won’t. Seems to me there’s a few scriptures about that)

  17. 1. Nuclear weapons scar me to death. If a nuclear war ever started it’s estimated that 2 billion people would be dead within 24-hours, and 95% of the world population would be dead within 1-year. I honestly don’t know what the fix for nuclear weapons are. I’m not really sure if the MAD program really works, or will work in the future.
    2. With everything that has to be undone that Obama has put into action, I don’t support large scale changes to Medicare/SSI either.
    3. NATO is obsolete, totally. The USA donates 1/5 – 1/4 of Nato’s total budget, and we get nothing in return.
    4. Trump is very supportive of legal immigration. Illegal immigrants kill out economy and it’s estimated that upwards of 41% are on some form public assistance.
    5. Trump said he “might” support the killing of Terrorist families, that is not a qualified position of support.
    6. On 9-11 I was working tech support When the cowardice terrorist attacks happened it literally shut-down the internet because of the amount of traffic that was hitting the servers. The call center was completely dead, we watched in complete horror as the Towers fell, and innocent people jumped from the Twin-Tower heights to their deaths to save themselves the agony of being burnt-to-death. Then it happened, I received a call from a Muslim Cleric that told me his internet wasn’t working, page cannot be displayed.. I explained the situation, the internet wasn’t working because of the terrorist attacks and there was nothing we could do, we had to wait. He then said something that changed my view on Islam forever; he said, and I summarize, how was he suppose to give praise to Allah for the death of so many disgusting American infidels if he didn’t have the internet and therefore couldn’t contact his family back home? I forget his country of origin. I had that same call 4 times that day, 4-damn times! This is where my total hatred for that disgusting cult called Islam comes from! They are Islamic first, American second, never forget that! I honestly believe we should never allow another Muslim into this country. Islam is interesting because not only is it a religion, it’s a political movement. So, knowing that, it doesn’t break any amendments to ban people from the USA. Also, does our constitution really apply to people who are not citizens?
    7. Most republican are morons when it comes to trade. Is free-trade good for the consumer, yes. Does it kill jobs, yes it does.
    8. Yes he has flip-flopped on min. wage. If our elected officials wanted to truly help people they would get rid of the min. wage.
    9. The 1st. Amend. was never meant to support liars, that’s what the MSM has turned into. Therefore it should be very easy to sue the lying bastards.
    10. Putin is an amazing leader for Russia, it would be smart for the USA to build a good relationship with Russia as we could both help each other in a myriad of ways.

    Thanks for the response, it is very well thought out and articulated, kings to you.

    I truly believe you know Hillary’s positions as well, because you’re a smart guy. So knowing that only Hillary or Trump could potentially be elected, and knowing their different positions, how is it, with good conscience that you could vote for McMullin? A man that admits he can’t win.

  18. The consequences of a Hillary election are vast, and honestly those that don’t support Trump are directly supporting Hillary and the downfall of this nation.

  19. McMullin didn’t even come close to beating Trump in Utah. If he runs and becomes the Republican nominee in 2024, I’ll support him like I did Trump. If he tries this “moral alternative” crap again, I won’t support him. And I’ll mock him accordingly when he loses, again. Also, after the election I got some very un-Christlike treatment from liberal Mormons that were mad their preferred candidate lost.

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