A scenario that puts Evan McMullin in the White House
(KUTV) Independent candidate for President, Evan Mcmullin could win Utah and ultimately the presidency.
FiveThirtyEight.Com a site that tracks the electoral college during each and every election now believes, the BYU grad has a chance at the White House. A snowballs’ chance, but a chance all the same.
Benjamin Morris of 538 says “based on our models at 538 there's about 1-2 % chance of McMullin winning Utah” with the possibility of wrecking Trump’s and Clinton’s chances of making to the 270 electoral votes needed.
“We are all looking for the magical 270 votes is what you need. And if even McMullin can keep them from getting them, that is his strategy.” Jason Perry with Hinckley Institute of Politics is watching this election closely. Ultimately he sees one of the major party candidates winning Utah- but won’t rule out anything this time around.
If Evan McMullin wins Utah’s electoral college votes- and the race between Clinton and Trump remains tight- McMullin could block a path to victory for both.
It’s not just pundits, but Utah voters are doing the math in order to decide their vote. A mother of nine in Utah says “If he can take one state and they can’t get the electoral votes it will go to the house”
Perry, referring to a little know piece of American politics found in the 12 amendment explains “if no one gets that number it goes to Congress - the House of Representatives get to choose. The top 3 vote getters from the presidential candidates.” Evan mcmullin is the only 3rd party candidate who stands to score any electoral college votes putting him in the top 3 and in contention for the presidency.
“The makeup of Congress will decide how they go forward” says Perry. The newly elected House which is likely to remain in Republican control- would choose the next President if no-one gets the 270 electoral votes needed.
The new Senate which could switch to Democratic control would pick the Vice President.
It hasn't happened since 1825 when john Quincy Adams was elected by Congress -not the people. “It doesn't get invoked often and no one alive has ever been involved in such a decision” says Perry.
Benjamin Morris of FiveThirtyEight believes an 11th hour endorsement would make this wild card scenario more likely. In his eyes he imagines a Romney endorsement guaranteeing McMullin a win in Utah. If that were to happen, it would have to be soon with ballots already in the hands of Utahn’s in 21 of 29 counties.