an Independent canadate is within striking distance of beating Trump-loving U.S senator Mike Lee in the red state of Utah.
Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin received 21.5 percent of Utah’s presidential vote when he ran as an independent in 2016, now he is running for U.S Senate in Utah and is within striking distance of Utah Sen. Mike Lee.
McMullin trails Lee by just five percent – 41 to 36 percent in the latest poll conducted by the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics, a nonpartisan institute at the University of Utah.
“Utah has not seen a Senate race this competitive in decades,” Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute, told the Deseret News. “Both Lee and McMullin have a base of support locked in and will spend the next few months in a contentious fight to win over the few who remain undecided.”
the state’s Democratic Party even endorsed Evan McMullin at a contentious state convention in April, choseing not to field a candidate of its own. At the time, McMullin praised the Democrats for “putting county over party.”
McMullin is running as a true independent in an environment where both major political parties are held in low esteem by voters.
“Mr. McMullin has said that if he wins, he would avoid both parties’ caucuses, unlike independent Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who caucus with Democrats,” the Journal reported. “They can put me in the supply closet for all I care,” said Mr. McMullin.
The report added, “Mr. McMullin said he envisions himself as a swing vote free to work with both Democrats and Republicans, pointing to the work of Sen. Mitt Romney—the other Utah senator—on bipartisan infrastructure and gun legislation.”