If McMullin does win Utah, it may not make a very big impact on the presidential race. It would take Utah’s six electoral college votes away from Republican nominee Donald Trump, but those would matter only if the race were close. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is leading Trump in so many battleground states she looks poised for a convincing win.
McMullin’s name is on the ballot as a candidate in 11 states, and he is eligible for write-in votes in 29 others, with four more final states expected to approve write-in status this week. The campaign is hearing positive anecdotal feedback about McMullin’s candidacy in Minnesota, Colorado, Iowa and Idaho, in addition to Utah.
But the real question is what McMullin’s candidacy means for the future of the Republican Party.
McMullin frames his candidacy as representing a “new conservative movement” that could be the seedling of a new political party if the GOP cannot recover from Trump’s candidacy.