Independent Evan McMullin Leads Trump In New Utah Poll

Independent candidate Evan McMullin is at the top of a new poll out of Utah, a state that hasn’t gone for a Democrat since 1964:

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin is leading in Utah, according to an Emerson College Polling Society survey released Wednesday.

McMullin is favored by 31 percent of likely voters in the state. Republican nominee Donald Trumphas the support of 27 percent, and DemocratHillary Clinton is backed by 24 percent.Another 5 percent support Libertarian nomineeGary Johnson, and 12 percent are undecided.

The poll finds both Trump and Clinton are viewed unfavorably by a majority of likely voters in the state.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 23 percent and unfavorably by 74 percent. Trump is viewed positively by 24 percent and negatively by 72 percent.

The poll finds 51 percent of Utahns who supported Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) the state’s caucuses are backing McMullin and only 29 percent are supporting Trump.

Among likely voters who supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the March contest, only 4 percent plan to cast their ballots for Trump in November.

McMullin leads his rivals among people 18 to 34, with 36 percent support. Trump has the advantage among likely voters aged 55 and older.

This isn’t the first poll to show McMullin performing strongly in Utah. A recent poll conducted for Heat Street by Rasmussen found Trump at 30%, with McMullin just one point behind at 29% and Clinton in third place at 28%. Trump continues to lead in the RealClearPolitics average, but that’s largely due to past polling that either didn’t consider McMullin at all or hadn’t captured the turn against Trump that is apparently happening here. In any case, the fact that McMullin is a Mormon, combined with what is clearly widespread disapproval for both Clinton and Trump is no doubt contributing to what is going on here. Even if Trump ultimately ends up winning the state, poll numbers like this will likely require the campaign and the RNC to pay more attention to the state than they clearly otherwise would have. On the other hand, if McMullin actually ends up winning the state it would be the first time that a someone other than a Republican or a Democrat won a state in a Presidential election since George Wallace did it in 1968. Needless to say, a McMullin win, or a Clinton one if his strong performance allows her to pull off a win, would make it all the much more difficult for Trump to get to 270 Electoral Votes.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. mal says:


    go to 19:58. mcmullin admits he is stooge of william kristol. roll out interview of mcmullin when he announced his campaign. Aug. 8, 2016 in Salt Lake city.

  2. rachel says:

    @mal: He may be a stooge of Bill Kristol, but I still wish him luck. My dad was looking just sick at the prospect of voting for either Trump or Clinton.

  3. al-Alameda says:

    McMullin is favored by 31 percent of likely voters in the state. Republican nominee Donald Trump has the support of 27 percent, and Democrat Hillary Clinton is backed by 24 percent. Another 5 percent support Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, and 12 percent are undecided.

    Basically likely Utah voters would rather support a loaf of Wonder Bread than any of the regular nominees of our political parties.

    Fantastic, you can’t make this up.

  4. Kylopod says:

    In just the last week, FiveThirtyEight started included McMullin in its projections. A few days ago it gave him about a 5% chance of winning at least one electoral vote; now his chances have more than doubled. Johnson is given only a 0.6% chance.