The McMullin Factor

Via FiveThirtyEight:  Polls May Be Underestimating Evan McMullin’s Chances In Utah

Utah is an unusual case. Polls are scarce there, the dynamic has changed quite quickly, and these factors can significantly affect polling results. Our model already excludes Utah polling that doesn’t poll McMullin at all, and that will remain our official approach. But unofficially, we thought we’d take a look at how things might be different if we excluded all polls that didn’t treat McMullin the same way they do the major-party candidates.

Unsurprisingly, this paints a better picture of his chances. As of 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on Oct. 24, our polls-only model gave McMullin a 13.9 percent chance of winning Utah, and the now-cast gave him a 22.5 percent chance. Remove the three polls discussed above, and those numbers rise to 23.5 percent and 38.4 percent, respectively. In other words, excluding a small number of suspect polls improves McMullin’s chances in Utah by about 70 percent, which inches him ever closer to even money.

Now, McMullin is not going to be of any significance to the overall outcome of the race, but if he can win Utah (or if he creates a pathway for Clinton to win Utah) I think he candidacy will have some longer-term consequences for the GOP.  If Trump ends up being sufficiently toxic as a candidate to allow one of the deepest of deep red states to be lost, it will get the attention of Republican elites as they try and deal with AfterTrump.  Such an outcome would certainly be empirical evidence of how different a candidate Trump has been.

And, of course, as an elections nerd I would just love to see a state go third party in the EC for the novelty of it all.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. rachel says:

    If Trump ends up being sufficiently toxic as a candidate to allow one of the deepest of deep red states to be lost, it will get the attention of Republican elites as they try and deal with AfterTrump.

    I honestly hope so. I would like to have actual conservatives to vote for instead of the panty-sniffing perverts, busybodies and improvident loons who’ve been calling themselves that in recent decades.

  2. Franklin says:

    Haven’t read much about him, but go McMullin!

    He seems like a moderately sane Republican, not entirely different than Jon Huntsman. Which is what the country needs in an opposition party, but not what the GOP will ever deliver again (in my opinion).

  3. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Speaking of sane candidates…

    I thought Colin Powell would have been a great GOP candidate. He, of course, endorsed Clinton 45 yesterday. (…ouch, eh Trump?)

    Speaking of insane candidates…

    Saw this link http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/trump-files-kelly-preston

    Sad story of Trump hitting on Kelly Preston after losing her son… but following that article a list of way crazy things that the Trumpster has done. read… The Trump Files

  4. CSK says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Wow, nothing, absolutely nothing, screams “good taste” like reminiscing about how you tried to bang the dead child’s mother while expressing your condolences.

  5. al-Alameda says:

    Now, McMullin is not going to be of any significance to the overall outcome of the race, but if he can win Utah (or if he creates a pathway for Clinton to win Utah) I think he candidacy will have some longer-term consequences for the GOP.

    Maybe this is what a Trumpster Fire looks like?

  6. Gustopher says:

    This election season fills me with hope. All sorts of Republicans are recoiling with horror at the realization that while they genuinely believe in a smaller government and cutting services to promote self-reliance, the majority of the base hears those phrases and just thinks they mean “smack down the darkie hoard”.

    I don’t think they can ever go back to papering over the differences and pretending that they don’t know. Sure, they might think that Trump is a Democrat plant encouraged to run by the Clintons, but they cannot ignore the fact that the Republican primary voters happily chose his Cheetoness while he was obviously just being a know nothing racist carnival barker.

    The current crop of politicians are trying to walk a tightrope to reelection, and are making terrible compromises for short term gain, but the next batch won’t.

    I hope.

  7. DrDaveT says:

    If Trump ends up being sufficiently toxic as a candidate to allow one of the deepest of deep red states to be lost, it will get the attention of Republican elites as they try and deal with AfterTrump.

    Gotta say, if the way things are playing out doesn’t have their full attention already, they’re probably catatonic.

    Attention isn’t the problem. Knowing where to go from here, on the other hand… What do you do when only a small minority of America agrees with you?

    I will be fascinated to see whether the meltdown at the Presidential level flows down to the Senate and House races in the future, or whether people will continue to blithely vote Republican for Congress even as they recoil from Trump.

    If the Democratic Party elite have 27 working neurons among them, they will immediately start to hammer at what “small government” has been a code-phrase for all along, and what the actual consequences are for the bottom 75% when government gets smaller in the ways Republicans prefer…

  8. Anonne says:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/republicans-prepare-armageddon

    Republicans don’t reorganize or apologize, they double down. Don’t get your hopes up.

  9. Tyrell says:

    @Gustopher: The idea of federal government reform that includes tax reform, cutting wasteful spending, balanced budget, less regulations, and economic growth is not some racist program against the “dark hoard”. Jimmy Carter and Robert Kennedy favored smaller government. Many black people are fed up with the welfare “sharecropping” that politicians are handing them.