SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 28, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Evan McMullin, the maverick moderate who won nearly 22% of Utah’s popular vote in his 2016 independent run for president against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, says it’s time for Sen. Mike Lee to go.
McMullin, 45, announced plans Oct. 5 to unseat Lee in the 2022 election, and is once again running as an independent as he did in 2016. He also continues to speak out about Trump, as well as prominent Republicans, like Lee, who still support the ex-president, even after the insurrection, and despite the fact he continues to foment anger by convincing millions of Americans their 2020 vote was stolen.
“He’s become a poster child for the divisive politics that are tearing our country apart,” McMullin said of Lee, in an exclusive interview with veteran newsman Bill Gephardt. “He gets little done. He spends more time on performative obstructionism than he does working with people on both sides of the aisle to get things done.
“A majority of Utahns want to make a change in this election,” McMullin said. “They would like to replace Mike Lee. He no longer represents our values or our interests or our way of doing things in Utah.”
While Lee is predictably a shoo-in for the Republican nomination, a poll released Thursday in the Deseret News/Hinckley Institute shows his approval rating among registered Utah voters is at 45 percent, while 34 percent disapprove, and 20 percent don’t know. The poll, which was conducted by Dan Jones and Associates in mid-October is said to have a margin of error of 3.54 percent.
With 54 percent of Utah voters disapproving or unsure of Lee’s performance a decade after he was first elected, McMullin, a former operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, and policy advisor to U.S. House Republicans in Washington, D.C., sees a sea of potential backers yearning to be unified.
It is the same vision which led to a campaign which netted him nearly a million popular votes across the U.S. in 2016, although he was only on the ballot in 11 states. He set a record in 14 other states for the total number of write-in ballots.
McMullin believes the votes he needs to win are out there, as Utahns seek to quell the bitter discourse which has divided friends, families and fellow Americans for more than four years now.
“You can hold to principle and still find common ground with the other side, and move forward on that common ground,” McMullin told Gephardt.
“That is the Utah way and that’s what we need in Washington.”
To hear more from independent candidate Evan McMullin, click on the podcast above.