I’ve been a NeverTrumper from the moment Trump entered the race. Once he had locked up the Republican nomination, I even switched my party registration from Republican to Libertarian in disgust. As I’ve investigated how to justify voting in a way that would help elect Hillary, the Libertarian Party’s battle for ballot access nationally and in Maine has been the best avenue to this point. Furthermore, if they get 5% of the popular vote nationally, the Libertarians will qualify for federal matching funds in 2020.
The two-party system is broken, the nomination of both Trump and Clinton is proof of that. And the best way to start breaking that monopoly up is to help a third party gain traction. During the Libertarian Party primary, I was excited about Austin Petersen’s candidacy, but since Johnson became the official nominee I’ve been only been a lukewarm supporter of the libertarian ticket.
Therefore, the meteoric rise of Evan McMullin’s candidacy for President in recent Utah polls has me intrigued. If he were to win Utah and neither Clinton or Trump were able to secure 270 delegates, then McMullin, Clinton, and Trump would all be up for consideration by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to decide the next President of the United States. And since Speaker Ryan would be presiding over that historical event, there’s no guarantee Trump would automatically get the nod considering the recent tough love between those two.
Running the Numbers
So you probably see where I’m going with this, but if not I’ll spell it out. The only way to keep Hillary from getting to 270 is for Donald Trump to win in enough battleground states to stop her. So unless you live in Utah, a vote for Trump is in order for NeverTrump supporters who want to help Evan McMullin.
The only way to keep Hillary from getting to 270 is for Donald Trump to win in enough battleground states to stop her.
I live in Maine’s 2nd District (out of 2), and it is actually considered a battleground because it’s much more conservative than Maine’s 1st District, and our state awards one delegate for the popular vote winner in each district (then 2 more delegates to the overall statewide winner). Here’s an electoral scenario that deadlocks under 270 delegates — notice Maine’s 2nd District awarding one to Trump.
As you can see in the above map, to finish at 268-264 I’ve allocated Utah (6) to McMullin, and awarded the battleground states of FL (29), OH (18), NC (15), AZ (11), IA (6), NV (6), NH (4), and ME-02 (1) to Trump. While he trails in most of those states, if NeverTrumpers and a large portion of Gary Johnson voters in each of those states broke to Trump then they are all back in play.
Check out the state-by-state polling averages for yourself (use dropdown box at the top-left to change state, and keep an eye on Johnson’s numbers in each).
TL;DR — If you are a NeverTrump conservative, Evan McMullin is your best bet because he’s on track to secure some delegates by winning Utah. However, if you live in a battleground state (or battleground district as is the case with my ME-02 district) that’s not Utah, then the best way to propel McMullin’s chances is to vote Donald Trump to keep Hillary from 270. So given the current electoral map, the best NeverTrump option is to vote for Donald Trump (assuming you also don’t want Hillary).
Trust me, I didn’t believe it at first either. I was in denial for a few minutes. But the more I thought it through, the more I realized it was true. A vote for Donald Trump is likely the very best way to increase Evan McMullin’s chances of victory.
Trust me, I didn’t believe it at first either… A vote for Donald Trump is likely the very best way to increase Evan McMullin’s chances of victory.
It’s been a crazy election year already so you never know. As always, vote your conscience.