Election Night Proves Disappointing For Third Options
Several candidates on the right tried to win over disaffected Republicans in Utah. However, what seemed like promising territory soon turned into a disappointment for independent and third party campaigns.
Jonathan Choate, the chair of the Cache County Libertarian Party, said that Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson failed to effectively reach Republicans.
“I’d like to see them nationally hit the five percent mark that guarantees ballot access on the next cycle,” Choate said. “I don’t think Gary Johnson as a candidate was able to capitalize on the potential that was there. I’ve been very disappointed with his ability to communicate with disaffected Republicans like myself who were looking for somebody who could speak that language.”
Independent candidate Evan McMullin also tried to reach GOP members put off by Trump. Despite promising initial polling, McMullin was only able to gain 22 percent of Utah’s voters. Joel Searby, the chief strategist and campaign manager for McMullin’s campaign, said that the candidate’s call for a renewed conservative movement seemed to resonate.
“What’s resonating is a call for a new generation of leadership in this country and civic engagement and, yes, a new conservative movement. What does that mean? It’s built on the founding principles of equality and liberty,” Searby said.
Trump won Utah’s six Electoral College votes with around 45 percent of the state’s popular vote.