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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Conservatives should not allow Evan McMullin to steal the election

It’s safe to say when I first heard back in August there was a guy named Evan McMullin entering the presidential race, I thought it was a joke. McMullin’s candidacy was to be the last ditch effort of the eternally unhappy #NeverTrump faction since they failed repeatedly to convince one of their more well-known members (such as Mitt Romney or Senator Ben Sasse) to run.

You might recall prior to this summer’s party conventions #NeverTrump trotted out National Review writer David French as their likely candidate. True to his name, French turned and ran from the challenge before officially Evan McMullinannouncing his candidacy – how predictable.

But as we inch ever closer to next month’s election, McMullin is causing a stir because he apparently has closed the gap with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in polls of his home state of Utah. Simply put, if McMullin was to somehow pull off the miraculous and deprive Trump of Utah’s six electoral votes, it could conceivably tip the entire election to Crooked Hillary.

David M. Drucker of the Washington Examiner reports, “Even before McMullin entered the race, Trump was on pace to vastly underperform past Republicans here. Still, Utah is among the most reliably red states in the country and the New Yorker had been expected to win.

“Now, some of the same GOP insiders in Utah that confidently predicted Trump would win on Nov. 8 — despite his weakness — are projecting a McMullin victory. The Trump campaign recognizes the danger.”

Perhaps because of the seriousness of the McMullin situation, Mike Pence headed out to Utah yesterday to try and talk some sense into the state’s wayward Republicans, in effect asking them to get behind the only conservative candidate that can actually win this year’s election.

In case you’re one of the 99.9% of Americans outside of Utah who have never heard of McMullin, Drucker provides some background. “McMullin, 40, is Mormon and Utah native. He's a former CIA operative and worked as a policy aide to House Republicans. His running mate, Mindy Finn, 35, is Jewish and a Republican political operative specializing in digital strategy and communications; she lives in Washington, D.C. It's not the profile of a ticket that will pull off a miracle in the national presidential race.”

That’s an understatement, but the key here is McMullin’s a Mormon and Utah is the one state in America that’s predominantly run by a religious entity. Some would probably object to this characterization of the Beehive State, but for all practical purposes, it’s true.

Since the Clinton campaign and the Democrats smell blood in Utah, naturally they’re ramping up efforts of their own to try and squeeze every potential vote out of a state that typically delivers a two-thirds majority to the Republican nominee. Needless to say, Mitt Romney didn’t have to work too hard to win there in 2012.

I’m guessing if a complete unknown like McMullin is on the verge of winning in Utah that Romney would have easily carried it had he run as a third-party candidate. This could be one of the reasons why Romney chose not to enter the race since it was obvious he didn’t want to be seen as a spoiler this year even if he has refused all along to endorse Trump.

Nevertheless, should McMullin end up winning in Utah and Trump fails to hit the magic 270 electoral vote mark because of it, there’s going to be more than a little upheaval regarding this situation.

I won’t bother going into the various Electoral College scenarios regarding a close contest where Trump gets from 264 to 269 votes and Crooked Hillary does the same, leaving McMullin with six – which according to the Constitution would throw the election into the House of Representatives. No doubt there are a number of writers who have already touched on the subject.

If such a thing happened it would be something to behold. Historic, possibly even tragic. If you thought the aftermath of the 2000 election was bizarre, wait until the country deals with the possibility of having Evan McMullin become the new president.

But seriously, there’s no way McMullin is going to emerge as Commander in Chief. The makeup of the House of Representatives would prevent it even if the aforementioned situation actually came to pass.

That’s not stopping #NeverTrumpers from arguing the possibility still exists. Notorious #NeverTrumper Jonah Goldberg writes at National Review, “[W]hat about McMullin? Here, the vanilla rule might apply. Vanilla is one of the most popular flavors in America not because it’s everyone’s favorite, but because it is the least objectionable to the greatest number of people. There are probably no Democrats who wouldn’t prefer McMullin to Trump. There are almost certainly no Republicans who wouldn’t prefer McMullin to Clinton. Picking the least objectionable option is often the essence of statesmanship. If 26 state delegations pick the least-bad option, McMullin becomes the first Mormon president.

“Some would complain that this isn’t very democratic. So what?”

Goldberg’s theory is full of holes as is the entire premise #NeverTrump operates under. While it’s true there are probably some in every Republican state delegation who would be hesitant to vote for Trump, I have a very hard time believing a state that went for Trump by popular vote would actually throw him – and Mike Pence – over the side for McMullin and his 35 year-old running mate (Mindy Finn) who absolutely NO ONE outside of Washington DC has ever heard of.

If it wasn’t evident before it should be bright spotlight clear on the day the House votes that a Republican administration is more than just one person at the top. Would Republicans blindly trust someone like McMullin to staff his administration with reliable people?

Absolutely not. No one knows anything about him. Similarly, could Mindy Finn be counted on to break ties in the Senate like Mike Pence would?

Absurd is the word. Goldberg has followed Erick Erickson (who now is resorting to calling us idiots) over the lunatic cliff and is writing this stuff only because he’s run out of ways to badger Sean Hannity and anyone else who’s called him out on the nonsense he’s been espousing.

As Richard Viguerie wrote the other day, #NeverTrump is becoming less and less credible.

In the end I’m having a very hard time believing the people of Utah will actually tip their state to a gadfly candidate like McMullin. Being Mormon and not-Trump or not-Hillary isn’t enough of a reason to vote for someone and since McMullin has never held office before (or been in the public eye) it can’t be said with any certainty about what he truly believes.

Voting for McMullin is the equivalent of picking the name out of a hat full of people who claim they’re conservatives. I just don’t see it happening. I hope I’m right.

Why Megyn Kelly should start wearing a “Stronger Together” campaign button

Speaking of falling off the lunatic cliff, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly appears headed towards the edge in her own special way.

Tuesday night the longtime Trump antagonist got into it with Former Speaker and Trump supporter Newt Gingrich on the subject of the Republican nominee’s female accusers.

Jessie Hellmann of The Hill reports, “In a contentious segment on Kelly's show, Gingrich, a top Trump adviser and surrogate, batted down questions about Trump's accusers and about a tape in which the GOP nominee brags about kissing and grabbing women without their consent.

“’I am sick and tired of people like you using that language. That is inflammatory. That is not true,’ Gingrich said, pointing his finger at the camera after Kelly used the term ‘sexual predator’ to describe the allegations.

“’When you use those words, you take a position, and it is very unfair of you to do that, Megyn,’ Gingrich said.”

Hellmann’s article contains the video of the exchange. It’s a must-see if you have time. Kelly appears taken aback that Gingrich would actually call her out for labeling Trump a “sexual predator,” as if having an hour-long cable news show grants one an automatic license to throw out legal terminology.

Gingrich is exactly right on this. Kelly has been so fixated on these specious anti-Trump allegations recently it does seem as though she’s “obsessed with sex.”

Instead of calling out Kelly for her overtly biased and ill-directed questions of late, #NeverTrumper Erick Erickson took Gingrich to task instead, writing at The Resurgent, “Let’s just be blunt here: winning campaigns do not behave like this. Men who support winning campaigns do not behave like this. Newt Gingrich, and his women issues, really should be thankful Megyn Kelly did not bring up his predilections.

“What on earth gets into guys like Gingrich, who have no future now except with a Trump win, to beclown themselves as national laughing stocks in order to defend the indefensible.”

Erickson is the one who’s beclowned himself. If he doesn’t believe it, just wait and see the circus-like atmosphere that will surround the lead #NeverTrumpers after the election if Trump ends up losing.

And let’s be clear, Gingrich wasn’t defending anything. Newt was merely pointing out that the media – which certainly includes Kelly in this instance – is intentionally steering the campaign away from the real issues at hand, in effect covering for a female candidate whose husband is a proven adulterer and defiler of the Oval Office.

Hillary is a woman who’s also been proven to lie in order to protect that adulterous husband and then slander the reputations of the women who accused him of abusing them. Has Melania Trump taken off after the women like Hillary always does? No.

(By the way, why has Bill Clinton completely disappeared from the news?)

It doesn’t matter in the slightest that Gingrich is no saint himself because Newt was on Kelly’s show to talk about Trump’s candidacy, not his personal reputation. These incidents in question happened so long in the past that they can’t be proved one way or another. It’s he said vs. she said and there are already more than enough “journalists” covering the “she said” part of the equation.

Kelly has lost a lot of credibility with conservatives in the past couple months, actively picking up the scandalous end of the Trump story and trying to make a name for herself as the one Fox personality that will echo CNN and the major networks in fanning the flames of tabloid yellow journalism.

It looks to me like Kelly is vying for a job with the networks where she can appear for a half hour every night and make the big bucks at the same time.

It sure is unfortunate that it’s come to this.

Whatever happened to Gary Johnson?

With the apparent rise of Evan McMullin in Utah it’s becoming a safe bet to say the independent conservative candidate will get the bulk of the non-Trump/non-Hillary post-election attention and analysis if he’s able to make it close in his home state.

No one will be talking about Libertarian Gary Johnson as the potential spoiler because Johnson is fading faster than a sunset in December.

Steven Shephard of Politico reports, “The two-time Libertarian presidential candidate has shed roughly half his supporters over the past two months. His slide from nearly 10 percent in September to a recent polling average of 5.6 percent — combined with Hillary Clinton’s growing advantage over Donald Trump — means Johnson is increasingly unlikely to be a major factor unless the race tightens in the final two weeks.

“The former New Mexico governor, along with other third-party candidates, could still tip the scales in states where minor-party candidates have traditionally run strongest…”

It’s not surprising in the slightest that Johnson has started sliding in the polls. As of Wednesday afternoon he was at 5.8 percent in the Real Clear Politics four-way average. I’m guessing this number is even a little high considering the public’s attention has shifted towards Trump and Hillary -- and let’s face it, they’re a lot more newsworthy than Johnson.

For the most part, all Johnson wants to talk about are the issues – and the media isn’t interested in that subject.

But the real reason Johnson is losing ground in the polls is most people don’t like throwing away their vote. In proportional representation systems you might see third-parties attracting considerably more favor – especially in this political climate – but here in America, it’s the two parties and that’s pretty much it.

In addition, it seems most voters who would be inclined to vote third-party are young people and they’re likely listening to the folks arguing that they should choose between the two major party candidates. It’s all too common these days to come across younger voters who aren’t happy with either of the two candidates but ultimately they’re choosing sides just like everyone else.

Lastly on this subject, the presidency is about more than domestic policy though most Americans probably focus on what happens within our borders more than foreign matters. But Johnson has clearly demonstrated on several occasions that he lacks even basic knowledge of foreign affairs, a bad place to be if you’re making a credible run for president.

Aside from Johnson’s staple proposals regarding legalizing pot, upholding same-sex marriage and favoring abortion, what else is there that sets him apart from either Trump or Hillary?

His main selling point all along has been that he’s an alternative to the Republicans and Democrats. Now that people are no longer looking for an alternative, Johnson simply isn’t needed anymore.

Nice guys often finish last and that’s about where it looks like Johnson is headed.

Trump finds a way to bypass the mainstream media on TV

Finally today, a few days ago I suggested one way Donald Trump could bypass the major media to reach women voters directly was to buy a block of time on one of the networks and hold a town hall-style meeting with an all-female audience.

I also suggested at the time that Megyn Kelly should “moderate” the event. After Tuesday night’s ugly confrontation with Newt Gingrich, however, I’d scrap her from the role.

But I still think the town hall forum is a good idea for Trump. And if his first live Facebook broadcast is any indication, he’s now got a great means to reach his audience apart from buying time on the regular channels, too.

Jonathan Easley and Joe Concha of The Hill report, “Donald Trump's campaign on Monday broadcast its first ‘nightly campaign coverage’ from Trump Tower.

“The 38-minute episode was a bit like a pre-game show for a Trump rally. It featured Trump surrogates and Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer talking about the political news of the day, aired on Facebook Live, and led into Trump speaking before a crowd in Tampa, Fla.

“Subsequent episodes will air every night for the final two weeks until the presidential election, stoking speculation that the Republican nominee is conducting a dry-run to see how a potential Trump news network might be received.”

Naturally the media is primarily concerned with highlighting the “Trump TV” aspect of it, speculating that’s what Trump will do if/when (in their estimation) he loses to Crooked Hillary.

It really doesn’t matter what Trump wants to do with the possibility of starting a post-election TV network. His Facebook broadcasts are allowing him to reach viewers now without the taint of the pundits. All in all, it’s a great idea.

I still think Trump needs to do something like a town hall with women voters. But with this new avenue, the campaign can choose the moderator and at least control how the program is presented.

There aren’t many days left until Election Day. If Trump can improve his standing with women voters even by just a few points, it could make a big difference in the outcome.

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Me-Again Kelly, Erick Erickson and Jonah Goldberg

Erickson's been afraid of Me-Again Kelly ever since she made him look stupid (which is never hard) on her show early last year, so it's no surprise to hear him go after Newt after that segment.
And I must add, what an incredible comment from a man I formerly thought was intelligent, Jonah Goldberg: “Some would complain that this isn’t very democratic. So what?” That's exactly what the Democrats say ever four years; once the cancer of election fraud starts spreading, it infects all the stupid and venal, witness JG.