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Utah independent sets his sights on the presidency

Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 02:00

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin is siphoning much-needed votes away from Republican nominee Donald Trump in Utah, and says it may be necessary to start a new party after the election regardless of who wins. Ashraf Fahim reports.

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Donald Trump is in trouble in big Utah. The solidly Republican state should be an easy win, but he's facing an unexpected challenge from independent Even McMullin. Many Utah Republicans have been turned off by Trump's controversial rhetoric and the recent scandal over his lewd comments. And they're flocking to Utah native McMullin, who's ahead of Trump in some polls. The 40 year old former CIA operative says it may be time for a new conservative movement. (SOUNDBITE)(English) INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, EVAN MCMULLIN, SAYING: "We know that we can use this movement that we've developed in only two and a half months -- it's been very incredible -- to be a force for good in our country, either to influence the Republican Party to make changes that it needs to make or if that's not possible then perhaps it will be necessary to start a new party." Trump trails Hillary Clinton in the polls and losing even Utah's six electoral votes is a something he can't afford. At a recent town hall meeting in the Utah city of Bountiful, supporters packed in to hear McMullin speak. McMullin says Trump has taken the Republican party in a dangerous direction. (SOUNDBITE)(English) INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, EVAN MCMULLIN, SAYING: "Now it's pursuing a path of populist, a populist path, one that supports the white supremacists, the white nationalist movement, and that's just it runs absolutely counter to what we believe in at the most fundamental level." Even longtime Utah Republicans like Laura Sage are jumping ship. (SOUNDBITE)(English) REGISTERED UTAH REPUBLICAN LAURA SAGE, SAYING: "I've been a Republican my whole life and then now you look the party and it doesn't represent me. And I think there's a lot of people that feel that way. And I think he's the face what the new party will be." While McMullin in on the ballot in a dozen states and a valid write in option in more than 30, his chances of success beyond Utah are slim. But the conservative rebellion in the brewing mountains of Utah is headache Trump just doesn't need with 10 days before the election.

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Utah independent sets his sights on the presidency

Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 02:00