The House GOP plans to make third party #NeverTrump candidate Evan McMullin President if neither Trump nor Hillary reach 270 electoral votes — a 12th amendment scenario — according to a Utah McMullin elector interviewed by GotNews.
A candidate needs to reach at least 270 electoral votes to become President. If no candidate reaches 270, the next President is picked by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives — a 12th amendment scenario.
GotNews did what no reporter in Utah or the national media had to this point done: we called the six Utah McMullin electors and two alternates to ask them how they would handle such a scenario.
So far we received comment from only one Chris Kirkland of South Jordan, Utah.
Kirkland said “he’s spoken with enough congressmen to be convinced that they can put McMullin over the top in a 12th Amendment scenario.”
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Evan McMullin is the candidate of the #NeverTrump movement, and spends the majority of his time on the campaign trail attacking the Republican nominee. He is backed by pro-gay marriage billionaire Paul Singer, as GotNews exclusively revealed.
Yet his stated strategy of winning the state of Utah and hoping the two major party candidates deadlock in the rest of the country would result in a Trump presidency — right?
In that scenario, the House of Representatives would vote on the new president, with each state delegation receiving one vote, per the 12th amendment. Republicans have and are nearly certain to keep a large majority of delegations in the House and there is no reason to believe they would abandon their party’s candidate for the McMullin.
The most likely outcome of the “McMullin scenario” in which he wins Utah and the rest of the country is deadlocked, therefore, is actually a that a deal would be struck between McMullin and Clinton in which he would instruct his six Utah electors to vote for her and make her president, perhaps in exchange for some states policy concessions that would be, in practice, meaningless.
That scenario would allow McMullin to use a victory in the single state of Utah to deny Donald Trump the presidency.
But the plan would depend on his electors themselves actually implementing a deal with Clinton.
And yet, Kirkland said “it doesn’t matter” whether he would vote for Clinton at McMullin’s request because he thinks he’s spoken to enough GOP congressmen to elect Evan McMullin as a dark horse candidate at the last second in a 12th amendment scenario.
Unless Mr. Kirkland has indeed spoken with hundreds of congressmen who have concealed their intentions from their Republican constituents who are supporting Donald Trump, he is either delusional or delivering an official talking point from the McMullin campaign.
But who knows?
We will update this post if we hear from other McMullin electors.
Stay tuned for more.
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