By, Lorana Hoopes
If you watched Evan’s speech in Provo, Utah, it is clear that he has the support of millennials. Young people are flocking to Evan in hopes of a new party. They are disillusioned with both the Democratic and the Republican party, and with good reason — they will be inheriting an unfathomable debt. Hillary, sadly, will promise more debt with more entitlement programs, and Trump is, well, Trump. So millennials, along with many of the rest of us who can no longer embrace this broken GOP party are looking for a better option, and they’ve found it in Evan McMullin.
After watching his speech, the main thing that jumped out at me was how humble he was. He never used the word “I” and he looked almost embarrassed anytime the crowd yelled, “that’s why we need you, Evan.” Unlike Trump, he clearly is in the race because he loves his country. He doesn’t want the fame, he’s not tooting his own horn, he — like the rest of us — just couldn’t vote for either candidate put forth this year.
So what could Evan do to garner even more followers? He could pick a woman to be his Vice President. Women are not flocking to Trump, which is no surprise since he continually insults them, but women are also not flocking to Hillary, at least not the religious or pro-life ones since she wants to increase abortion and change religious views. So women are a huge untapped market. He was smart to pick a woman.
I think it would have been even better if he had picked a minority woman. I, myself, don’t care if people are white, Hispanic, black, Native American, but it seems to make a difference to voters, and oddly after breaking the minority mold with Obama eight years ago, we now have two white candidates with two white vice candidates. A minority pick would have gone a long way.
While the woman he did pick has some impressive credentials, it would have been better if she had been from a state other than Texas, as it’s doubtful he will win Texas. I wish he had picked someone from New Mexico. Clinton is leading by a small number in New Mexico, but Johnson is also garnering a lot of support there. Split four ways, New Mexico could have been a win. Or he could have picked someone from any of the other “generally red states” that are now turning to Clinton because they can’t stomach Trump.
It would have also been a little better if he could have gotten someone well-known. Because he is relatively unknown, a more well-known name would have helped his ticket. Perhaps many Republican governors and senators were afraid to join him for fear of Trump. I can certainly understand that. After Cruz’s abrupt turn around, I have no doubt that people who oppose him suffer.
Still, I think he made a good choice. Mindy Finn is a business woman, bringing in the fiscal side of the policy issues. She founded Empowered Women, which I think will garner a lot of attention from women. She is also a digital media strategist, which will be helpful in the type of campaign he is running. Another benefit is that she worked for both Romney and Bush, so she is educated in the political process. And she states she’s not afraid of taking on Trump.
So while he may still be a long shot, Evan McMullin is polling at 23% in Utah and is climbing in many other polls. His humility and eloquence put him head and shoulders above his opponents, and with his choice in running mate, he will tap an open market. It hasn’t happened since 1824, but this could be the year for a third party upset.