Choosing a Third Party Candidate

With news that Donald Trump has fallen into a tie with Hillary Clinton in Utah, and considering how historically unpopular both major party candidates are, it is suddenly a very real possibility that a third candidate could win our state. There have been discussions about which third party candidate(s) deserve any support at the ballot box. Let me explore the only two who have any traction here and how I make my choice. Those two candidates are Gary Johnson with the Libertarian Party and Evan McMullin who is running as an independent.

First off, neither of them has any chance of capturing 270 electoral votes (although both are on enough ballots to make getting 270 technically possible) so they both have the same path to the presidency (have no candidate reach that number). Therefore, functionally there isn’t an inherent advantage for one of the two over the other.

When choosing which candidate to give your protest vote to I would argue that you should pick the candidate who most represents what kind of person should lead or nation. On that score, I look at Gary Johnson and he has shown over the last few months that, while he isn’t completely morally bankrupt like Trump, he is like Trump in that he is clearly unprepared to be taken seriously as a president and comport himself in a presidential way.

When Evan McMullin announced his candidacy I wondered how prepared this unknown latecomer could possibly be. As I have reviewed his history and his positions I have been impressed with his solid background and his considered policy ideas.
I find it easy to choose Evan because he seems capable of handling the challenges of the office without looking like a juvenile pretender.

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