FiveThirtyEight digs into data, says Evan McMullin presidency ‘unlikely, but far from impossible’

Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 19:17:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A BYU graduate and Utah native running as an independent candidate isn’t on the ballot in every state, but according to analysis from he could still win the White House.

A recent poll showed McMullin in a statistical tie with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in Utah, and if McMullin wins the state it opens up some possibilities that are as interesting as they are unlikely.

McMullin’s path to the presidency relies on three things, according to FiveThirtyEight: win Utah, deadlock the Electoral College, and then win the resulting vote in the House of Representatives.

In the United States, the candidate with the most votes is not the winner. Rather, one candidate must achieve a majority of votes in the Electoral College, which is currently 270. If McMullin snapped up Utah’s six electoral votes, it could be just enough to deny Trump or Clinton that majority.

The 12th Amendment states that if no single candidate reaches the majority benchmark, the House of Representatives votes on our next president, with each state delegation getting one vote. The vote is limited to the three top candidates.

The long-shot scenario relies on some detailed statistical analysis, visit FiveThirtyEight for a complete explanation of the projection.