A new poll of Utah voters shows an independent voter few people outside of the state have heard of is in a statistical tie with the pair.
The company called Y2 Analytics conducted a statewide poll of 500 likely Utah voters on Oct. 10-11.
It found support for Democrat Hillary Clinton at 26%, Republican Donald Trump at 26% and Independent Evan McMullin at 22% of likely voters. Libertarian Gary Johnson garnered 14% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein had 1%.
An additional 3% of voters named another candidate, while 7% still claim to be undecided. The margin of error in the poll was listed at 4.4 percent, leading to the statistical three-way tie.
The dramatic shift in presidential preference in a traditionally Republican state occurs on the heels the release of the video with Donald Trump bragging about groping and kissing women. Following the release of the video a host of Utah Republican officials abandoned Trump, some calling on him to drop out of the presidential campaign.
McMullin only entered the race two months ago saying that people had lost faith in the candidates of both major parties.
He is a practicing Mormon and graduated from Brigham Young University and also has a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served in the CIA. He went on to be the chief policy director for the House Republican Conference in Congress.
McMullin’s ballot strength is striking considering that only 52% of voters in the poll were aware enough of his candidacy to offer an opinion. However, among those that recognize his name, 4 out of 5 see him favorably.
McMullin is especially popular among Mormon voters who disproportionately identify as Republicans and make up about 60% of Utah’s voting population. Among Mormons he is in first place in the ballot with 33% of the vote, leading Trump at 28%.
If McMullin ends up winning Utah, it would be the first time a non-major party candidate would win electoral votes in the United States since 1968.