The GOP’s head of communications, Sean Spicer, was lambasted across the political spectrum for blaming Evan McMullin for his reaction to a smearing robo-call falsely portraying him as gay.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 2, 2016
— Jennifer Harris (@jwharris) November 2, 2016
This party has abandoned good, conservative men and women (especially women). It deserves everything coming to it. @CNNPolitics
— Sideshow Trump (@Thewbert3) November 2, 2016
— hypezokos (@hypezokos) November 1, 2016
Our latest Utah poll, conducted by Rassmussen Reports and taken when the robocalls were going out, has shown a significant boost for both Trump and Clinton and a drop for McMullin. Trump was at 42%, Clinton at 31% and McMullin at 21% in this poll (which we note is wildly out of line with our previous surveys and other Utah results).
The favorable-unfavorables are much more in line with our prior surveys, with McMullin alone maintaining large favorables, while Donald Trump’s unfavorables have dropped slightly from their highs and Clinton’s have soared. Respondents viewed Trump unfavorably 64%-35%, Clinton unfavorably 71%-28%, and Evan McMullin favorably, 50%-24%, with 9% who still had not heard of him. Despite Clinton’s unfavorables growing, so did her headline share.
At time of polling, McMullin’s response to the smears that he is gay (a flat denial) had not yet been widely published.
A campaign spokeswoman responded:
Sadly, this is the type of rhetoric we have seen from Donald Trump’s far-right supporters throughout the campaign. While these smears might temporarily affect our numbers, we are confident that Evan has addressed them and Utahns won’t be fooled. We believe subsequent polls will show a very different picture.
Third party votes do tend to get squeezed closer to an election and it should be noted that Gov. Mike Pence hit Utah last week. Unlike Trump with his 64% unfavorable rating in our survey, Pence is much loved by Utahns.
If other polling does come out with better or worse results for McMullin in Utah, we will report.
Many republicans took Spicer to task on Twitter. It is likely, however, that the debunked robocalls will not permanently affect the vote in Utah.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) November 2, 2016