Polls show Evan McMullin tied with Trump and Clinton in Utah, a deeply conservative state with a strong pro-life presence. But Utah also reveals the potential for a more consistent ethic of life to form the basis of a national platform.
Utah is the only state with a Republican governor to reaffirm that it welcomes Syrian refugees. In recent years, Mormon leaders have also advocated a moderate approach to immigration reform in the United States, a reflection both of the church’s values and its increasingly diverse membership.
“A lot of the rhetoric that demonizes or divides just doesn’t resonate” in Utah, says Boyd Matheson, a former chief of staff to U.S. Senator Mike Lee and president of the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank in Salt Lake City.
The McMullin campaign can be an opportunity for pro-life voters to illustrate both parties’ failure to offer a platform that conforms with their principles and maybe shift the debate on life issues in the future.