Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) leads Never Trumper and failed presidential candidate Evan McMullin by 14 percentage points in Utah’s U.S. Senate general election race, according to a poll.
The Center Street PAC/ Momentiv AI poll found that 50 percent of likely voters sampled preferred Lee, who secured former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in the primary, while just 36 percent chose independent candidate McMullin. Lee’s support expanded by 12 percentage points since March – before he won the nomination for his reelection campaign – when a previous Center Street PAC/Momentiv AI poll had him at 38 percent. McMullin saw a minor six-point gain since registering at 30 percent in March.
Four months ago, 32 percent of likely voters were undecided – and in the latest poll, just 15 percent were undecided – showing that those unsure of who to back are flocking to Lee at a higher clip than McMullin once they make their decisions. There is no Democrat candidate on the ballot, as the left looks to consolidate support with the Never Trumper candidate in an attempt to unseat Lee. Among all adults surveyed, Lee drew 43 percent of the response, while 32 percent stated they preferred McMullin. Another 26 percent were undecided. It was a similar story with registered voters, as 44 percent selected Lee, and 34 percent preferred the former GOP staffer:
Mike Lee (R-inc) 44%
Evan McMullin (I) 34%
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) July 14, 2022
McMullin was vehemently opposed to former President Donald Trump in 2016, so much so that he launched an independent presidential campaign, which failed tremendously, to prevent Trump from entering the White House.
At the time, McMullin told libertarian activist and journalist Austin Peterson:
What we’re trying to do is earn enough electoral votes [in the Electoral College] to block Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, if the race between both of them is close that we are able to do that by winning one or two states. … If not that, then we will be, you know, happy to have prevented someone who I believe is a true authoritarian from taking power in the United States, and that is Donald Trump.
When all was said and done, he took home .5 percent of the popular vote, placing fifth behind both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. In his endorsement of Lee in the Republican primary, Trump ripped McMullin.
“He is running against Evan ‘McMuffin’ McMullin, a man that does not represent the standards and policies of the great people of Utah,” Trump said, per the Hill. “All you have to do is read the ads about McMuffin in the last campaign to know what he stands for.”
“He is laughed at by all, and would be a disaster for the State—and you can’t have two such Senators like that at one time,” Trump said, taking a shot at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
Lee handily beat his primary challengers, former U.S. Rep. Becky Edwards (R-OH) and Ally Isom, on June 28 and advanced to the general election for a third-term bid in the Senate.
The poll sampled 561 adults on July 12. Neither the medium through which the poll was conducted nor the margin of error was specified.