The Trump Supporters’ Comfort Zone

This may be my first mention of Evan McMullin this election season. He is running for President and will only be a factor in Utah. I don’t if he is on the ballot in any other states. I know he is not in North Carolina where I already voted for Hillary Clinton. McMullin will not be elected president next week, but he appears to have a legitimate shot at winning Utah and therein lies today’s story.

Let me preface the technical part of my article by saying presidential political polling in Utah is not exactly a perfected science. Utah is simply not a competitive state between Republicans and Democrats. In any normal year you can simply pencil Utah’s six electoral votes into the Republican column. There is seldom much if any polling done there because it isn’t going to tell us anything we didn’t already know. 2016 is different.

Utah is a competitive three-way race with a week to go. The best polling I can find puts Donald Trump in first with 32%, McMullin in second with 30% and Hillary Clinton in third with 24%. Clinton is not going to win Utah, but McMullin could. Clinton doesn’t need Utah’s six electoral votes but Trump desperately does. (At this point I don’t see a viable path to 270 for Trump but without Utah it is even more difficult to envision.)

Just looking at numbers we can see that a whopping 14% is unaccounted for. The biggest key to good polling is to get a representative sample of voters that will show up. I have to believe the true margin of error in this poll is at least 5%, (it is claimed to be 3.42%).

Enter white supremacist Trump supporter William Johnson. He sent out a robo-call to 200,000 Utah voters the full context of which is below:

Hello. My name is William Johnson. I’m a farmer and a white nationalist. I make this call against Evan McMullin and in support of Donald Trump. Evan McMullin is an open-borders-amnesty supporter.

He has two mommies. His mother is a lesbian married to another woman. Evan is okay with that. Indeed, Evan supports the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Evan is over 40 years old and is not married and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. I believe Evan is a closet homosexual. Don’t vote for Evan McMullin. Vote for Donald Trump. He will respect all women and be a president we can all be proud of.

I paid for this ad for the American National super PAC.”

I will resist the temptation to tear Mr. Johnson’s script apart line by line. (I expect the joke writers are already busy doing that.) It simply plays to fears and prejudices (not necessarily in that order) that the least common denominator has aplenty. Utah is a conservative state, but don’t mistake conservative for stupid.

Trump’s spokesperson Hope Hicks told CNN, “We strongly condemn this rhetoric and these activities of which we had no knowledge.” Let’s look at that. I truly believe the last part about no prior knowledge. The first part is little more than politically correct speech. Note this went out to CNN which most core Trump supporters don’t trust anymore. I doubt there were loud condemnations on the alt-right sites that they obtain their “news” from. Furthermore I will bet that Trump will not issue a condemnation from the stage at one of his rallies. Trump can’t risk alienating the racists and homophobes in his audience – he might come close to clearing the joint if he did.

You don’t have to be a homophobe, racist or xenophobe to support Donald Trump but one of his rallies is certain a comfortable place to be if you are!

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