Utah candidates spar over Trump in a close and unusual Senate race

In the only Utah Senate debate in this cycle, two candidates who at times tried to distance themselves from former President Donald Trump clashed on Monday over the limits of their freedoms and the idea of ​​partisan. A relatively close run can lead to very unusual results for an independent member of the US Senate that benefits neither side.

“I’m not going to Washington, if we win, to suck for Donald Trump or Joe Biden,” said freelance Evan McMullin at Utah Valley University in Orem. “And it’s a commitment I’ve made to put Utah first.”

The campaign, which Politico called August “America’s Weirdest Senate Race,” could have revolutionary consequences for which the party controls the Senate, especially if McMullin wins. Independent running for president in 2016, McMullin has pledged not to caucus with any party, which means it won’t count as a credible vote for Democrats or Republicans.

“Holidays are an important proxy. They are an important proxy for ideas, “incumbent Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) said as he pleaded his opponent’s case. Lee said,” You’re asking people to believe, to blindly trust you.… In this is not a good political result.

The race is also Lee’s first major re-election threat, as he had won his previous two general election campaigns by double-digit margins. In a Deserate News / Hinckley Institute of Politics vote held earlier this month, Lee leads McMullin by 4 percentage points among Utah’s registered voters, almost within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

During the hour-long debate, moderated by former KSL NewsRadio host Doug Wright, the candidates added to Trump’s weight, who supported Lee.

text joe lee Sent favorably to discuss Trump’s legal challenges The 2020 election will be Lee’s “legacy,” McMullin said, in a comment that Lee apologized for.

And during the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, McMullin told Lee, “When the barbarians were at the door, you were happy to let them in.”

“It was a statement with no information or truth,” Lee said of his opponent’s behavior in the 2020 election. Lee voted to certify the presidential election results.

For his part, Lee implied that the Democrats were McMullin’s “adopted” party. He also brought his own votes that were not in line with those of his Republican colleagues in the Senate.

To suggest that Lee is “a fanatic for any party makes no sense,” the senator said.

McMullin ran a viable campaign when he and his supporters were able to persuade the state Democrats not to name anyone from his party and to support him instead. A former Republican, he said he was ready to undermine the filibuster and would likely support recent bipartisan infrastructure and gun safety bills.

Lee voted for McMullin in the 2016 presidential election in protest against Trump, a fact that McMullin positively raised during Monday’s debate.

The current US Senate is made up of two independents, Angus King Maine and K Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who make a caucus with the two Democrats.

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