Side By Side Comparison of Presidential Candidates

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A few days ago, HBO’s VICE featured an Independent presidential candidate who has quietly gained momentum in the political arena over the past few weeks, particularly in his home state of Utah.  Former CIA agent and Wharton MBA grad, Evan McMullin, decided to throw his hat into the race when he saw that Trump and Hillary were going to be the two major party candidates.  Like many other Utahans, McMullin views Trump as a “terribly flawed” candidate.  Although he only just joined the race a few months ago, the recent leaked tapes, which revealed a vulgar conversation between Billy Bush and Trump, have only increased McMullin’s resolve to challenge Trump and Hillary in the coming election.

In an interview with VICE’s Michael Moynihan, Evan explains why Utah has taken the lead in dumping Trump:

When we see a leader rising in this country who we believe would persecute minorities, either racial or religious or otherwise, we pay attention and we see that.  It really rubs people the wrong way. ” Evan McMullin

While many are calling the third-party option a “wasted vote”, others disagree.  In an article posted on,  Steve Weese explains why:

For U.S. Presidential elections, a state-by-state system is used called the Electoral College. Each state gets a proportional amount of electoral votes which are then used to find a majority for president. Interestingly, what happens in each separate state is a smaller FPTP election, followed by a counting of electoral votes.

The Electoral College is slightly different from a pure FPTP system because it requires an actual number threshold (currently 270 electoral votes) for a candidate to win instead of a simple majority of the votes. 

We can sum things up as follows:

  1. States hold “winner take all” FPTP elections for electoral votes
  2. Electoral votes are counted
  3. The winner must have 270 electoral votes
  4. If there is no candidate that reaches it, the House of Representatives chooses the president

These distinctions are important, because they can change the math and the concept of the “wasted” vote phenomenon.

Here is a side by side-by-side comparison of conservative, McMullin, next to Gary Johnson, Hillary, and Trump.

comparison of presidential candidates