- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 23, 2016

With polls showing him within striking distance in Utah, independent presidential hopeful Evan McMullin said Sunday that the Republican Party may have done irreparable damage to itself with the nomination of Donald Trump and predicted the conservative movement may need to form a new party after the Nov. 8 election.

Mr. McMullin said the GOP appears unwilling to make the necessary changes to appeal to minority voters and other key blocs, and that its refusal to make those changes will keep the party from winning the White House for years to come.

“Right now we have a party in the Republican Party that turns away people of different races, turns away people of different religions,” he told ABC’s “This Week.” “The reality is, even after 2012, the Republican Party knew that it needed to do more to appeal to minorities and to women and to millennials, and the reality is it hasn’t been able to do that. And, in fact, it’s going in the wrong direction, not the right direction, in its nomination of Donald Trump.”

While Mr. McMullin stands virtually no shot of winning the election, polls do show he could have an impact in a handful of states. The most recent Real Clear Politics average of all surveys in Utah, for example, puts Mr. McMullin tied with Mrs. Clinton for second place in the state, both at 25 percentage points. The average shows Mr. Trump in first place with 30 percentage points.

At least one recent poll has shown Mr. McMullin ahead.

But the long-shot candidate appears to have a broader vision in mind. He argued Sunday that the Republican Party won’t be able to reconstitute itself after a divisive election and that conservatives may flee in droves after Nov. 8.

“It’s unlikely that the Republican Party will be able to make the kinds of changes it needs to make after this election,” he said. “These are generational problems. So maybe over time, over a number of decades, these changes can be made. But the reality is the conservative movement doesn’t have time for that. And if the Republican Party can’t make the changes, as it wasn’t able to do after 2012, the conservative movement will need a new political vehicle.”

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