Former CIA agent picking up Arizona Mormon votes for president

Write-in candidate Evan McMullin could be siphoning votes from Republican Donald Trump, especially when it comes to the Mormon vote.

GILBERT, Ariz. - Meredith Simpson has picked the person she will cast a presidential vote for in November. Like many Americans, the decision was made a few months ago.

The only difference between her and the majority of others is that her candidate does not appear on the Arizona ballot.

"I believe in his principles, he has a great knowledge of history and he is the candidate that can get this country moving forward," said Simpson.

A conservative from Gilbert, Simpson is part of an Arizona faction that has decided to vote for Evan McMullin.

The former House Republican staffer and CIA officer is a popular choice in the Mormon community.

"His beliefs and principles are in line with mine," said Amanda Harless.

The chances of McMullin winning are basically zero but his mere presence in states like Arizona and Utah could be a problem for Republican Donald Trump.

"It is a problem," said Highground Inc. President Chuck Coughlin.

The public affairs company believes Arizona is officially up for grabs, at least in part because of McMullin.

Typically, the Mormon population votes Republican. But this year it appears many of those vote voters are looking elsewhere.

McMullin is an appealing option and the numbers seem to show the effect he is having in Arizona.

"I don't think this is a McMullin issue as much as it’s a Trump issue," said Coughlin.

Simpson would tell you it's both. She has never been a big fan of Trump’s but she was conflicted on who she would vote for if McMullin was not on the ballot.

Most experts agree any vote for McMullin is a vote that most likely would have gone to a Republican in the past.

So while many may not know who Evan McMullin is, Donald Trump does, and he may just end up dashing any hopes of a Trump win in November.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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