McMullin Is Not Getting on 30 State Ballots

Evan McMullin, former bagman for the CIA, Goldman Sachs and the House Republicans, announced a campaign for president today. His new campaign immediately received favorable press from the media – unlike, say, Jill Stein. As usual, though, the media has done minimal fact-checking when McMullin stated he hoped to get on 20-30 state ballots. Given the time-frame, deadlines, and signature totals needed he would at best get on 14 state ballots.

The filing deadlines for independent presidential candidates in most states have passed or would prove to be very difficult even for a well-funded campaign effort just getting off the ground. The full list of deadlines for states and signatures required is here – but keep in mind you often need 1.5-2 times the number of listed signatures in order to ensure no one challenges your petitions:https://ballotpedia.org/Filing_deadlines_and_signature_requirements_for_independent_presidential_candidates,_2016

By my count McMullin could, theoretically, get on up to 20 state ballots whose deadlines have not yet passed. This is improbable unless he has petition gatherers collecting before his official announcement, and nobody noticed at all. These include

Alabama 5,000 signatures 8/18/2016
Alaska 3,005 8/10/2016
Arizona 36,000 9/9/2016
California 178,039 8/12/2016
Colorado 5,000 8/10/2016
Connecticut 7,500 8/10/2016
Hawaii 4,372 8/10/2016
Idaho 1,000 8/24/2016
Iowa 1,500 8/19/2016
Kentucky 5,000 9/9/2016
Louisiana 5,000 8/19/2016
Minnesota 2,000 8/23/2016

Montana 5,000 8/17/2016
New Hampshire 3,000 8/10/2016
New York 15,000 8/23/2016
North Dakota 4,000 9/5/2016
Ohio 5,000 8/10/2016
Oregon 17,893 8/30/2016
Rhode Island 1,000 9/9/2016
Tennessee 275 8/18/2016
Utah 1,000 1,000 8/15/2016
Virginia 5,000 8/26/2016

Washington, D.C. 4,600 8/10/2016
Wyoming 3,302 8/30/2016

I’ve bolded the 14 states which he really has a feasible chance – assuming tons of money to hire petitioners and a campaign ready to direct them in each state. I’ve managed successful statewide petition drives for independent presidential candidates in NY State and it is not easy to do. Incidentally, although NY’s deadline is 8/23 I don’t believe 2 weeks is a feasible amount of time for 15k signatures unless they’ve been collecting already or are hiring hundreds of petitioners (I suppose possible if it’s Koch money or something similar). California is out. The states where he’d be on the ballot are eclectic at best.

In the back of my mind this is probably going to hurt the Libertarian Party and Gary Johnson more than Trump. Arizona, Ohio, Utah and Virginia are the only swing-ish states where it’s possible he could get on the ballot and matter to Trump.

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