The Hill columnist and Fox News analyst Juan Williams threw his analysis behind failed presidential candidate Evan McMullin, arguing that the independent Senate candidate could win against incumbent Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) — because of “Star Wars.”
Williams laid out the case for McMullin — and for a viable third party in general — in a column published by The Hill on Monday. He noted that the race was certainly a long shot, especially for a third-party candidate, and compared it to the final scene of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” McMullin, he said, was no different from Luke Skywalker attempting to take out the Death Star.
What makes #Utah significant is that @EvanMcMullin win potentially opens a new way for politicians to get out of the rut of polarized, do-nothing, two-party politics. Think of Evan as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars trying to blow up the Empire’s starship. https://t.co/4ZQ2yBctQF
— Juan Williams (@TheJuanWilliams) September 27, 2022
Williams’ column, titled “An odd race in Utah gives hope to the nation,” opened with the fact that only eight independent U.S. Senators have been elected since 1971 — and noted that the Utah race is just strange enough to possibly deliver a ninth.
Dubbed “the strangest Senate race in America” by Politico, the Utah Senate race features an incumbent Republican (Lee), no Democrat, and McMullin running as an independent. McMullin has the support of some Utah Democrats in this contest.
“What takes it beyond strange to significant is that a McMullin win potentially opens a new way for politicians to get out of the rut of polarized, do-nothing, two-party politics,” Williams opined. “Think of McMullin as Luke Skywalker, the rebel pilot in Star Wars, trying to blow up the Empire’s star ship.”
Williams went on to note that American voters have often said that they would like to see a viable third-party option — but that when it came time to vote, nothing changed.
“Last year, 62 percent of voters told Gallup they want a third-party alternative to the Republicans and Democrats. Those numbers mean McMullin is an underdog in the right place at the right time to benefit from widespread discontent,” Williams explained, adding, “In other words, to continue the Star Wars analogy, a lot of people well beyond Utah’s corners are hoping ‘The Force’ is with McMullin.”
According to recent polling, Lee still holds a slight lead over McMullin — 36%-34% — but another 16% of those polled said that they had not yet made a decision about the race.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated McMullin ran as a Republican in 2016. He ran as an Independent.