How Fox News is giving Mike Lee an unfair advantage over challenger Evan McMullin: attorney
In Utah’s 2022 U.S. Senate race, the two main contenders are not a Democrat and a Republican, but rather, a right-wing MAGA Republican — incumbent Sen. Mike Lee — and a right-wing Never Trump conservative who is running as an independent: Evan McMullin. The of them butted heads over a variety of issues during a debate on Monday night, October 17, and McMullin hasn’t been shy about calling Lee out for promoting the Big Lie after Donald Trump lost the 2000 presidential election.
Attorney Elie Mystal, who is often featured as a legal expert/political pundit on MSNBC, analyzes the Lee/McMullin debate in an article published by The Nation on October 19. Mystal stresses that Lee deserves to be voted out of office for pushing the Big Lie, but he laments that because viewers of Fox News, Newsmax and other right-wing media outlets live in an information bubble, Lee will likely pull off a narrow victory. Polls are showing a close race, with Lee enjoying narrow single-digit leads.
“Utah Sen. Mike Lee should lose his reelection bid and be drummed out of office for his support of the scheme to install fake electors to overturn the 2020 election,” Mystal argues. “Text messages from Lee to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows revealed that Lee was an early and vocal advocate of the idea that Trump should challenge the results of the election he lost.”
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Mystal notes that Lee “finds himself in a tight race for reelection against Republican turned independent Evan McMullin.”
“McMullin unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016, specifically as an anti-Trump conservative alternative,” Mystal explains. “He’s been closer to Lee in the polls, within four or five points, than one would ordinarily have expected of a person running against a Republican incumbent in a solidly Republican state. Then again, McMullin is a CIA veteran with normal conservative bona fides — but for his exclusion from the cult of Trump.”
The attorney points out that Trump isn’t as popular in Utah as he is in other deep red states.
“I think McMullin could win this race if more people in Utah actually knew what Lee was up to between November 7, 2020, and January 6, 2021,” Mystal writes. “The problem is that Fox News or OAN or Breitbart never tells them about it, and those are the only ‘news’ sources most of these people listen to. Arguably, McMullin will get all the voters who both know what happened on January 6 and think it was bad. Lee will get all the voters who think the attempted coup was a good thing. But there are also all those voters who don’t know or don’t care about the insurrection, and with them, it’s harder to see the path for McMullin.”
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