With the nation being inundated by the constant barrage of media coverage for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican counterpart Donald Trump, the casual follower of the political news cycle could be forgiven for thinking they're the only two candidates with White House ambitions.
Evan McMullin, who is both a former CIA officer as well as a former Republican, launched his presidential bid earlier this month as an Independent candidate. In doing so, he effectively put the aforementioned front-running White House hopefuls on notice that they'd have some more competition in addition to Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party.
He wasted no time attacking Clinton and Trump after officially announcing his campaign Aug. 8, casting doubt on the Democrat's ability to lead because of her ongoing email scandal and calling the New York billionaire a "fragile man" who has a "weakness as a man and as a politician and as a candidate for the presidency." Even President Barack Obama wasn't exempt from McMullin's vitriol.
But with all of the finger-pointing, polling show most Americans are still unfamiliar with McMullin, 40. Here are XXX facts to know about the 2016 Independent Part presidential nominee.
1. McMullin worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 10 years before he moved into the finance sector with Goldman Sachs, according to his campaign website.
2. He is on the presidential ballots in many states as an Independent candidate, but not in Tennessee, Politico reported. A lack of the requisite number of signatures proved to be his downfall in the Volunteer State.
3. Nearly two months away from Election Day, McMullin was still without a running mate and it was neither immediately clear when he would announce one nor who was being considered as his vice presidential choice.
4. McMullin is a Mormon, which could explain why the only state he is polling somewhat competitively in is Utah. With 9 percent of support in the state, McMullin trails Trump, Clinton and Johnson but is ahead of Stein, who is polling fourth nationally, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.
5. Following a stint as a senior advisor for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, McMullin resigned from his post as chief policy director of the House Republican Conference — apparently his only two stints in public policy — to launch his presidential bid in part because he "had hoped this year would bring us better nominees who, despite party differences, could offer compelling visions of a better future," he wrote on his website.
6. McMullin was essentially drafted by big names in the Republican Party as part of the "Never Trump" movement to run as the independent candidate, according to an op-ed published in the Washington Post.
7. While he's not predicting that he will win the U.S. presidency, he says he knows for sure who won't: Trump. "It’s so likely that Donald Trump will lose, my entrance into the race doesn’t affect that," McMillan said this month on ABC's This Week news show.
8. McMullin supports "a path to legal residence" for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. but only once the border is secure, he says on his website on the controversial topic of immigration. That approach puts him closer in line with Clinton than Trump.
9. Much like his fellow presidential candidates, McMullin is very active on social media, frequently retweeting supporters' words and encouraging users to follow his campaign's efforts on Facebook and Twitter in addition to his personal accounts.
10. McMullin embraces policies that span the political gamut, which could attract support from Democratic and Republican voters upset with their parties' nominees. He is pro-free trade, wants to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention center open, is pro-life and is not against gay marriage, among other characteristics shared by members of both major parties.