SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – The Dignity Index released scores judging the U.S. Senate debate between Republican incumbent Sen. Mike Lee and his Independent challenger Evan McMullin today. The report also revealed dignity scores for the Dist. 2 Congressional Debate held last Friday between Chris Stewart, Nick Mitchell, and Cassie Easley.
New to this week’s scores, The Dignity Index included reasons why some comments were given specific ratings. Notably, Mike Lee scored lower compared to his Senate opponent during the debate, but maintained his 4.5 average overall. McMullin dropped to 4.75 in his overall average, but did receive higher dignity scores during the debate.
Mike Lee (R) – AVG 4.5 (Last AVG Reported: 4.5)
- 5 – Lee’s first score was a FIVE after making a general statement about States doing better. The Dignity Index said Lee delivered a statement of “goals, views, and plans” without showing any contempt.
- 6 – In a statement about the availability of prescription drugs, Lee commented that he was “with Bernie Sanders.” The Dignity Index said by standing with Sanders, who they say is “considered the most liberal Senator,” Lee created common values and interests with people who didn’t share his views.
- 6 – On the subject of DREAMers, Lee commented that it would be “un-American” and inhumane to deport children who were brought into the country by “no choice of their own.” The empathy and common values expressed in his comments are a clear feature of a SIX, according to the Dignity Index.
- 3 – The Dignity Index said Lee “attacked the moral character” of McMullin by creating an “Us vs. Them” narrative. This comes after Lee said McMullin was “telling lies that are specific to the leftist cause and lies specific to the Democratic party.”
- 3 – During the debate, Lee said McMullin had “a cavalier, reckless disregard for the truth. This is sad. This is troubling.” The Dignity Index says that is an “attack of moral character” which earns a THREE by furthering the “Us vs. Them” narrative and generating contempt.
- 4 – Lee called for a Republic in the Senate that would “offset a president who’s not all there.” The Dignity Index said it was an “attack” against McMullin for “their commitment and their competence, suggesting that he is irresponsible or immature or somehow unfit.” The Dignity Index also pointed toward the comment towards President Biden being “not all there.”
Evan McMullin (I) – AVG 4.75 (Last AVG Reported: 5)
- 6 – McMullin stated during the debate that he will “work with anybody who wants to ensure our seniors’ future.” Later in his statement McMullin said that both parties have that responsibility. His implication of a “welcome duty to work with the other side” is the mark of a SIX according to the Dignity Index.
- 6 – During the debate, McMullin applauded Lee’s ability to stand alone and say “no.” He went on to commend Former Utah Senators Bennet and Hatch, as well as Sen. Romney for their ability to work across party lines. The “work-together” attitude is a “clear expression of the principles in SIX,” according to the Index.
- 6 – After calling for a “constructive way forward” on abortion issues, the Dignity Index rated McMullin a SIX. “The speaker is suggesting these two sides can find common interests and values that can serve as basis for cooperation,” the Dignity Index said. “That makes it as a SIX.”
- 4 – McMullin earned a low dignified FOUR by pointing out the extremes of politics having “too much influence” on both the Democratic and Republican parties. The Dignity Index says that McMullin created a “they’re different and shouldn’t be trusted” narrative by saying the extremes are not the Utah way and that they don’t represent Utahns.
- 3 – The Dignity Index said McMullin attacked Lee’s “moral character” when he pointed towards Lee’s facial expression, calling it a “smirk,” while telling a the story of a woman named Anne. Dignity Index said McMullin could have made his point with more dignity and less division by focusing on the needs and trials of the woman without adding his view on Lee.
- 3 – McMullin again attacked Lee’s “moral character,” according to the Dignity Index, after McMullin said “Senator Lee, that was the more egregious betrayal of our nation’s constitution in its history by a US senator.”
U.S. House of Representatives District 2
Christ Stewart (R) – AVG 5 (Last AVG Reported: 5)
- 6 – The Dignity Index gave Stewart a SIX after his comments on what the government could do to earn the trust of the American people. The Index points to Stewart making a “clear and direct statement” that all Americans would work towards a solution if we know what the truth is.
- 6 – Stewart was given a SIX after establishing a point of similarity with opponent Nick Mitchell. The Dignity Index said Stewart set the grounds of the conversation in common values and interests before discussing differences in a non-confrontational way. The final seal on the SIX came from Stewart using a tone indicating “Let’s keep talking,” according to the Index.
- 3 –Stewart’s only contempt score came after comments toward the Biden Administration in regards to the southern border. The Dignity Index pointed towards his use of words such as “catastrophe,” “crisis,” “unforgiveable,” and “deliberately created.” The Index says Stewart creates an “Us vs. Them” narrative, generating contempt.
Nick Mitchell (D) – AVG 4.8 (Last AVG Reported: 4)
- 3 – Mitchell’s lowest score comes after what the Dignity Index called “a moral character attack.” In comments directed to Rep. Stewart, the Index says Mitchell attacked Stewart’s motives, saying Stewart “gave away his moral agency to another group.”
- 6 – Mitchell earned a dignified score for his Colorado River Compact comments acknowledging its a good start. Where he bumped up the score to a SIX instead of a FIVE, according to the Index, was with his comment saying “We need to come together and work it out.”
- 7 – The highest score from the debate went to Mitchell after comments on the refugee crisis. Mitchell calls for understanding for people “being afraid, not wanting to leave their homes but they’re forced to,” the Dignity Index recognized this has empathy for someone “on the other side.”
Cassie Easley (Constitution Party) – AVG 4.6 (Last AVG Reported: N/A)
This is the first time Easley has been judged by the Dignity Index, as she did not receive scores prior to the debate.
- 4 – Easley’s first score of contempt came from her statement “I really have a problem trust the government to follow the Constitution.” The Dignity Index said this attack’s the other side’s performance without addressing specifics or solutions.
- 5 – A low dignified score of five was given when Easley addressed the Colorado Compact, providing Utah needed water. The Dignity Index said she expressed a goal, a view or a plan without any contempt for the other side, and only did not earn a higher score as she was more specific with facts.
- 5 – Easley’s final score came with a comment on abortion saying she is against it but she is for women being able to make choices. She shared her personal beliefs while standing behind a ballot initiative. The Dignity Index said this is a “strong feature of FIVE” on the Index as she declares her position without expressing contempt for people who don’t share her view.