Evan McMullin, the late-starting independent conservative candidate for president, responded to questions about his mysterious running mate today by explaining how the Electoral College or the Congress could elect a vice president to be named later. After Politico's Daniel Strauss reported that McMullin's "placeholder" running mate Nathan Johnson might have to stay on the ballot, the campaign laid out a scenario where a victorious McMullin could replace him in November or December.

"After Mr. McMullin wins states like Utah where the electorate views both the major party candidates with disdain, Mr. McMullin’s electors may simply vote for the person that Mr. McMullin selects as his running mate," the campaign explained in a statement. "Even if that was not an option and Evan wins the White House, Vice President Johnson may simply resign. Section 2 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment provides the mechanism for President McMullin to then nominate a replacement."

McMullin, who entered the race just one month ago, has waged a state-to-state battle for ballot access with fitful success. In Minnesota, where he campaigned last week, he's on the ballot as the Independence Party's nominee; in Utah, he's on the ballot as an independent. Local deadlines have already prevented McMullin from appearing on the ballot in states worth more than 270 total electoral votes, but his campaign notes that he has achieved "official write-in" status in some states — meaning, write-in votes for him will be tabulated — and that he is running to throw the election to the House of Representatives, not to win on Election Day.

In a short conversation, McMullin communications team member Sarah Rumpf did not say whom McMullin might want electors or members of Congress to elect as vice president, or whether that decision would need to be made before ballots begin going out. Some conservatives, like author and publicist Matt Latimer, have suggested that GOP vice-presidential nominee, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, would be a better candidate for president than his running mate, Republican nominee Donald Trump; Rumpf neither ruled him in or out as a candidate for a McMullin administration. "Legally, he's Donald Trump's vice-presidential pick, and no one else is obligated to pick him," she said.

If neither Trump nor Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton secured 270 electoral votes, the presidential election would be thrown to the House of Representatives for the first time in 192 years. But the House would be obligated to elect one of the top three finishers in the election. McMullin is rarely included in polls; when he is, he regularly polls behind Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green nominee Jill Stein. In Utah, where the Mormon candidate is seen to be strongest, he is polling in fourth place behind Trump, Clinton and Johnson.