8% is the new 2% for Libertarians

Apparently Libertarian Garrett Michael Hayes is polling 8% for the governor’s race down in Georgia. According to Ballot Access News, the Libertarian results for that race have always hovered in the 2-3% range. So a breakout candidate like Hayes is awesome and I hope he keeps his numbers up and climbing.

Similarly, I heard tell that Badnarik’s numbers were around 7-8%, according to a poll taken by the Democratic challenger in the race, Ted Ankrum.

We’re also forcing our way into the debates more often, as has happened in Indiana and Colorado. And when we get an eloquent speaker in the debates, we clean house.

I dunno just how many high-level Libertarians we’ll be electing here in 2006, but if these upwards trends are permanent, it means that libertarian values are finally resounding with voters, we’re finally speaking to the issues they care about, and we’re probably gaining ground for good with a lot of people.

Remember, the Socialist Party changed the face of American politics forever when they only grabbed 10% a small portion of the Presidential vote. This means, if nothing else, that we’re starting to change the face of local politics. By 2008, we might even be seeing a few higher-level elected Libertarians, if this trend continues.

Rumors of the slow death of the LP have been greatly exaggerated. We’re surging ahead full steam into the future.

posted by Stuart Richards
  • http://www.LPGeorgia.com Trevor Southerland

    Anyone who wants to help out with our campaigns and help build the party in Georgia can call our offices at 404-888-9468, one of our staff members would be more than glad to take your call.

    You can also go to http://www.LPGeorgia.com

  • paulie

    Third party candidates almost always poll better than they do in the general election. That’s because there are lots of people who like the third party candidates views better than the major party candidates’, but when it comes time to vote they end up voting their fear (that the greater evil of the two majors will win) than their hope, when they see no hope of actually winning. There are rare exceptions, like Ventura.

    LP candidates included in state and local debates is nothing new. I’ve seen many such debates over the years.

    the Socialist Party changed the face of American politics forever when they only grabbed 10% of the Presidential vote.

    It was only 6% (in 1912, which was the highest percentage I found). From 1901 to the onset of World War I, the Socialist Party had numerous elected officials. There were two Socialist members of Congress, Meyer London of New York and Victor Berger of Wisconsin; over 70 mayors, and many state legislators and city councilors.

  • paulie

    However, the LP has never received much more than 1% of the vote in a presidential election, and that was a long time ago (1980). It has never elected anyone to Congress under its own name, and the few state legislators it has sporadically elected have been cross-endorsed by Republicans or closely tied to them. The mayors and city councilors it has elected have been few, and in smaller cities.

    Nevertheless, the LP has been the most eduring successful third party since those socialists. Ballot access barriers are a lot higher now than they were then, for one thing.

    Unfortunately, in this decade the LP has a lot less money, members and candidates than it did in the 90s. Other libertarian (non-partisan) organizations have lost a lot of their funding as well, with few exceptions. A big part of the problem was outreach was disproportionately to the right, esp. in the 90s, and as a result the party was split over the war. It never became strongly antiwar as it should have been, but still

  • paulie

    (cont from 3) Managed to also piss off the pro-war members as well, by not being quite on their side either. It has continued to reach out mostly to the right, but those conservatives who were open to LP membership or voting have already tried it, and by and large left disgusted over lack of success or ideological differences or both. Some have hung on, impeding such outreach to the left as takes place.

    Additionally, many members left because of unrealistic expectations which were based on projections made to create non-sustainable growth in the 90s, or after learning of corruption and inside dealing in the party. Subsequent mismanagement by succeeding cliques has not helped matters.

  • George Whitfield

    Congratulations to Garrett Michael Hayes and the great Libertarian Party team in Georgia including Kevin Cherry, another statewide candidate there, and hard working Trevor Southerland. I will be sending them a contribution.

  • tech

    I will be voting for them. :)

  • Stuart Richards

    I could’ve sworn they netted 10% in 1932. At any rate, if they made even less and accomplished all that… that just makes my case even better.

  • Matt

    Maybe gutting the platform is gonna do more good than harm in the long run.

  • paulie

    I could’ve sworn they netted 10% in 1932.

    In 1932, Norman Thomas got 2.2%
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1932_election
    which would still be phenomenal for an LP candidate.

    I could’ve sworn they netted 10% in 1932.

    Maybe not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Party_of_the_United_States_of_America

  • paulie

    Whoops, the second part was in response to Matt (#8)

  • Stuart Richards

    Well, fixed it.

  • http://www.ballot-access.org Richard Winger

    It’s not true that almost all Libertarians elected to state legislatures were also the nominees of a major party. We won one seat in Alaska in 1978, two seats in 1980, and one in 1984; also we won one seat in New Hampshire in 2000 strictly under the “Libertarian” label (Steve Vaillancourt), for a total of 5 victories without a major party cross-endorsement. Then there were 7 victories with Republican cross-endorsement (4 in NH in 1992, 2 in 1994, and one in Vermont in 1998).

  • http://voterodgers134th.blogspot.com The Libertarian Guy

    Down here in Jim Talent land… he and Claire McCaskill are going to “debate” – once on our local NBC affiliate, and once on “Meet the Press”.

    Of course, OUR candidate, Frank Gilmour, won’t be at either event. Guess it’s just too much information for us po’ shoeless Ozarky types.

  • http://www.st911.org Julius Caesar

    I can’t wait until we can poll 36%, like the 9/11 Truth movement.

  • Lex

    Support for libertarian positions has always been in the 8-10% range. Vote totals were lower, because voters thought LP candidates had no chance.

    What has changed? The LP is starting to run some compelling candidates, and people are more fed up than ever with the Democrats and Republicans.

  • Get REal

    Please note the Badnarik results. I have long contended that he has exaggerated his chances of winning. He is no where near what he would need to pull off a win in November. But he has managed to spend over $300,000 much of it raised on his claims about massive press coverage (which, if it exists, you can’t find in the archives of the local press). I’ve heard him claiming almost daily news articles but couldn’t find them when I went to check.

  • paulie

    It’s not true that almost all Libertarians elected to state legislatures were also the nominees of a major party.

    However, they caucused with Republicans.

    What has changed? The LP is starting to run some compelling candidates, and people are more fed up than ever with the Democrats and Republicans.

    Where’s the evidence of these changes?

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    “… much of it raised on his claims about massive press coverage.”

    Actually, no one on the Badnarik campaign has ever made such a claim. In fact, they have explicitly stated that they intend to “go around” the big media and direct to the voter. I’m not quite sure how they are doing that. They had planned some type of DVD as a door drop, but I haven’t heard anything about that in a while.

    “I’ve heard him claiming almost daily news articles but couldn’t find them when I went to check.”

    I’ve never heard any such claim made by Badnarik or his campaign staff. Back it up.

    There are plenty of real things about the Badnarik campaign that you could criticize — like what has $300,000 dollars gotten them? There is no need to make up “facts”.

  • disinter

    There are plenty of real things about the Badnarik campaign that you could criticize ”” like what has $300,000 dollars gotten them?

    An over-paid and ineffective campaign manager perhaps?

  • paulie

    They have a secret plan. Don’t ask questions, send more money.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Thanks, Chris.

    And, Right-on, Paulie.

    Anybody want to estimate how much a paid staff of 5-7 people full-time in the field costs?

    Sure, you can claim that we “should” be using volunteers, but none has shown up 12 hours a day for 13 months, so what’s a guy to do?

    Our in-house polling in the district shows us with 2.5 times the name recognition as the deocrat. His polling was skewed; he didn’t actually ask which candidate people would vote for, but which party. And he didn’t ubderstand the results.

    Well, the numbers we got from our initial research of the district a year ago haven’t changed, and neither has what it will take to win.

    Unfortunately, it will take more $ than we’ve received so far, and more unfortunately, people who make up damaging non-facts about the campaign combine with the griping of people who assume the worst and ask no questions, to hold down fundraising results.

    BTW, there’s no secret from those who’ve shown they know when to keep quiet

  • Stuart Richards

    It would really help your donor base right now if you could release some poll figures to counter Ankrum’s poll.

  • disinter
  • getreal

    It was at the National Chairs conference in Phoenix. He was stand not two feet from me pushing for donations to his campaign. His words were along the line that he was getting covereage on almost a daily basis and told of some campaign worker who called to tell him of some coverage. He said “I told him I know I saw it yesterday. But then he tells me “No, it’s today.” At this point he said he was getting coverage almost every day and was going to win the race. I was thrilled until I went and did a search on the local newspaper sites and couldn’t find anything of substance at all. So when I say I heard him say it that is precisely what I mean.

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  • http://www.renbook.com Gene Berkman

    Many Libertarians believe that the Socialist Party influenced the Democrats enough to institute the New Deal and Great Society. There is little evidence for that. If anything, Socialists who left the Socialist Party to involve themselves in the Democratic Party or other pro-New Deal parties may have had an influence.

    However, politicians will push for more government power regardless of ideology. The Socialist Party has been dead for years, so how do you explain George W. Bush and his push for big government?

    Also, the Socialist Party opposed the draft, and opposed getting involved in World War I and World War II. They did not have any influence on policy in those areas. So we really need a more effective strategy than imitating a Socialist Party tactic that probably did not work as much as people think.

  • tech

    I think we as libertarians should give the Party a few more election cycles. See if the numbers start to seriously go up, see if we can get a guy or two into Congress, see if we can get a 5% presidential and a TV debate. See if we can start to enter the mainstream a little.

    But if after another 10 years and we’re basically in the same spot, we need to stop putting a single penny into the Party, stop running as the Party, and start working our way into the only two political parties that matter, or as independents focused on certain issues depending on constituency.

    And stop waving the ‘L’ word. I hate to say it, but it’s true. Because of the negative connotation the Party has brought to the L word, we might have to pretty much stop using it.

    We have to -ease- our ideas and points into the mainstream crowd. Piece by piece, and slowly. It’s going to be a very long and gradual process to make things great in this land. A war of attrition, but one that we can fight and spread and win.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    What is the “L” word?

  • tech

    Libertarian.

  • tech

    I mean of course use the word libertarian to describe libertarian philosophy- but stop waving around the political word Libertarian- because of that dogmatic, hardcore radical subtext. Because of some of the negative connotations of it.(most of which probably misplaced, but still)

  • tech

    We’re never going to start getting anywhere if we keep wasting time and effort with the same plan. Because decade after decade this plan simply does not work. The political landscape is just getting worse. That to me is a failure in our intent, from from our perspective.

    People love the ideas- but the whole package is just too much all at once and too different. Too radical, too fringe, too out of the mainstream. Not popular, not discussed on the news, a lot of people have never even heard of us.

    We need to thrust our efforts -into- American politics, not oppose them.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Correction for Richard Winger:

    Yes, Winger is correct on many of the points about Libertarians being elected to State Legislators solely on the LP ticket.

    However, in 1984, though Andre Marrou was elected solely on the LP ticket, he went on to “Caucus” with the Republican Party. And interestingly, it was the Alaska Republican Party that was almost entirely responsible for his election to office. (Result of a local and vicious split in the GOP. Marrou was sort of a fluke election.)

    Also, Dick Randolph and Ken Fanning the other two Alaska LP Legislators, joined the GOP, after their LP stint. All along they had significant Republican support.

    Winger also neglects to point out that Steve Villaincourt, promptly joined the Republican Party after his election to the New Hampshire House.

    It is really hard to point to a single Libertarian ever elected to the State House anywhere in the United States, who wasn’t elected with some tie to the Republican Party.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Listees should note that all 5 Vermont Libertarians who could win a seat in the VT House this year, have just won the Republican Nomination, as well.

    Full story at http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    Is the Libertarian Party doing better in 2006?

    As a frequent critic of the LP, my firm response is…

    YES!

    I gotta say the LP is kicking ass this year. And Bill Redpath and Shane Cory are to be given credit here. Both are Mainstreamer Libertarians. No surprise with Mainstream Libertarian leadership the LP would do better.

    But alas, it all could fall apart for 2008 if the LP runs someone like extremist George Phillies for President, a guy who has never even been elected do catcher.

  • LeoTolstoy

    Gene wrote:

    “Many Libertarians believe that the Socialist Party influenced the Democrats enough to institute the New Deal and Great Society. There is little evidence for that. If anything, Socialists who left the Socialist Party to involve themselves in the Democratic Party or other pro-New Deal parties may have had an influence.”

    actually it was business itself that wanted the regulations imposed by the new deal because it raises the barriers to entry and protects their profits and privilege.

    read any of the new left revisionists historians Kolko, Weinstein, or Williams on this point backed up by Rothbard.

  • LeoTolstoy

    Rothbard quote from Roderick Long’s Mises talk:

    Every element in the New Deal program: central planning, creation of a network of compulsory cartels for industry and agriculture, inflation and credit expansion, artificial raising of wage rates and promotion of unions within the overall monopoly structure, government regulation and ownership, all this had been anticipated and adumbrated during the previous two decades. And this program, with its privileging of various big business interests at the top of the collectivist heap, was in no sense reminiscent of socialism or leftism; there was nothing smacking of the egalitarian or the proletarian here. No, the kinship of this burgeoning collectivism was not at all with socialism-communism but with fascism, or socialism-of-the-right, a kinship which many big businessmen of the twenties expressed openly in their yearning for abandonment of a quasi-laissez-faire system for a collectivism which they could control”¦. Both left and right have bee

  • LeoTolstoy

    finishing quote:

    Both left and right have been persistently misled by the notion that intervention by the government is ipso facto leftish and antibusiness.

    to read more:

    http://www.mises.org/story/2099

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth

    re: Steve Vaillancourt as LP, Republican or Democrat… I’ve asked him about this in the past, and his view is he will join whatever side most needs help against the party which is currently threatening his liberties. He’s currently a Republican, but says he’s seriously has considered switched to Democrat in the last year+ due to the bigger threat of Republican attempts to control his personal life, as opposed to the Democrats’ attempt to control his wallet.

    And having just held the 2006 NH primary: libertarian-minded folks were on all sides of the ballot, and about half of the contested races were won, and the uncontested races were at least double that. Come the fall, expect at least a half-dozen l-ibertarian minded folks on both sides of the aisle here in NH.

  • http://www.crazyforliberty.com Doug Craig

    Hey guy this 8.1% polling is getting some good press in georgia. Garrett Hayes did a nice interview on NBC because of it.It also did three newspaper interview because of it.
    Garrett has the interview on his website.
    http://www.hayesforgovernor.com