Libertarians hold key to today’s electoral outcome

Even Fox News has to concede that the only reason Democrats will make such huge gains is because libertarians have defected en-mass from the GOP:

Libertarians — people who cringe at intrusive government, high taxes, nation-building and politicians telling them how to behave — could turn out to be the key swing voters in Tuesday’s contentious midterm election.

And, in an unusual development, that might not bode well for Republicans this time around.

A number of political scientists and libertarian pundits say that libertarian voters who sided with the Republicans in the past have become disgusted with bloated federal spending, the war in Iraq and prevailing social conservatism in the GOP-dominated White House and Congress. Many feel libertarian voters will either vote for Democrats on Tuesday or just stay home, and that could play a role in deciding key battleground races.

But that doesn’t mean the Libertarian Party is content to cast pearls to those swine, as even LP chair William Redpath is hoping for libertarians to start coming home to their own party:

They certainly are not going to find libertarianism in the Democratic Party. Beyond Ron Paul and possibly a few others, they’re not going to find it in the Republican Party. If they want there to be a viable libertarian alternative in the political process of the United States, they should support the Libertarian Party and vote for its candidates.

I’m really digging that he has his eye on the biggest hurdle blocking us from winning elections:

A big issue for the Libertarian Party is electoral reform, which would make us more viable. The spoiler issue could easily be taken care of through instant runoff voting, and that has real political legs.

IRV isn’t the silver bullet for Libertarians (and I concede that it’s an imperfect system, albeit far better than the current one), but it’s a great wedge issue that has those “political legs” we’ve so desperately needed. Political success for the LP is all about small steps in the right direction.

14 Comments
  1. Well, that was a fine piece. Notice you’re not catching many liberal media picking up on the libertarian voter. Not in their interests. Though Fox is covering us.

    The problem though is that they say little about libertarian candidates this year running as Republicans. A record year in fact for libertarian Republicans.

    If you don’t vote GOP this year, chances are you hurt a libertarian candidate for office.

    That’s not progress for our movement. It’s regression.

  2. Eric Dondero: I’ve sworn off voting for Democrat or Republican unless it’s against an incumbent or creates gridlock. I don’t trust either party enough to care if they have a little bit of libertarian in them. They’ve squandered that trust.

  3. Het guys we are still getting great coverage in GA because it looks like we might cause a run off here.We are picking up a lot of mad gop voters. The press was at Garrett’s polling place this morning and had him on the morning news.We are getting mention on every news cast for the last three weeks.We even made the SAn Jose Calf. and Kansas city papers this morning.

  4. Stephen,
    Agreed… leave the compromising up to elected officials.

    If you are allowed, vote libertarian.
    If you are free to choose, vote libertarian.
    If you truly care, vote libertarian.

  5. IRV means that instead of needing a plurality to win, we will need a majority. IRV is a terrible idea if we want to become one of the two or so major parties. (Here in Massachusetts, becoming the 2nd party is a bit easier.)

  6. If you do vote NSGOP this year, chances are you hurt a libertarian candidate for office.

    Also, you would be supporting torture, foreign occupation,
    wiretapping, secret prisons, indefinite detention without charges or lawyers, executive dictatorship, corporate welfare, and so on ad infinitum.

    That’s not progress for our movement. It’s not even regression.

    It’s total psychosis and suicide.

    The Democrats are not much better, but in the very short term a Democrat majority in Congress next year will hopefully mean more Gridlock, Investigations of the Bush War Crime Family, and if we are very lucky and say our prayers an Impeachment of Bush-Cheney, too.

    Not all Libertarians are libertarian either, but if you really must vote, it’s better than voting for almost all Democrats and Republicans.

  7. Well, I voted Lib on two races. One that was local, and the other was for Jack Carter. He’s running as a democrat, but he describes himself as Libertarian on individual freedoms and a fiscal conservative.

    Or in other words, what we usta think what a Libertarian/Republcian was.

    I’ve given up on the LP, and in some ways I think it’s better to have strong and vocal Lib wings in all other national parties – including the Greens and the Socialists.

    Yeah, even the Socialists. Think about what an anti-authoritarian socalism would look like. good brain push=ups there.

  8. IRV cuts both ways. In New Mexico, a third-party candidate could conceivably win with 34% of the vote in a three-way vote.

    However, I suppose we won’t know for sure how much it helps or hurts until some state actually passes it so we can get some real data.

  9. The most likely effect of Instant Run-off Voting will be that the media only reports the votes for major party candidates, and the almanacs report the final vote, after the second choices of third party candidates are distributed to the major party hopefuls.

    It will do little to improve prospects for LP candidates.

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