For those who’ve been despairing about the state of politics in America, I have some good news from the Cato Institute. We’re actually the largest swing voter group out there at roughly 13-20% of the population, it’s just slightly harder to reach out to us because we aren’t organized in labor unions or churches.
But we’ve basically determined the last few elections. The (small-l) libertarian vote has traditionally gone to the Republicans; they’ve been seen as the lesser evil. However, a massive demographic revolt occurred in 2004, and Bush only received 59% of the libertarian vote (as opposed to 72% in 2000, when he campaigned talking like a libertarian). And as the libertarian demographic is about evenly split on the war, most of the pro-war libertarians basically voted for him for that reason alone.
This revolt occurred despite Kerry being rated even lower than Gore on average in the libertarian grouping… meaning it was a vote to punish Bush, not because we were enamored with Kerry.
But what would have happened if a more libertarian-leaning candidate was run by the Democrats, such as Howard Dean? The Democrats would only have had to bring Bush down to a 50% libertarian vote (9 points) to cost him Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada… and therefore the election.
And it would have happened, too-despite libertarian tendencies to vote Republican, we’re the most easily-parted group from the GOP fold. More libertarians voted for Perot than any other constituency. And we were almost persuaded to let the jackasses have a go at the Presidency this year.
So ignore us at your peril, Republicratic animals.