New LP Candidate Tracker Released

The LP’s got a shiny new toy for all of us to play with.

Instead of talking about this bad boy myself, I’ll let the LP e-mailer do the job:

Last night, we officially launched the LP’s Candidate Tracker!

The Candidate Tracker (CT) is an online tool that reports on our candidates from around the nation and ranks then according to objective data. This data includes, funds raised, media appearances, opposition, etc.

We have an initial 25 candidates currently loaded into the system and over the weekend we will be adding the remaining candidates that have sent in their data.

Take a look for yourself by visiting You can also access the CT from the main page of Note that candidates are listed by highest score (their CT Score) but you can also view candidates by state.

If you’re a candidate and want to be sure you’re included, please send an e-mail to and let us know. Our consultant, Sean Haugh, who has been a great help in collecting this information will get back to you and create your profile.

This looks like a really sweet tool that’ll help us pinpoint our funding towards credible races, quite possibly leading to some real breakthroughs in the next few election cycles. Way to go, National!

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. Definitely a cool tool, though it’ll obviously be better once they enter more candidates in (and after we’ve had an election cycle to see what to tweak).

  2. They’ve been rolling out a lot of stuff to support local campaigns. The Libertarian Leadership School, the GOTV tool, and now this.

    It’s good to finally see National doing what National ought to be doing. :)

  3. Yeah, when I see stuff like this, it makes me think that all the crap is worth it. Gonna donate some money above my pledge this month.

  4. How do raise 20 times as much cash, make 17 times as many public appearances, and have one-tenth the CT rating? (Compare Badnarik and Smither.)

    And why the bonus for non-partisan races? The whole point of having a Libertarian party is to run as Libertarians.

  5. No, the point of the Libertarian party is to elect Libertarians, no matter the nature of the race.

    Voters are generally more comfortable with Libertarians in non-partisan races, and therefore Libertarians are more likely to win those racies. Since the CT is about which candidates have a good chance to win, it makes sense to give them a bonus.

  6. Lex: Almost all of Smither’s score comes from articles, which are 5 points each. He has like 500. It’s totally distorted because of the national coverage of TX-22. Plus he’s in a two-way race (technically), so (assuming Badnarik’s race is 3-way) that’s a 1/3 advantage in score right there.

  7. I love this tracker program.It give a new candidate an idea of what is important.It gives a candidate goals from the get go. I have preached in Georgia that we should be doing these thing and now the national party has backed this up.

  8. What concerns me about this is that potential voters that know nothing about the party might see this and think these are our only candidates.

    Why doesn’t the candidate logo on the front page take you to the main candidate tracker page? I can’t find a way to get there. And while I am at it, the little house at the uppper left hand side is hard to find to make it back to the home page. The entire logo at the top-left should be clickable.

  9. It will be tweaked and peaked over time. The important thing is that it exists at all.

    I’d make the following tweaks: articles should not be automatic +5. Maybe +3. Much more weight should be given to candidates that are running actual TV broadcast ads over regular or cable TV, or for a TV debate appearance. +100 for regular TV ads in rotation, +50 for a feature piece on local news. +25 for radio ads, +15 for radio guest apperance. Something along those lines. TV has got to be the focal point.

    Given enough time and input, it will be accurate and pretty darn useful to everyone.

  10. This doesn’t count libertarian Frank Gonzalez running as a Democrat in FL-21 with a pretty good shot to win.

    America elects Democrats and Republicans. I think libertarians should realize this and stop wasting time with a third party idea that is not exactly working. We have a two party system. Let’s use that. Influence both of our parties, mainstream American politics, in our direction.

  11. Tech: An extremely good way to do that is to run as a third party “spoiler”. That’s how the greens gained so much power. The Republicrats got scared and adopted green policies.

  12. Yeah, I’m about a third of the way through entering the candidates now, getting warmed up for the night shift (love that night shift). Not putting all in now, just the ones at 8 or above. We went live a touch early, but Shane is super excited about the project, as am I. I feel like I’m helping change LP culture to make us act more like a real political party and that feels great. My goal is to have the active candidates all up by Monday first thing AM. I’ll try to check back in this thread after that’s done and will be a happy to answer any questions you have about the Candidate Tracker. If you look at it now it there will be some anomalies and incompleteness, candidates who think the should have a higher score or don’t see their smiling faces up there may feel free to nudge me via email. Thanks for the love for the Candidate Tracker! :-)

  13. Sean Do the candidates sign up for this and who is feeding
    you the info.Do I need my state party to get you our info on our candidates.
    Tim I agree with you I believe we have to put more effort on TV ads.After a couple of cycles I believe this system will show that.

  14. There will be anomalies to start. Comparing Smither to Badnarik seems to be one, but on closer examination I don’t think so. Smither became positive national news – not about his race, about *him* – which maxes you out in a couple places. Badnarik has run a top notch more conventional campaign, raised a third of a million and spent it on some good advertising – love the billboards. And he’s polling at about 7%. If the CT formula holds up under scrutiny in all similiar examples, I we could say with some reliability that a score in the low hundreds translates to 7% in a competitive 3 way race. A winning Congressional candidate should score in the thousands. The beauty of the CT score is that short term it is already giving our candidates valuable feedback about what they can do to be more successful (i.e., get more votes), and long term it can tell us a lot about it takes for Libertarians to win.

    God I love science.

  15. You know who has ‘so much power’? Ron Paul. He is an actual member of Congress. With a vote. With a small little finger of real estate on the actual steering wheel.

    Especially for Presidential elections, I think a huge chunk of Americans who stand in line and fill out a card are good people, but don’t understand or care much about politics or government or philosophy. They’ll vote for the popular guy or the other popular guy. Many will always vote for the Republican, many will always vote for the Democrat. Our job as an organized group of libertarians is not just to put our guys’ names in front of them, but to actually have them check our guys’ names.

    Hell, to make a huge positive difference in government right now we don’t even need officials who are all that hardcore libertarian.

    Small steps.

    But not wasted steps over and over again.

  16. By the way, Mike, I want to get your survey and put your smiling face up there too!

    It was a special feeling when I realized that the Mike Nelson on my candidate list is the Mike Nelson I find here. I cannot express how grateful I am to all our candidates for giving the voters a real choice in their districts. Thanks Mike!

    A couple more quick answers then back to the grindstone:

    On nonpartisan races, yes they get props for being more electable. But the extra 20 pts can lead to an anomaly if the campaign is not otherwise active. True also to a lesser extent for the 5pt veteran bonus. I am manually screening for that, because I want to reward the no money shoe leather candidates who may not have those factors going for them.

    Mike, I’ll relay the technical issues to Shane. I may well add in all our candidates even if they score 0, athough that leads to more technical issues. Nothing that can’t be solved but also nothing that needs to get in the way of promoting our best now.

  17. Where is the scoring criteria explained? I haven’t found anything on the site yet that tells me what these numbers actually mean. Also, where is the link that takes you back to the LP home page? That seems like a no-brainer. Shouldn’t the gold party logo be hyperlinked to the home page?

  18. Tim, I’d like to stick with the basic formula through this election. As I discover new quantifiable factors I can roll them into the HQ bonus field. After the election we do intend to scrutinize every piece of it against results and keep tweaking it over time, espcially in adding more quality vs. quantity type detail to what is tracked, along the lines you suggest. Money correlates reasonably well to advertising power as better media (like TV) are more expensive.

    I love Frank Gonzales and all other real libertarians who don’t happen to be running as Libertarians. I study their examples closely and want them to win, because changing public policy is the true goal. But that’s almost a different project. The Candidate Tracker is designed to show us what it takes to get elected *as a Libertarian*.

    Finally, Doug, YES!!! I can only go on what the candidates tell me. I do have a few other sources, starting with their own websites, but that’s only supplemental to the surveys.

  19. Robert, click on the phrase “About the Candidate Tracker” and you shall find what you seek.

    Ok, now really, I’m gone. Thanks again for all the love for the Candidate Tracker!

  20. It may be worth mentioning that there’s a campaign on Facebook and on MySpace called “$10 for Liberty.” It’s an attempt to get everyone (or at least all libertarians) to donate ten dollars to a specific libertarian candidate, namely Michael Badnarik.

    So, yesterday, I sent $10 to Badnarik’s campaign and $25 to the national party. (I finally took the pledge.)

    I first noticed the tracker yesterday. Almost a year ago, I attended a meeting of the LNC wherein they discussed getting this tracker, the LP Ballot Base thing, and the Libertarian Leadership School, and whether or not to set up a store with a private company ( It looks like everything they discussed has gone into effect.

  21. Huh, whaddya know, they do. That’s awesome. I remember when the site’s store wasn’t working for a while and nobody did anything about it.

  22. Sean says:

    “The Candidate Tracker is designed to show us what it takes to get elected *as a Libertarian*.”

    If that’s the goal, non-partisan races shouldn’t be included at all.

  23. Great idea. Formula will need a few election cycles to get better, but what can you expect. You have to start somewhere. It’s September now, better to get whatever you have up and running then waste the last two months fine tuning a formula that won’t even get used.

  24. Lex, a valid point. I am willing to ride with it because they are much more electable and nonpartisan winning is a stepping stone to partisan winning. We want to reward Libertarians for getting into office and affecting public policy any way they can. Beyond November it might be interesting to set up multiple CTs – partisan, nonpartisan, libs running under other banners, and maybe even fusion candidates.

  25. In NY we have a public access program in Brooklyn called Hardfire produced by Gary Popkin. Having appeared twice on it, we distributed amongst public access throughout the entire district (Cooperstown to Lake Placid). This helped us attain 2.5% in a Zogby Poll in June. Unfortunately we got bumped from the ballot and will never know if we could attain 5% of the actual vote (our goal).

    It was an excellent method to get the name/campaign out there. The point is that THIS type of TV is effective also and should be explored by candidates. Had we made the ballot we had 2 TV and 4 print interview immediately lined up. The value of ballot access. Of course Weld would have fixed all that, LOL.

    Another metric would be unique visitors per day at the website. At the end we were averaging close to 400 a day.
    Recognizing this isn’t the end all in campaigns, it is simple enough thing for a webmaster to produce.

  26. CT Tracker the first original constructive idea from the NLP in 20 years. That said the NLP still suffers from a shotgun approach mentality, assuming that the more candidates the LP runs increases the chance of someone winning, NOT! The best chance of getting a Libertarian elected is to focus on special situations that give the LP candidate an edge. We do not need more Libertarians running for office, we need more Libertarians getting elected!

    My only complaint is no considerations is given for special situations and it completely ignores Libertarian Frank Gonzalez because he is running as a Democrat, Frank is just as much a Libertrarian as Ron Paul and has the best chance of being elected as all the other candidates put together!

    Promoting the LP is all well and fine, but as much peril as the Republic is in it is more important to elect a Libertarian to congress than to promote the Party; Frank Gonzalez having to run as a Democrat to get elected is the LP’s failure not his!

  27. NT M,

    I agree completely. This is why, in addition to Candidate score cards, we also need district scorecards (for both national and state-wise elections). This would allow us to determine which districts make the most sense for libertarians to run in. It could even help us determine how to run in them. For instance, a traditionally liberal district will be more likely to respond to different issues than a traditionally conservative district.


  28. Right, N T and Michael. You run as a Republican and campaign on those side of things if you want to win out in the big square states with independent-minded people who really appreciate the 2nd Amendment and all that. You run as a Democrat in inner city and be the candidate who talks straight sense to the people, with perhaps points like legalization and huge tax credits and relief. That is called -politics-. You have to resonate with your voters and not be too different or fringe. Then if you get elected, you’re a libertarian in office who doesn’t have to worry about election politics so much.

    And we love the LP and appreciate all the hard work that goes into it, but it’s time to start talking about the realization that it’s a failed purpose that is keeping libertarians OUT of office. IMHO.

    (I’ll bite my tongue right off though -if- Smither, Badnarik or both get in- that will be a tide changer. We might even get that crazy crackpot Stanhope into a network televised pres. debate.. ;)

  29. Mike N,

    We submitted over 5200 sigs (3500 required) and the GOP sent in it’s top election law dog (Thomas J. Spargo – The crew that did the ‘shut it down stunt’ in Florida – Bush/Gore). They challenged over 2700 and we couldn’t survive the challenge for numerous reasons. Get me off list for teary details.

    We’re guessing that we were enough of a threat for them to spend more money on a challenge then we did the whole campaign (We spent about 20K overall). We went down swinging though, even got the neighboring district’s GOP candidate to represent us in the challenge.

    This particular race was labeled one of the top five nastiest in the country. The LP took the hit subsequently.
    We were the nice guys too, never attacked either opponent, just their silly policies and voting record.

  30. OK, I thought this was a good idea, but now there is a candidate for “San Miguel County Coroner” in the number 2 position. Coroners, Soil & Water district positions, Dog catchers, etc. should be left out of the ranking system. Have them viewable by state only. Also, a Libertarian candidate with a great shot at getting elected to the city council of some small town with a population of 10,000 wouldn’t be very notable. In summary, the ranked candidates should be for some position of importance!

  31. Eric, hope to see you in NH soon. (grin)

    While I really like the Tracker, the biggest flaw is that it’s partisan, meaning that all of the liberty-supporting candidates who are running as D or R this year won’t show up on it… the list would be much larger then.

    Here in NH, we have many more of those than Ls running, plus a few Ls (but not all) did get bit by the ballot access problem (I fully expect the NH Supreme Court to wipe that problem out for good with a decision issued right after the election)

  32. I saw the tracker on the party site. It strikes me as somewhat odd that one candidate can have a score ten times higher than the national party standard bearer in ’04!!!

    I assume the data used to compile the scores were legitimate and not just seat of the pants. As a resident of New York, I was dismayed, but not surprised, at the paucity of candidates,(none). Where are Russell and Clifton?

  33. Seth, I agree. I would like to see the LP recognizing some little l candidates when they run as D or R’s.

  34. It was a great disappointment to see the LP ditch its platform. While I have great criticism for the lack of candidate support from LP members themselves, I still praised them for being the ideological foundation from which I sprung into action. Now that this is no longer the case from the newly compromised platform, I see little reason to hope that the LP will EVER be such an inspiration to newcomers–like I once was–again.

    I think outlets like Lew Rockwell’s and Strike the Root and the Ludwig von Mises Institute are the next best things, especially because they deemphasize Party matters and get straight to the point of what makes someone a true libertarian.

    Philosophy is endlessly more important than Party. The former justifies the latter. If you’re in this Party for social support, you’re in it for the wrong reason. You should be in it ONLY to help elect candidates to office. This means busting your ass in a way that few LPers are willing to commit as I learned in 2004.

  35. I like the new candidate tracker. It is a clearinghouse that enables contributers to quickly determine for which candidates their support will have the best effect so that they can then prioritize their Libertarian contribution budget accordingly. Its objective and saves me alot of time searching the web trying to figure out who is running where and with what chance of winning. Thanks to Shane and Corey and the National LP for this advance.

  36. I love the concept of a candidate tracker! This is the best thing to come out of HQ in many years.

    Now for a suggested tweak: the current scoring system underweights the importance of being in a two-way vs. three-way race. I did a study (see May 2001 Liberty) of state house races in about a dozen states. On average the Libertarian scored over four times better when there was only one major party candidate in the race vs. two major party candidates.

    I ignored the presence of other minor party candidates when doing this study, so I cannot tell you how to weight that factor. My gut feeling is that another minor party candidate cuts the available protest vote in two when there is both a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot. (If the Libertarian runs hard and the other minor parties do not, the Libertarian can get more than half of the protest vote.)

  37. Frank,

    How is the new LP platform inconsistent with libertarianism?

    I really don’t understand your statement that philosophy is endlessly more important than party. Can you explain to me what the Democratic Party philosophy is? Would you be unwilling to run as a Democrat if they adopted the Libertarian platform instead?

  38. Tech, you should like you are a member of the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. They are helping dozens of people run for State Rep in New Hampshire. It is a great idea and will likely get several libertarians reelected and several new libertarian in office in New Hampshire. However, that is the job of a group like the NHLA, not the LP.

    See more,

  39. I don’t care what the capital letter is next to the name on the C-Span graphics overlay!

    I care that the public officer has sense and reason. I care that they will stand for each individual before powerful centralized government corporations.

    If the same Frank as he was two years ago fares better as a Democrat than he did as a Libertarian, then that says a lot about votes and candidates that don’t have that ol’ warmly familiar D or R people are comfortable with.

    I’d rather have an entirely Democratic and Republican political landscape, each influenced by and kept in checks by their liberty-minded thinkers- than 45% FDR, 45% GWB and 10% fucking Lew Rockwell.


    freedom from only out of control government is only half the battle. The LP must complete the chain by going against out of control corporations that exploit the law for their own profit by buying and corrupting the rule of law itself.

    It is not only government that controls and restricts liberty – it is the nexus of government, corporatism, and the resulting power structure that’s unaccountable to the people that is the real danger to freedom. A LP that shills for the private sector simply becuase they are private is missing the point. Likewise, a LP that only attacks big government is the same.

    to expand the support base of the party by attracting people from across the left-right political spectrum is must. Expanding the fight to oppose all sources of control over the individual can only be done by expanding the very nature of what libertrianism itself means.

  41. Nope, not in practice it hasnt. The LP has always rejected any other notion of what liberty is other than pure negative liberty, i.e. freedom from coercion and nothing else. Any other notions on the subject have always been shouted down and their proponents attacked as unprincipled.

    The point is not to scribble libertarian amendments into the Constitution but to make un-libertarian laws unenforceable, to make civil society ungovernable.

    Yes, that describes teh split in the LP rather well. I will be forever on the side of the former, which I view as a politically possible goal, rather than the latter, which I view as impossible to implement in the US in any real sense and therefore counterproductive to the LP’s mission statement.

  42. (from 56) There’s always been an absolute split between what the LP has said they are for to the rest of the world and what they actually have done and said inside the LP itself. The LP has long proclaimed itself to be socially tolerant and fiscally conservative, but from my first hand experience, the LP is actually extremely intolerant of internal dissent and of generally not going along with the program, and very fiscally irresponsible and acts just like the government it claims to be nothing like.

    It spends donor money like water on mechanisms, systems… the same stuff that was proven to NOT work 4 or 8 years ago, like 50 state ballot access no matter the cost of obtaining same, or considering if doing so was worth the cost or not. There’s never been any serious effort to figure out why 35 years of activism have amounted to nothing, or more seriously, why this is viewed by som within LP circles as successful in some unfathonable manner.

    Shane C. is making some inroads.

  43. The secret vote that the LNC had on the dues issue last year is a perfect example of this. Can you imagine what the LP would say about Congress having a secret vote thats not accountable to the people? Well, they did it. They have no room to talk about Congress for having unaccountable votes. When the shit got hot, they EJECTED every principle they had, yet all you talk about is if the LRC and reformers are unprincipled.

    The LNC might deserve your false indignation a lot more than the LRC does. The LRC has always been up front and center about anything it’s ever done. Can’t say that about the LP’s own GOVERNING body.

    They actually had a secret ballot like a cabal or syndicate becuase they were so scared of having a recorded vote on raising the dues that they decided to jettison your trust in them instead.
    To give them credit, I think nearly all of them regret their actions, but they did not remain principled themselves. How bout you folks confront them about being unprincipled?

  44. Nope, not in practice it hasnt. The LP has always rejected any other notion of what liberty is other than pure negative liberty, i.e. freedom from coercion and nothing else.

    Oh, I see – well, in that case we do disagree.

    Van Parijs uses the concept of real freedom as part of his influential argument for a universal basic income

    But I do agree that “freedom from only out of control government is only half the battle. The LP must complete the chain by going against out of control corporations that exploit the law for their own profit by buying and corrupting the rule of law itself.

    It is not only government that controls and restricts liberty – it is the nexus of government, corporatism, and the resulting power structure that’s unaccountable to the people that is the real danger to freedom. A LP that shills for the private sector simply becuase they are private is missing the point. Likewise, a LP that only attacks big government is the same.”

  45. I will be forever on the side of the former, which I view as a politically possible goal, rather than the latter, which I view as impossible to implement in the US in any real sense

    I see it as not only possible, but eventually inevitable. Furthermore, i believe it will happen in what we think of as our lifetime, not realizing that the technology is around the corner which caan make it possible to greatly extend our lifetime by many orders of magnitude.

    The LP has long proclaimed itself to be socially tolerant and fiscally conservative, but from my first hand experience, the LP is actually extremely intolerant of internal dissent and of generally not going along with the program, and very fiscally irresponsible and acts just like the government it claims to be nothing like.

    I’ll have to agree with you about the fiscal irresponsibility. As for social tolerance – of what? I’m willing to be tolerant of anyone who does not intend to initiate coercion against me.

  46. The LP as a whole is just fucking plain weird. It’s strange, like Alice in Wonderland type of strange. It has the basic concept right, which is that people should be more free. Outside of that basic premise, which by itself is something you can sell to the american people, it’s hopelessly confused and divided about the role it should play.

    Those that want to make it amount to something are shit on, and everything the LP has historically claimed it represents outside the LP is denied by it’s own internal conduct towards people that are different enough to want to try another direction, after observation in plain view that what the party has done DIDNT WORK.

    Stop complaining about the “reformers” and demand better out of the LNC. THEY RUN THE SHOW.

    Arrrghhh. *bangs tumerous head on desk*

  47. There’s never been any serious effort to figure out why 35 years of activism have amounted to nothing, or more seriously, why this is viewed by som within LP circles as successful in some unfathonable manner.

    I don’t agree that it’s amounted to nothing. What other third parties have been as succesful in those 35 years, or in the 35 years before that? I agree with you about the secret vote.

  48. Deficiencies on the LNC do not excuse or justify those of the “reformers”. Some, I’m sure, are of both groups; but even if no “reformers” are on the LNC, one’s lackings don’t make up for the other’s. I have my own recommendations for LP reform, detailed throughout

    Mainly it should focus more on outreach, and become more left-friendly, youth oriented and diverse. I believe this will be greatly aided by Kubby winning the nomination, if he does.

    It should communicate in more than just text and yak radio – this site and bureaucrash are leading the way – it should have field reps and stage demonstrations more, take to the streets.

    It should also make contingency preparations for becoming a revolutionary resistance party when the electoral option is taken away, which may well be soon, and to provide more social networking for civil disobedience and non-compliance with evil state edicts. So I’m not against all reform.

  49. I cant write anymore, my left hand is killing me. For god damn sakes, I’m not trying to make excuses or put the finger on others. EVERYONE has shortcomings. But this fixation on “reformers” as unprincipled is just unreal. Yet when you have
    a example of total breakdown of principles by the governing body of the LP itself, the debate is…rather ….restrained?

    Why dont you care as much about the LP itself as much as the philosophy that surrounds it, and why dont you fix the actual examples of unprincipled activity within the party before fixating on the LRC?

    I gotta go, cnt type ny more.

  50. Take it easy, you can always type later. I consider the philosophy to be more important than the party. I don’t want to see the LP hijacked by the neofascist “neocons” and warmongers, and it seems that making the platform less firm opens the way to that. However, I certainly agree that there’s been a lot of financial and other mismanagement.

    I don’t know of any way to fix it; perhaps tying pay to performance, based on objective criteria, like a commission? In my business it’s 100% commission based and I shudder to think what would happen if we had people on salary. Unfortunately, there are probably regime edicts against running the party as or even like a business.

    OTOH that pales in comparison with the greater evil of an LP which is busy promoting a public concept of “libertarianism” at variance with the philosophy. That actually would make the job of real libertarians harder; we have to start from scratch with a new term, much as we have had to mostly abandon “liberalism”.

  51. Hi Sean,
    I sent a note about our candidate in Anderson, South Carolina on the day that the news release about the CT hit. In case the mail got lost, I’ll post the info here.

    His name is Michael Carmany and you can find all his campaign info at including contact info should you need to ask about any financial info.

    Michael has an excellent chance of winning SC House District 8 as he is running against a first time Republican in a two way race. The ousted incumbent is even considering endorseing him against the newcomer.

    Anything that can be done to help spread the word is always appriciated.

    Best Regards,
    Eric Burke
    Anderson County Libertarian Party

  52. Eric,

    Recommend that you input the data needed to get Michael Carmany on the Candidate Tracker on the LP website. I will check out his campaign website.

  53. Thanks George,
    I’ll try and submit it via the website again and maybe I’ll have better luck this time.
    The method of submission on the website says to open a support ticket, which I did, but now there is no history of that ticket.
    Also, in case the webguy ever visits this page, using FireFox you can not see the right hand side of the About The Tracker page due to a forced frame witdh combined with no bottom scroll bar.

    In the event that you have better contacts in the Org than me, I’d appriciate your letting them know about Mike’s campaign, and I’ll try again thru conventional channels.


  54. OK, back a little later than expected, but here to get caught up on your questions.

    Eric, website hits is a quality vs quantity detail that might be useful to add in the future. I thought for a moment about points for websites, but then I realized having one is now really absolutely essential. Campaigns without websites don’t get much attention from me.

    NT, already answered the Frank Gonzalez question but I will add that it is not safe to assume that a Libertarian will do better running with another party. I can cite quite a number of examples of party switchers who did not improve at the polls or even did worse after running as a D or R, and can’t think of one counterexample off the top of my head. This has convinced me that it has less to do with party affiliation than quality of the campaign. Libertarians need to learn that it is our personal repsonsibility to make ourselves electable. One thing I love about CT is that it is eliminating excuse making.

  55. Brian, as you can see now we hid the Masters and Dempsey entries because they are running unopposed for reelection. We’ll have to find a different way to promote that! I just got carried away with Libertarians so good in office no one dare oppose them. The CT score is weighted by district size, so a local candidate certainly could climb to the top. Sara Chambers is a good example, running for her city council and gettign a 50 because she’s more electable. I can’t think of any office more important than city council. Unless of course you expect the federal govt to fix your potholes and pick up your trash.

    Seth, I am following the NH example pretty closely. I hope they all win and serve well. But that’s still a wider issue than the focus of the CT. I have zero problem being a relentlessly partisan Libertarian.

    David, if you don’t see a candidate up there, it’s almost certainly because they haven’t returned their surveys.

  56. Carl, the CT does indeed weight things very heavily based on number of opponents. A candidate in a two way race automatically does 50% better. Unless you meant that’s not enough.

    Eric, there are a few candidates whom I’m only catching up with now including SC. For that I apologize – paddling as fast as I can with a late start. Maybe by week’s end it will start feeling like routine instead of catch up. Michael should have something in his inbox from me now. Sorry for the delay, hope to make up for it with superior service from here on out.

    Glad to see Frank himself has made an appearance in this thread. Frank, good luck to you and do feel free to keep me posted on your progress. I see you got 28% running as a Libertarian in 2004. Hope you buck the trend and perform significantly better this time.

  57. Finally for tonight, I just have to say how much I love this job!! I am now spending all of my time with our candidates and they are a positive happening bunch. It sure as hell beats arguing with people and playing purity games and defending yourself from armchair activists on email lists and blogs. Don’t get me wrong, email and blogs rule, can’t imagine how people lived before them. But one very frequent reason I hear from people why they run as something other than a Libertarian is because we are the only party that constantly eats it own. I’m already seeing how CT and similar tech is changing the culture of the LP to being results oriented and taking personal responsibility for our own victory, and I cannot tell you just how gratifying it is to be a part of that. Seeing our candidates respond to it with more media, better websites, and other improved campaigning is the best part. Our candidates rock!! Thanks again for all the love for the Candidate Tracker.

  58. Sean Haugh: I really hope you take into consideration Technorati inlinks and such, that’s actually a useable metric.

  59. Please don’t forget Paul Trujillo, Chairman of the Valenica County (NM) Commission. He put his political career on the line by switching to the LP while in office, and is now in a three-way race to keep his seat. Come on, Sean, peddle faster!