Even a Ron Paul-endorsed Republican Senate candidate couldn't win the hearts of Libertarian Party voters in Montana. Danny Rehberg lost in a squeaker (not called til this morning) against incumbent Democrat Jon Tester, while Libertarian Dan Cox got 5 percent.

This was after Tester supporters ran ads specifically trying to get Republicans to shave off for the Libertarian by stressing Rehberg's support of a law that would give Department of Homeland Security increased power of federal surveillance of federal land.

Nothing in this is meant to endorse the presumption that the Republicans, even one Ron Paul likes, "deserve" libertarian votes, or even that a libertarian leaner would clearly have gone for that Republican absent a Libertarian choice. But what that result, and Gary Johnson's national record in raw votes for a Libertarian presidential candidate (though less than half the number of Republican primary voters for Ron Paul in 2012), show is that the Republican Party will continue losing the votes of America's growing libertarian contingent unless it begins to live up on both the national and state level consistently to the small-government, fiscal-conservative part of their message.