…that is, if you believe that almost all of the over 46 thousand voters in Missouri's Senate race who went for Libertarian Frank Gilmour, where incumbent Republican Jim Talent is losing to Democrat Claire McCaskill by 43 thousand or so votes, would have voted for Talent if they hadn't had the LP option. Then again, the GOP could also blame themselves, or Talent–quite frankly, I haven't been following the Missouri Senate race, so I don't know exactly what the informed opinion is on what it is about Talent that made him lose–though stem cell research seems to have been a big deal, in a potentially very complicated way. Conservatives were all het up that Talent made an about face
on it earlier this year, removing his name from sponsorship of a bill that would ban a certain kind of a stem-cell research. However, he was against
a Missouri state initiative that would have legalized certain types of it–an initiative Michael J. Fox was all for
. That may have meant all is forgiven for that all-important "banning stem cell research is my highest political value" crowd. It's a bit late at night for me to get completely up to speed on all the complications of the soon to be former Senator's various stances on stem-cell research and how they might have influenced his loss. Here's an AP story
from a couple of weeks ago on that matter. It is probably telling that the stem-cell initiative–which would legalize stem-cell research in Missouri consistent with federal law while banning human cloning–is winning by 45 thousand votes–equal to the Libertarians total, and more than the amount McCaskill is beating Talent by.
He did at least co-sponsor the Flag Desecration Amendment. Even that wasn't enough, alas. Here's Wikipedia's depressing list of what the senator from the Great State of Missouri stood for.
Whether it be general disquiet with the GOP or his own lameness I'm not quite sure, though I'd like to believe his loss has a little to do with this, from a Kansas City Star article: "Speaking to a gathering of more than 100 staffers and volunteers at a suburban St. Louis hotel, Talent highlighted two achievements of his four years in the Senate since winning a special election in 2002: Passage of a bill to fight methamphetamine and his support for a renewable fuel standard that requires more use of ethanol and biodiesel." Yes, I'd say the GOP would be being pretty goddamn nervy to blame Libertarians for this one, despite Gilmour's solid showing.
Shout out to commenter Joseph Majsterski for pointing my attention toward the LP's effect on this race.