Third Parties

And In Last Place…

|

I had predicted that, not counting write-ins, the Prohibition Party would land in last place. I was wrong: At the current count its nominee has 631 votes, with five people finishing behind him. The fellow who's losing to everyone else is Bradford Lyttle of the U.S. Pacifist Party, who presently has 97 votes. As the character in Doonesbury once said, "We must have swept my immediate circle of friends!"

Ralph Nader has outpolled Bob Barr, and it looks like Alan Keyes is beating Ron Paul as well. As for the smaller libertarian-themed candidacies: Charles Jay of the Boston Tea Party currently has 2,291 votes; Tom Stevens of the Objectivist Party has 674 votes; and George Phillies, who appeared on an alternate Libertarian Party line in New Hampshire, has attracted 433 votes. If you add up the totals for Barr, Paul, Jay, Stevens, and Phillies, you…still finish behind Nader.

NEXT: Republicans Become Campfire Girls. Can Libertarians Be Camp Counselors?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Ugh. And the third party woes continue.

  2. When will that bastard just stop running?! Back in 2000, I thought all third parties had perennial candidates, since Browne was doing his second try for the Libertarians, Howard Phillips was going again for the (then U.S. Taxpayers, now Constitution) party, and what’s his face was doing a second run as the head of the Natural Law Party, but they’ve all moved on with their lives, while ol’ Nader just keeps slumming along. Sickening. I miss the days when the LP would place a distant third, instead of a close fourth or fifth.

  3. Ralph Nader is approaching Lyndon LaRouche level of persistance.

  4. I wrote in James Monroe, so he got 1 vote

  5. If you add up the totals for Barr, Paul, Jay, Stevens, and Phillies, you…still finish behind Nader.

    We libertarians suck at electoral politics. Hey, the Lions are 0-8 so I’m kinda used to this kinda stuff.

  6. Reason sucks

    I’ll take the bait…

    So does your Mom.

  7. Just goes to show what a circus freak I am.

  8. I really expected Barr to do much better than that. I thought he would at least get over a million votes and 2% of the vote.

  9. Let me guess, the entire reason for writing this was to leave Chuck Baldwin (whose entire campaign was billed as a continuation of Ron Paul’s) conspicuously out of your list of libertarian-themed candidacies, just to annoy all us troglodytes who believe in such unlibertarian things as the Bible.

  10. Without me, Phillies would have had only 432 votes! And they say minor-party votes are “wasted”? 🙂

  11. 1972: unknown philosophy professor: 3,674 (0.0%) : 1 electoral vote

    1976: unknown elector for unknown philosophy professor: 172,553 (0.2%) : 0 electoral votes

    1980: unknown lawyer with wealthy running mate: 921,128 (1.1%) : 0 electoral votes

    1984: unknown party activist: 172,553 (0.2%) : 0 electoral votes

    1988: barely-known TX ex-congressman: 432,179 (0.5%) : 0 electoral votes

    1992: unknown AK state rep : 291,627 (0.3%) : 0 electoral votes

    1996: unknown writer and investment analyst : 485,798 (0.5%) : 0 electoral votes

    2000: same guy as 1996 : 384,516 (0.4%) : 0 electoral votes

    2004: unknwon software engineer : 397,265 (0.3%) : 0 electoral votes

    2008: moderately-known GA ex-congressman : 484,147 (0.4%) : 0 electoral votes

    so what have we learned?

    unknown philosophy professor + wealthy running mate for president in 2012!

  12. It’s everyone else. They aren’t worthy to live in our presence. Get over it. If it bugs the shit out of you, then drink and aquiesce.

  13. Let me guess, the entire reason for writing this was to leave Chuck Baldwin (whose entire campaign was billed as a continuation of Ron Paul’s) conspicuously out of your list of libertarian-themed candidacies, just to annoy all us troglodytes who believe in such unlibertarian things as the Bible.

    You’re not very good at guessing. I left Baldwin out of the list of libertarian-themed candidacies because he does not consider himself a libertarian and did not run a libertarian-themed campaign. He did take libertarian stances on several important issues, and he did have some libertarian supporters, but you can say the same things about Nader.

  14. Actually, although I agree with your points, Harry Browne wasn’t really unknown. OTOH, he didn’t have Stephen King’s name recognition, either. So mayber you’re right.

  15. Let me guess, the entire reason for writing this was to leave Chuck Baldwin … conspicuously out of your list of libertarian-themed candidacies, just to annoy all us troglodytes who believe in such unlibertarian things as the Bible.

    Have you read it? It isn’t exactly Free to Choose.

  16. so what have we learned?

    unknown philosophy professor + wealthy running mate for president in 2012!

    Which will net 0.6 percent more of the vote than nominating anyone else! Woo hoo!

  17. Which will net 0.6 percent more of the vote than nominating anyone else!

    … and, presumably, one electoral vote! eyes on the prize!

  18. It isn’t exactly Free to Choose.

    Depending on your view on certain issues, Yes it is.

    🙂

  19. Pure, or even semi-pure, libertarianism has clearly been a failure at the ballot box this year. Paul bombed, and so did Barr et al, although Barr did even worse (How do you finish behind Nader when there is a black liberal on the ticket-that is, who the hell voted for Nader? Racist enviromentalists?). And it wasn’t a lack of money that caused Paul to lose-he had plenty.

  20. How many votes did Cthulhu get, besides mine?

  21. We libertarians suck at electoral politics.

    What are you good at again?

  22. “who the hell voted for Nader? Racist enviromentalists?”

    This made me laugh.

  23. How many votes did Cthulhu get, besides mine?

    Depends on whether you count the votes for Cthulhu’s stalking horse, Joe Biden.

  24. re: bradford lyttle,

    i don’t think the grainy mug photo that says “as part of my rehabilitation into society, i’m announcing my residence to everyone in this neighborhood, can you sign here?” helped him much.

  25. When will the total numbers from California be available? I know they have 28 days from poll date to count mail in ballots recieved on election day, and I know write in votes aren’t counted that day. Since Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin were write in candidates in California, possibly their scores will have increased above those you mention.

    Does anyone know when those numbers will be available?

  26. and to someone who asked ‘who voted for Nader’, obviously he has his own following; however, I know a number of Ron Paul supporters who voted for him, who would otherwise have voted Libertarian, had it been a different candidate this year. Many wen’t to Baldwin, but there was a fair sized number who weren’t comfortable with the Constitution Party platform.

  27. When will the total numbers from California be available?

    Not sure, but if this article is any indication, it might be at least a month from now until we know anything about write-in totals…

  28. svf –

    Thanks, that is exactly what I was looking for. Oh, well. By the holidays, I guess.

  29. I wonder what Barr’s totals would have been if the party hadn’t fragmented during the convention, and if most of the libertarian pundits hadn’t been campaigning for Obama?

    p.s. I still haven’t found out yet, does anyone know how loud the cheering was last night at Reason Headquarters when Obama won?

  30. I wonder what Barr’s totals would have been if the party hadn’t fragmented during the convention, and if most of the libertarian pundits hadn’t been campaigning for Obama?

    oh, about the same I imagine.

    the big WHAT IF for me is what if Ron Paul stayed in the race as an Independent and/or dual LP/CP nominee… based on that 2% in MT without even wanting to be on the ballot, well that could have been mighty interesting.

    damn him.

  31. How could Lyttle have lost? I don’t know anyone that voted for Obama.

  32. Since Keyes was on the ballot in California and Paul was not, it’s not surprising that AK ended up with more votes. Paul’s percentage where he was on the ballot (MT and LA) was higher than that of any other third party candidate.

    Full results here:

    http://election.cbsnews.com/election2008/president.shtml

  33. It would be interesting to see how Ron Paul’s 1.2 million Republican primary voters voted in the general election.

    Obviously not many of them took him up on his endorsement of Baldwin, and the excitement and money Paul generated last year didn’t help Barr improve over Badnarik’s totals to any significant degree (given that Barr was far better known to begin with.)

  34. Did anyone except the terminally deluded think that ANY Libertarian presidential ticket would get more than .5% of the vote? I almost feel guilty collecting on the bets that I made. The only reason that Barr got as many votes as he did is from the reverse coattails effect of the few down ticket candidates with some credibility that were also running.

  35. The LP should either get out of the vote business – and instead focus on using their membership to stop bad legislation, repeal laws, etc…

    Or, get back to having a truly radical platform. Be aggressive and passionate in arguing for ending drug prohibition, ending centralized banking, legalizing prostitution, etc… something Barr seemed hesitant to do.

    If the LP is going to exist – and if it isn’t going to win a lot of votes anytime soon either because of major party dominance or the LP’s own incompetence – then at least have a radical platform and argue for marijuana & adult entertainment just as passionately as they do for guns & free markets.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.