Campaigns/Elections

Third Parties in Congressional Races: More of Them Than Ever, and Being Used as a Tool by the Democrats

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Smart Politics, a site from the University of Minnesota, notes there are more third party congressional candidates on the ballot this year than in any year since 2010 1934. The Libertarian Party is leading the pack, with 153 candidates on the ballot; the Greens are next with 58, and the Constitution Party has 39.

For context:

In total, there are 443 such candidates on ballots across the nation, up 42.4 percent from 2008 and 56.5 percent from the last midterm election in 2006.

In 1994, only 260 independents and third party candidates ran for the U.S. House.

That means there is a 70.4 percent increase in the number of alternatives from which voters may choose the candidate that best represents their policy preferences (or expresses their anger and dissatisfaction with the political process) as compared to 1994.

And the Libertarian Party in a press release today noted what they see as a pattern of Democratic candidates publicizing their LP opponents–generally in a manner that looks on the surface as antagonistic but that is likely crafted to encourage some Republicans to cast their vote for the LP.

See, for example, this from Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic Senate candidate from Illinois highlighting Libertarian Mike Labno as the "conservative" in the race; a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) flier from a Colorado race slamming Libertarian Gregory Gilman as the "Tea Partier" in the race; and this from the DCCC in Maryland saying that a vote for Libertarian Richard Davis would "be a vote for the Tea Party." This Indiana TV station openly states that a Democratic attack mailer on Libertarian Greg Knott is "an obvious attempt to encourage conservatives to vote for Knott rather than Republican Todd Young."

The LP's executive director Wes Benedict suggests in that press release:

The Democrats are obviously hoping to turn Republican voters into Libertarians. Their trick might turn out to be our treat.

"If the Republicans are smart, they might try a similar tactic. For example, Republicans could inform liberal voters that Libertarians want to end foreign wars and close foreign military bases; end the War on Drugs; reform immigration policy to make legal immigration easier; and we want the government to show equal treatment to homosexuals.

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  1. On the flip side, there are now 120 candidates on Alaska’s write-in list.

    Politics is a hoot, ain’t it?!

  2. I’m voting for a dude with no party affiliation whatsoever for congress. Huzzah!

  3. I didn’t know desperation could taste so sweet.

    1. It is so bittersweet, because the crushing of the Dems requires the elevation of the Republicans. But it’s better this time, because at least there will be gridlock.

      1. Keep telling yourself that, shill.

        Make fun of hope and change all you want, but it beats the hell out of trumped up impeachment hearings and government shutdowns. Whence this gridlock romanticism?

        1. Shutting down the Federal government sounds pretty dreamy to me.

          1. I bet it does. When the bong you ordered online fails to arrive because of no postal system or all the highways have crumbled or there is no air traffic control system, you’ll probably still bitch about it and blame the government.

            1. None of those things are going to happen, Tony. Alarmist much?

              Oh, wait, I get it… you’re saying the highways WILL crumble because – hold on, here it comes – government isn’t big enough. Yep, that about sums up your M.O., dude.

            2. Even I realize how big of an idiot you are.

            3. When the bong you ordered online fails to arrive because of no postal system

              If i smoked i would get my Bongs through fedex…or use an apple.

              1. don’t smoke from an apple. trust me.

            4. I ship items all the time using services other than the post office.

              If I was shipping a bong, the last organization I’d use would be one that is nominally part of the Federal Government.

            5. Hey, get rid of the Post Office’s monopoly on first class mail and they can fucking shut down all they want.

              It takes a while for highways to crumble. In the case of the government highways here, several decades of neglect.

              Oh, and there couldn’t possibly be an air traffic control system not run by the government — you know, the government that is running a system based on computer technology that’s about 30 years obsolete.

              1. Yep, the air traffic control system couldn’t be done by a private company… the way it is in that bastion of socialist democracy, Canada.

            6. When the bong you ordered online fails to arrive because of no postal system

              The government won’t allow me to order the bong.

            7. When the bong you ordered online fails to arrive because of no postal system or all the highways have crumbled or there is no air traffic control system, you’ll probably still bitch about it and blame the government.

              That’s some of the funniest shit I’ve seen you post here in a while. In fact, it’s far too funny to be the real Tony. Shame on all the humorless chumps that fell for it.

            8. I think the states, counties, and towns are more than capable of paving their own roads. More than capable if the federal government didn’t already take the money for those activities away from the citizens of those localities. Look around you. A liberal somehow thinks it all came from the federal government. But start looking at each individual structure you see – a few of them were funded by “federal” (our) money, but most were not. But, nearly all were built by private businesses and not magical federal bureaucracy dust.

            9. Chony’s impotent wrath makes me very, very happy. He knows what a drubbing his gang is in for, and it’s just delicious.

            10. When the bong you ordered online fails to arrive because of no postal system

              That some mighty sweet trolling. Somebody might even fall for it, but I see the tongue pressed in cheek there, you are not getting me on that one.

              1. Funny how Tony – a committed liberal – now sounds like a Freeper spouting drug-war rhetoric…

            11. Tony actually thinks that the post office is the only way to deliver a package, doesn’t he?

              I mean, I can understand him believing that air traffic control would be impossible without the Feds – that just requires him to be wrong about a hypothetical future. And I can understand him believing that highways are impossible without the Feds – that just requires him to be ignorant about the historical past.

              But disbelief in private package delivery?!? Even children know what those big brown trucks are. I know that sometimes confirmation bias tries to force you to ignore plain facts, but there’s got to be a limit, man!

        2. I didn’t give you permission to address me, sockpuppet.

          1. Easily avoided. Don’t say stupid things.

            1. I’m also okay with dead peoples’ names remaining on the voter rolls. Why disenfranchise the non-living?

            2. Calm down, dude.

            3. Or just bring up how great the Dems are on Prop 19 and gay rights.

              The courts overturned DADT. All Obama had to do was nothing. NOTHING. But they sued to bring it back. I guess they figured at least the gay men were used to being fucked in the ass, and wouldn’t mind.

              1. The odd thing is Tony is gay.

                He never discusses Obama’s or the Dems terrible record on gay rights.

                Is he putting on a face so as to not show his disappointment to us evil libertarians…or does he simply not give a shit?

                Big Irony Bonus Note: It was the Log Cabin Republicans who sued to repeal don’t ask don’t tell and won in court to have it overturned.

                1. Like feminism, I strongly suspect gay rights takes a back seat to general liberalism.

                2. joshua what exactly do you expect me to do? I believe that there are in general two choices in our political system. Am I supposed to vote for Republicans to further gay rights? Democrats are the pragmatic choice for furthering gay rights, even if they’ve not been able to accomplish everything, and I don’t see what the alternative is.

                  1. The alternative is not to support politicians that will fuck you in the ass. God, how stupid does one have to be to think the only alternative to supporting Democrats is to support Republicans?

                    1. Kindly tell me what the other viable alternative is. How many 3rd parties are represented in Congress?

                  2. Democrats are the pragmatic choice for furthering gay rights, even if they’ve not been able to accomplish everything took active steps to limit gays from serving in the military, and I don’t see what the alternative is why I should object to their behavior.

                    FTFY.

                  3. Could Obama’s fight to not end DADT be similar to the Democrats not supporting the first Latino appointee to the Supreme Court? Stand in the way so they can take credit later, and just hope nobody notices?

                    1. “How many 3rd parties are represented in Congress?”

                      There would be, if more people saw through the scams perp’d by Team Red/Team Blue.

                3. “Big Irony Bonus Note: It was the Log Cabin Republicans who sued to repeal don’t ask don’t tell and won in court to have it overturned.”

                  Yes, a group that pretty much gets no respect from liberals, on account of their “false consciousness” and all…

              2. So appalling. How he retains any support at all is a mystery.

        3. Impeachment? Who the hell wants President Biden? Besides, I think the Republicans are going to love President Obama as he flails about, powerless.

          1. Besides, I think the Republicans are going to love President Obama as he flails about, powerless.

            I really like this discussion.

            I think Obama will be very different then Clinton in this regard. Clinton could worm his way out of anything. Obama on the other hand seems far more rigid and when the wind starts blowing the other way i predict the man will break.

            Anyway have any thoughts?

            As i said i really like this discussion about how Obama will react to a hostile congress.

            1. “have any thoughts?”

              I agree – he will issue shrill attacks that will reek of desperation. It will be humorous.

          2. They’re not going to love actually being accountable for their actions. In a way I’d prefer Republicans be restored to the majority now, so that by 2012 the people will be reminded of/newly introduced to their batshit nonsense.

            1. Yes Tony, the Republicans’ batshit nonsense probably will take everyone’s minds off the Democrats’ batshit nonsense.

        4. And Tony comes along to remind us of how beautiful and near-perfect his party is, with a generous ladle full of elitist gravy on top of the government-issue mashed potatoes.

        5. impeachment hearings

          libertarians should like it when the President lies under oath?

          I was not around here when Clinton was getting impeached…of course hit and run did not exist then.

          Anyone know what Reason Mag was saying about the whole thing back then?

          1. Note: I voted for Clinton the first time and the second time i voted for Dole because people in Clinton’s white house were keeping FBI records on Republicans. It seems very Nixon like so I voted for Dole to vote against Clinton.

            The Lewinsky thing i mostly ignored. though i did not like the fact that Clinton lied under oath.

          2. The question shouldn’t have been asked. The whole affair was a farce, and it’s pretty much universally recognized as such these days except for a few bitter GOP diehards.

            1. But all my liberal friends love Clinton! Who else could there possibly be besides a few right-wing nuts?

            2. If someone is being sued for sexual harassment, the question probably should be asked. I know how crazy right-wing that must sound to some people….

            3. The question shouldn’t have been asked. The whole affair was a farce, and it’s pretty much universally recognized as such these days except for a few bitter GOP diehards.

              Why should the question not have been asked?

              1. Because, for some reason, the private lives of Team Blue politicians are off-limits to such inquiries.

                Didn’t you get the memo?

            4. The question shouldn’t have been asked.

              The extra double helping of delicious irony* is that Clinton signed the legislation that allowed it to be asked.

              *or is it Schadenfreude?

          3. @Joshua Corning –
            Anyone know what Reason Mag was saying about the whole thing back then?

            You can read for yourself. Just click on Print Archives up near the top left of this page. All the issues for that year are online to read gratis.

        6. it beats the hell out of trumped up impeachment hearings and government shutdowns.

          Oh to return to the days of the government shutdown….

        7. the more government shutdowns the better. Here in california it’s looking more and more like we have a real chance of that!

  4. Smart Politics, a site from the University of Minnesota, notes there are more third party congressional candidates on the ballot this year than in any year since 2010.

    You might want to try that sentence again Brian.

    1. Damn it, Hugh, we were in the future for just a few minutes there. The future.

      And now it’s gone…

      1. Don’t get too excited. He could have been referring to 2010 BC. After all, the Hittites were well-known for their love of multi-party elections.

      2. There is no future, Almanian, not if the Republicans retake the House.

        ::single tear::

  5. Let’s make some predictions. I don’t have the slightest idea about who is identifying as a libertarian party candidate, but out of the 153 running, how many will win?

    I say 5, tops, sadly enough.

    1. you think 5 L will be elected to congress? You must be drinking early…and I say this as an LP disciple.

      1. Yeah, I”m probably a little on the drunkenly optimistic side.

        And I will be literally drunk in about 6 hours.

    2. The correct answer is zero. The LP/TP candidates may act as spoilers on a couple of races, but every race will go to the ruling party.

      1. Tancredo may be an exception for ACP. But that is gubernatorial not congressional.

        1. I doubt that. I don’t know how people feel about Ritter’s reign, but I know that Hickenlooper is very popular in Denver and Boulder.

          Even conservatives are a little creeped out by Tancredo’s constant beating of the immigration drum. At best he’ll be a spoiler giving Hick an easier ride.

          1. Agreed, and I did predict The Hick will win BUT for a non D/R I think the Tank has the best possible chance.

  6. I find it hi-larious that there is an anti Prop 23 banner ad showing up for me on this page.

  7. Threadjack attempt:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/nat…..nce/65390/

    I’m seriously considering no longer flying. This has gotten ridiculous. In response to more people requesting a patdown, the TSA creates new, more intrusive patdown procedure to encourage people to go through the scanners.

    I’m speechless.

    1. You know what, that’s it. I’m done with air travel until the TSA adopts sane security procedures that don’t involve groping or blasting me with radiation. The cross-country drives are going to suck but at least I have my goddamn dignity.

      1. You’re more likely to lose your dignity in a messy car crash than an airport scanner, but whatever.

    2. “That’s funny, The Resistance is the name I gave my testicles.” BEST LINE EVER! I am crying over here…seriously i am making a scene, that shit is funny.

    3. That’s pretty infuriating, partly because of how callously the scumbag TSA agents treat fucking over their fellow man. I mean, I know they’re scum, but do they have to be so honest about it?

      Luckily for me I don’t get worked up over either having my dick measured or being patted down, so I will have my choice of humiliation when I next fly out of Sea-Tac.

      1. I’m never wearing underwear through a scanner again. Better yet, I’m going to write “STOP STARING” across my genitalia for my next flight. Also, I’m not showering for two weeks before hand.

        1. Unless you write it in metallic ink, it’s not going to show up on a the terahertz scans they use.

          1. fuck it. I’ll figure something out to make it a more pleasurable experience for all involved.

      2. Ya’ know, they should rename Sea-Tac to Tea-Sac in honor of the tea party.

    4. When you choose the pat down, don’t forget to act like you’re enjoying it entirely too much.

      1. It would be pretty cool to go through the pat-down with a raging hard-on.

        1. Whenever I board an airplane I make it a point to fart as I go through the first class section.

        2. with plaid shorts.

          1. Sweatpants, bro. Not nearly as cool visually, but more obvious.

            1. It’s an optical illusion in the fabric.

            2. It’s an optical illusion in the fabric.

            3. It’s an optical illusion in the fabric.

        3. That’s the spirit

          http://xkcd.com/779/

      2. I did that while being way out classed sportive and drunken wrestling match to a guy who was our college’s champ. I did a ass to crouch roll out when I couldn’t shake his pin. He jumped out of the ring and yelled, ‘That’s it. You win. You obviously like it a little too much.’

        Not really. I just don’t like losing even when I deserve it.

        1. I rarely do this but, LfuckingOL

  8. The LP here in Maryland seems to have more traction right now than at any time in the past 15 years.

  9. The perfect storm, so-to-speak:

    In the same race, Dems tell Reps that the Lib is the most conservative, and the Reps tell the Dems that the Lib is the most liberal. Followed by most of the respective party’s voters believing the propaganda. And the Libertarian wins. (It’ll never happen–but fun to think about, anyway.)

    1. It could happen. Jesse Ventura really was a governor of an actual state.

      1. “Bunch of slack-jawed faggots”
        “This stuff will turn you into a sexual Tyrannosaurus.. Just like me”
        “I ain’t got time to bleed”

        Epic.

        1. I can’t wait for Carl Weathers to take his rightful place in the Predator pantheon of governors.

          1. What about Sonny Landham, you anti-Indian bigot?

            1. Or Bill Duke, you racist?

            2. Sonny has run a couple times in Kentucky. You can read about it on this sad website.

              1. That is pretty sad.

          2. Dillain! That sonofabitch!

          3. Dillain! That sonofabitch!

          4. Carl’s busy drinkin right now…here we go!

      2. C’mon, Minnesota’s not a real state. You’re making that shit up.

      3. Minnesota specializes in electing joke candidates just for the hell of it. Ventura, Al Franken, Walter Mondale, etc.

  10. We’re all libertarians now. So 153…

  11. You marxist, Obama-loving Marxists. You just love ensuring a Democrat victory don’t you. Look, if you want things to change, just keep voting for our party. We promise we’ll get better. After all, the best way to affect change is by selling out, right? I mean, two parties is enough and stop splitting the ticket!!

  12. The Democrats are obviously hoping to turn Republican voters into Libertarians. Their trick might turn out to be our treat.

    “If the Republicans are smart, they might try a similar tactic. For example, Republicans could inform liberal voters that Libertarians want to end foreign wars and close foreign military bases; end the War on Drugs; reform immigration policy to make legal immigration easier; and we want the government to show equal treatment to homosexuals.

    +5

    1. Ok you idiots are not thinking at all.

      What do we need the republicans and democrats for?

      Why don’t we the libertarians send negative ads about the Libertarians telling the left how they are the real conservative and negative ads telling the right how they are the real liberals….and accidentally send the ads to the wrong groups.

      1. Brilliant, let’s take initiative here. We can’t wait for both major parties to self destruct and the public to wake up on their own. These events never seem to happen at the same time.

      2. You want libertarians to run negative ads against libertarian candidates? Shouldn’t we at least infiltrate and subvert credible left and right wing groups to do that?

        1. Infiltrate and subvert could backfire – start our own “progressive” and “conservative” groups to do it.

          1. I’ve got THE perfect name! *squeels*
            MOVEON.ORG
            oh wait.

    2. Funny, I was thinking that statement was the height of idiocy.

      The reason the Dems do this is because they can–they harbor no asinine ‘liberaltarian’ pretentions. They hate libertarians and republicans with similar fervor–knowing that both are paths towards the ‘right’. Every social issue that libertarians care about, that liberals pretend to favor, are about maximising personal freedom and liberty–two things utterly incompatible with the liberals endgame.

  13. Our are memories so short that we don’t remember the GOP supporting Nader’s run? Or is the story that this happening in congressional races? This is what our two parties do, they are organized to win elections, they don’t care about principles (unlike most other nations they don’t even have any real ideology) or fair play or such.

      1. John, was that you?

    1. Why is all the more reason to have a severely limited government. I’m not sure which is worse, Pork Barrel Swindlers or True Believers. Neither of them should be given much power.

    2. Our are memories so short that we don’t remember the GOP supporting Nader’s run?

      That is a good point.

      Gratz MNG you are officially the best lefty of the Hit and run comment section.

      If i voted in 2000 i would have voted for Nader….yeah i know. I blame the Y2k bug.

      Also didn’t Nader give support to some Libertarian candidate like a day ago?

      I remember her picture being cute.

      1. Earlier today, I think. Yes, she was cute – Secretary of State of CA, IIRC.

      2. Oh wait, Nader may have given his support a day ago, but the story was today. Nevermind.

  14. I see that the administration has now ‘revealed’ another ‘terrorism threat’. Just before the election, naturally.

    Haven’t we heard this song before?

    1. I noticed that, but don’t see how it can possibly help them. Despite adopting basically the same despotic policies, Obama isn’t seen as the “tough on terror” guy that Bush was.

      1. He closed Guantanamo, man.

  15. Let’s make some predictions. I don’t have the slightest idea about who is identifying as a libertarian party candidate, but out of the 153 running, how many will win?

    I say 5, tops, sadly enough.

    Zero will win, guaranteed. The question is whether any will even get into the low double digits. Again, I’ll go with zero.

  16. Charlie Crist was supporting Libertarian Alex Snitker’s bid to be in the public debates. I’m sure that had more to do with fairness than a desire to see Snitker potentially take away votes from Marco Rubio.

    1. Sorry – background: Crist is a RINO running as an independent. Rubio is a Tea Party-like Republican. Snitker is a Tea Party-like Libertarian. Kendrick Meek is the official Democrat in the race.

      1. Yeah, Crist is a desperate man who would gut a puppy on live TV if a focus group told him that was the path to victory.

        1. Crist is a worm. A disturbingly tanned worm. He looks like he survived a nuclear blast.

          1. He doesn’t get that tan just from Florida. He visits hell on a regular basis.

            1. ah! that explains john boner, er, boehner too!

    2. And because I don’t have enough posts yet on this thread, here’s the story from Snitker’s website.

  17. Washington is getting some interesting shenanigans based on its top-two primary system. Apparently, liberals are posing as Republicans and using that strategy to siphon off votes from an incumbent Democrat (yes, confusing) leaving a preferred liberal challenger in the running after the primary.

  18. Haven’t we heard this song before?

    “The Afternoon Chicago Jews Didn’t Die?” That’s not going to fire up the base.

    A sly reminder of who all these wars are really for, man, might keep a couple Dems from losing, but I don’t think Obama’s a schemes-of-mind-blowing-subtlety sort of guy.

    Some assholes’ asshole plan failed, and Obama likes to be on TV, because he’s an asshole. That’s about it.

  19. I don’t post at nigh, but I was listening to the Minnesota Senate race debate.

    Two things: Mark Dayton (D), says that his elderly father wants to stay in his home and for some reason, that has something to do with the federal government taking part. Dayton’s father is a multi-millionaire. WTF?

    Second, Dayton chided Emmer (R) because Emmer wants to reduce the amount of money the federal government pays to the states. Dayton said that for every dollay cut, the states would have to increase taxes 66 cents. Emmer responded that most Minnesotans would be glad to save that 33 cents.

    1. To be clear, the primary reason I don’t post at night is that my spelling goes to shit.

      1. I don’t post at night ’cause I’m no longer at work. you think I’m gonna waste my personal time posting with you rubes?

    2. Dayton is running for govenor.

  20. wasn’t the whole dem’s desperately deploying dirty tricks an NPR story, um, yesterday?

  21. Shitstains will be dissapointed when you wake up Wednesday morning and find out the next Speaker of the House is Nancy Pelosi.

    1. Shitstains will be dissapointed when you wake up Wednesday morning and find out the next Speaker of the House is Nancy Pelosi.

      As late as last month, we were expecting the Democratic House majority to continue, albeit slimmed down.

      But it looks like it will be 1894 all over again. Note that I write 1894, not 1994. Read about the 1894 House elections , as well as the election four years earlier .

      1. As late as last month, we were expecting the Democratic House majority to continue, albeit slimmed down.

        Huh?

        If you did not know the republicans would take the house before mid August you were not paying attention.

      2. Ooooh will McKinley take the white house in 12′?

        I think he might be my favorite president ever.

        But i only formed that opinion from reading his Wikipedia article.

        1. Check out Grover Cleveland.

    2. Penguin latest food – available
      in abundance soon

      Penguins could be the Sunday roast of choice if a plan to use the world penguin surplus goes ahead, Goliath Food Chiefs announced yesterday. Penguins, long considered to be inedible by even the most hardiest of sailors, have recently been discovered to taste a lot like veal, if cooked for long enough. …

    3. Max, you might like this recipe:

      Ingredients

      * 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
      * 2 cups sugar, divided
      * 1/2 cup water
      * 8 tablespoons butter
      * 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
      * 1 1/2 cups milk
      * Ground cinnamon, optional

      Directions

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

      Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

      Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.

      Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

      Once cooled, wrap cobbler in barbed wire and shove it up your ass.

      1. fuck.. I knew there had to be a point to it. now i’m hungry and grossed out at the same time.

      2. fuck.. I knew there had to be a point to it. now i’m hungry and grossed out at the same time.

        1. Fuck you, Firefox.

      3. Damn it, I’m gonna get a hernia, I laughed so hard. 🙂

    4. Fucking bloodsucker. I like you, I really like you. You’re a fucking leech.

    5. Well since Max put up his election prediction here’s mine:

      House: GOP +58
      Senate: GOP +9

  22. I wake up every day disappointed that you’re still alive.

    1. Max is the village idiot in a village of idiots.

      1. It takes a village to raise an idiot…or something like that.

  23. I wake up every day disappointed that you’re still alive.

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