On Monday, I noted six federal races in which the Libertarian Party candidate on Nov. 6 received considerably more votes than the margin of victory of a winning Democrat over a losing Republican. Now, Daily Kos elections diarist David Nir has taken those six, added three more, and pasted the numbers into a nifty little chart:
Before you go blaming those damned LP blue-faces for pissing in the Republican Party punchbowl, let's take a closer look at those numbers:
* In order to blame Andrew Horning for Richard Mourdock's U.S. Senate loss in Indiana, you have to assume that 97% of the Libertarian's votes would have gone to the Republican. I'm ready to declare that an impossibility. Similarly, 86% of Brendan Kelly's votes would have had to be directly transferable to Rep. Frank Guinta to change the outcome in New Hampshires 1st Congressional District, which seems like a stretch.
Fifty-seven percent of Johnson voters self identify as politically independent. When asked if they lean toward one of the major political parties, 53 percent lean toward the Republicans and 38 percent lean toward the Democrats. Only 10 percent say they are completely Independent. In sum, Johnson voters are most likely to be Independent-leaning Republicans.
Forty-one percent of Johnson voters self-identify as libertarian. Only 14 percent self-identify as conservative and 10 percent self-identify as liberal. Using the Reason-Rupe ideological typology, 65 percent of Johnson voters are libertarian, the remainder is liberal or conservative, and none are communitarian.
If we apportion the LP votes in the chart along the lines of that 53%-38%-10% split, then–as best as I can calculate–there are no spoilers in the chart above. Obviously, there are reasons to believe that the 53-38-10 formula is flawed, but (unlike the implied 100-0-0 number people sometimes use to divvy up third-party votes), at least it's based on real polling data.
UPDATE: Scratch Kerry Bentivolito off that Kos list of losing Republicans. As FoxNews.com explains, "On the same day Bentivolio won a two-year seat in the 113th Congress which starts next year, [Democrat David] Curson simultaneously won a special election to finish [outgoing Rep. Thad] McCotter's term during the lame duck session."