Don't Blame Sarvis for the Cuccinelli Loss/McAuliffe Win in Virginia


I've got a new column up at Time.com. Here's the opening:

Even before yesterday's election, Republicans were ready to blame Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli's looming defeat to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis. "A Vote for Sarvis is a Vote for McAuliffe" argued one Cuccinelli supporter.

With the final count in, expect Republican anger at the Libertarian "spoiler" to grow exponentially. McAuliffe, who had enjoyed a double-digit lead at various points in during campaign, won with just 48 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli's 46 percent. The Libertarian Sarvis ended up pulling almost 7 percent, far more than enough to tip the election the other way.

But to blame a major-party loss on third-party candidates is fundamentally mistaken. First off, it ignores data that the Libertarian pulled more votes from the Democratic candidate than he did from the Republican one—an exit poll of Sarvis voters showed that they would have voted for McAuliffe by a two-to-one margin over Cucinelli. Second, and far more important, it presumes that all potential votes somehow really "belong" to either Democrats or Republicans. That's simply wrong and it does a real disservice to American politics.

Read the whole thing.

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  1. It would have been pretty freaking funny indeed if the LINO democrats had ended up unintentionally throwing the election to Coochie, which they damn near almost did.

    1. You think it's funny?! Like a clown?!

      1. Well, since it didn't actually happen it's not particularly funny.

        But had it happened, it would have been fucking hilarious. It would have caused the most epic butthurt in the history of Reason and the Hit-n-Run blog, and I'm not just talking amongst the man-on-man types.

        1. So this election amuses you? It's there to make you laugh?

  2. TEAM idiots are going to blame Sarvis voters because of TEAM. They can't think outside the TEAM box, so...there you have it. Realize that they cannot understand someone not being on one of the TEAMs. TEAM RED partisans still think of libertarians as wayward, but still TEAM RED. That's why they get angry about stuff like this. TEAM BLUE did the same thing to the Greens in 2000. They don't think of you as distinct individuals. You are all a member of one TEAM or another, even if you think you're not. And if they win elections and your waywardness doesn't hurt them, they let it go. But if they think you fucked one up for them? Oh, they get angry. Because you're not an individual, you are on their TEAM whether you say so or not and you owe them your vote. For TEAM.

    Collectivists are scum.

  3. They'll eventually get over it and realize libertarians are not going away and that we will punish the GOP for running anti-liberty candidates, or in this case, candidates that can't keep their stupid mouth shut about throwing people in jail for consensual sex.

    1. throwing people in jail for consensual sex.

      Yeah really, what is with the GOP's inability to not talk about this?

      1. A lot of heavily closeted desires and emotions. You can generally assume that people who cannot stop talking about something they say they dislike probably like thinking about it or obsessing over it. Now why would that be?

        1. So... does that mean that sarcasmic actually does like fat chicks?

  4. McAuliffe voters defected to Sarvis compared to from Cuccinelli by an almost 2-1 margin. Imagine if all the Cucccinelli voters had voted for Sarvis instead! But nooooo the Cooch had to go on his Quixotic run for glory even though he said more idiotic things about abortion and sodomy than Todd Akin.

  5. Republicans will never change their tune if libertarians vote for them just because they're not members of TEAM BLUE. A few nasty losses due to Libertarian spoilers is practically necessary to get TEAM RED to pay attention.

    1. THIS. Exactly, this. Fortunately, libertarians understand this.

    2. ^This!^ TEAM RED has spent way to long listening to parts of the party that can NEVER get them elected.

    3. But there wasn't any libertarian spoilers, since most of Sarvis' voters would have voted for TM had he never ran.

      If the election was held at the end of November and the ACA continued to marinate, then Sarvis might have helped KC big time.

  6. Really, Nick, you should write a book about third party politics. Maybe Matt could coauthor it with you.

  7. I don't understand. Why not blame Cuccinelli's loss on Sarvis? Isn't that kind of the point we libertarians are trying to make? Hey, Republicans! Get more libertarian, or never hold another major office again. Ever.

    1. Yeah, that together with the outright destruction that totally unhinged team blue will accomplish, might actually start turning voters to realize that the wack-o birds are deserving of prime tmie. Well, you know, if Rand Paul stops plagiarizing and all.

      1. prime time, damnit.

      2. Rand's just throwing a bone to Joe B...

    2. As you can see from John's reaction to this, they do not think like you. You think "you need to get me to vote for you, or fuck off". They think "I need to convince you to vote for TEAM RED by explaining to you how terrible the TEAM BLUE candidate is". They don't understand that you are voting using principles, and if the TEAM RED candidate violates them, you aren't voting for them, no matter how terrible the TEAM BLUE candidate is.

      You're dealing with utilitarians here. Their philosophy is completely alien to anyone with principles and morals, and is actually utterly repulsive. But they don't understand that, because as utilitarians, only the results matter. That's why John is so upset and confused, along with so many on TEAM RED. That's why they keep shoving the exact same utilitarian arguments at you again and again and seem to be mystified as to why it doesn't work.

      1. But they don't understand that, because as utilitarians, only the results matter.

        The irony of that outlook is they only accomplish making things slowly worse by actively encouraging the lesser-of-two-evils party to put up any shitty candidate so long as he has the right letter next to his name on the ballot. Utilitarians only care about results today, not consequences tomorrow.

      2. John and Tulpa can gripe away Romney's 2012 loss until they're blue in the face. That's fine with me.

        John seems to be expecting 1994 II, the Revenge of 1994.

        I say, "Good luck with that".

        I agree with the other poster that said essentially, "If the most libertarian we can get is Ted Cruz, I don't want any of it".

        1. Amash. Massie. Even Paul.

          Don't want any of that?

      3. Is it really playing "team game" or "choosing the lesser of two evil" if voters are realistic, want to win with a serviceable candidate, or just keep a genuinely terrible candidate out of power?

        Where's the limit to the purity test? If Rand Paul ran for president, will Libertarians vote for a LP candidate who's more libertarian? Or maybe there's ANOTHER third party candidate who's even more libertarian. Maybe legalizing prostitution is your thing, and that guy's the only candidate who wants to legalize it.

        Ron Paul was a terrible candidate. There's no way he could have built any sort of meaningful coalition to reduce government as president. But I figure most conservatives would have voted for him rather than Obama. Yes, playing the sort of "team game" is what ANY candidate needs to actually win.

        I don't the GOP will pander for libertarian votes anyways, since 99% of the time, their vote can't make up the difference. Sarvis made his mark despite getting no coverage, but Christie cleaned up those enticing minority votes. The GOP is salivating all over that. And non white folks..... they ain't libertarian.

        1. Rand Paul is already being attacked here. He is not a kooky fringe candidate that can be encircled and marginalized by the psuedoleftists who keep libertarians sniffing after the affirmation of statists rather than taking over the GOP yet.

          Rand Paul needs to be pulled over to where his father was--to be a quirky perpetually running scold. This will keep those who would fight for liberty divided.

  8. The bigger picture here is the complete lack of support Cooch got from the GOP in general. They spent more money on Christie, who at no point was even in danger of losing. Had the GOP decided to exert even a nominal effort the Sarvis issue would've been even more irrelevant.

    The reality is that RINOS, Corporatists and Big Government Dems all play for the same team, and that's the "WE KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU" team. Libertarians and Tea Partiers are a giant threat to their power stranglehold on the nation. Christie came out today saying he's going to campaign for Lindsey Graham, and that Ted Cruz is a threat to our nation. This whole picture could not be more obvious.

    Libertarians and the tea party need to stick together in standing up for candidates who stick to their principles like Paul and Cruz. Playing the RED vs BLUE stuff is a waste of time.

    I don't blame Sarvis for anything other than claiming he's a Libertarian.

    1. Christie is a big fat statist asshole.

      He can't save Graham.

      He will never get the GOP nomination no matter how hard the establishment pushes for it or how much money they spend. And they are already pushing for it. Think things were nasty in the way they treated Ron Paul in 2012? Wait until 2016 and witness the vileness of the party establishments push to get Christie the nomination and how low they will go in attacking Cruz, Paul or anyone else that is not Christie. The difference is, that they will fail this time.

      They will blame that failure on the libertarians also. Good, fuck them all, straight to hell.

      1. I think you underestimate the desire CC has for this job. 2016 is still three years away. A lot can happen between then and now. And Christie is going to continue to claim that he can win because he got huge numbers with blacks and Latinos (21% and 51% respectively), not to mention how many democrats voted for him.

        I agree that New Jersey is not the rest of the country, but the GOP Corporatists and RINOs want to see "their kind of guy" -a spineless compromising weasel who can talk out of both sides of his mouth at all times- because "Politics is about compromise" dontchyaknow.

        They are really going to nominate another GOP governor from a deep blue northeastern state, and the Clinton machine is going to squash them like a bug.

        1. Christie will never get the GOP nomination. He is beyond damaged goods.

    2. How is a Big Government Dem not a Corporatist? You need to coin some new terminology.

      1. They are all the same, that's my point. You are right, Big Gov Dems are also corporatists too.

  9. In other news, Seattle is in the "Wash" phase of their "wash-rinse-repeat" cycle of Mayoral politics, which go a little something like this.

    ah-1, ah-2, ah-1-2-3-4...

    Seattle Mayoral candidates enter a 100-yard Progressive Douchebag contest to see who crosses the finish line the biggest progressive douchebag. Most progressive douchebag wins election. Seattleites discover that being a progressive douchebag doesn't keep streets paved, snow plowed, traffic flowing, street crime under control or aggressive pan-handling in check.

    Seattle throws progressive douchebag out, electing a new progressive douchebag with the exact same "vision" for the city that the last mayor had.

    McGinn and Murray agree on a whole bunch of stuff.

    Both said on Tuesday night they would veto an anti-panhandling ordinance if the City Council passes one. Both support Proposition 1, which would raise property taxes to finance City Council campaigns. Both support statewide Initiative 522, which would require labeling of genetically modified foods.

    Both want marijuana use legal in private, but off the streets. Both would enforce the law against public use, but neither would make it a high priority. Murray is against Tim Eyman's I-517, which would give more time and unlimited access to those promoting initiatives. McGinn hasn't studied the measure, but says he is inclined to oppose anything Eyman is promoting.


    1. Reason #1456 to not vote.

      Jack Johnson: It's time for someone who has the courage to stand up and say, [slams his fist on the podium] I'm against those things that everybody hates!

      John Jackson: Now, I respect my opponent. I think he's a good man. But quite frankly...[slams his fist on the podium] I agree with everything he just said!

  10. This is my comment from the other thread:

    "Ask yourself why Christie won by over 22 points in NJ but Romney lost the state? It's because a lot of these liberals want Republicanism for their state, liberalism for the rest of the country. Same reason the New Yorkers voted for Stop-and-Frisk Bloomberg. These liberals want certain Republican policies for themselves, low taxes and various means to keep their communities White. They might have voted for Cuccinelli the way they voted, in 2009, for the Mcdonnel by 17 points. However, the abortion issue was emphasized and that is very important to these liberals for reasons you can probably guess."

    1. Shut up, moron.

    2. New Jersey rewarded Christie because he got on his knees, sucked Obama's cock, and got billions upon billions of baksheesh funneled into the state.

      Christie may be a fat disgusting slob, but he's no dummy, far from it. Get enough graft flowing, and the sheeple will forgive and forget about damn near almost anything else.

      But yeah, once he runs for president, most of the people he thinks love him now will dump him like a hot potato, because he's no longer useful to them at that point.

      1. Christie has one path to the whitehouse if he gets the GOP nomination. He has to win more blue states than his Democrat opponent. That is entirely possible. His problem is, he'll never get the nomination. Most team red voters, and all libertarians hate his fat guts. Nuff said. I guess he can run as an independent after he has a fat temper tantrum when he loses out in the GOP primaries.

    3. You are assuming that there is a difference between The GOP and the Democrat Donkeys.

  11. Cuccinelli should have endured a primary. Primaries allow you to "practice" before going into the big game. The lack of a primary also made some people mad; whether it made enough people mad enough to stay home, thus losing Cuccinelli the general election, I don't know. I do know that Romney's shenanigans during the 2012 primaries caused me to hate him with the heat of a thousand suns. I wrote in Ron Paul's name, just to make myself feel good. If I had been forced to vote between Obama and Romney, though, I would have written in Ron Paul's name.

    Mac outspent Cuccinelli by around $10 million. That should be taken into consideration, as well.

    1. Mac outspent Cuccinelli by around $10 million. That should be taken into consideration, as well.

      Maybe. A lot of hay has been made, even 'round these here parts about the effect of money in politics, and it's a pretty mixed bag. Sometimes spending more wins, some times it doesn't.

    2. "I wrote in Ron Paul's name, just to make myself feel good *about being the total asshole that I am*".


  12. From the article Nick links to:

    "Finally, while it didn't change the outcome, the third-party candidate in the race, Libertarian Robert Sarvis, may have made it closer for McAuliffe than it would have been otherwise. Had he not been on the ballot, a third of his voters said they'd have supported McAuliffe ? slightly more than twice as many as said they'd have gone for Cuccinelli."

    Am I wrong in reading this as 33% of the people polled said they would have voted for McAuliffe / 17% said they would have voted for Cuccinelli / and 50% said "bugger off, it's none of your business."

    Wake me when we make contact with the alternate universe where Robert Sarvis decides not to run for Governor.

  13. This article got it backwards.

    It says that "an exit poll of Sarvis voters showed that they would have voted for McAuliffe by a two-to-one margin over Cucinelli". But the ABC news article that it links to support this claim says "a third of his [Cuccinelli's] voters said they'd have supported McAuliffe ? slightly more than twice as many as said they'd have gone for Cuccinelli".

    Based on the final numbers being reported, McAuliffe still would have won, but the margin would have been much smaller - about 6600 rather than 55,220.

  14. Obviously we need to mandate Americans to buy a party plan that isn't shoddy and covers everything they need to have covered.

  15. Obviously we need to force Americans to buy a party plan that isn't shoddy and covers everything they need to have covered.

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