Politics

Poll Predicts Libertarian Spoiler in North Carolina Senate Race

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||| Rachel Mills

A new survey of likely voters in North Carolina raises the prospect of yet another libertarian "spoiler" candidate.

The CNN/ORC International poll has Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) pulling 46 percent of votes and Republican challenger Thom Tillis 43 percent, with a 4 percent margin of error. However, the poll also has Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh polling at 7 percent of the vote. If this proves to be an accurate prediction of election results, it will undoubtedly lead to Sean Haugh being labelled a "spoiler" by whichever side ends election night with a concession speech.

Haugh credits his strong poll numbers to an increased awareness of the libertarian brand, a significant change from when he ran for Senate in 2002. "'Libertarian' is a household word now," he told The Washington Post. "Everybody knows what it means."

So who is Sean Haugh? According to the Post's July profile, Haugh is a 53-year-old pizza deliveryman who "comes across as both folksy and erudite, funny and earnest".

Aside from candid explanations of his views, Haugh is also known to engage in extremely open dialogue on Facebook. This recently lead to a confrontation with one of his critics, who he described as an "ignorant moron." From The Daily Caller:

After getting into an argument over whether his presence in the race just helps Hagan, Haugh said to the voter: "Well, obviously our realities are quite detached. I prefer my reality over yours because logic, reason and evidence exist in mine. I pity ignorant morons such as yourself and wish you would stop voting."

Haugh also said: "I have learned that there is no value in explaining to an idiot why they are being an idiot, because, y'know, they're too stupid to understand anything."

Haugh told the Post he was motivated to run against Hagan and Tillis because he "couldn't stand the idea of walking into the voting booth and just seeing the Democrat and the Republican on the ballot." 

This gets at something political partisans like Ann Coulter fail to understand when they complain about voters straying from the Republican/Democrat duopoly: Election victory at all costs holds little appeal to people who oppose the policies of both main parties. It is also the height of arrogance for any side of politics to claim ownership over a particular set of votes, which is clearly implied when third-party candidates are said to have "taken" votes away from Republicans or Democrats. If these politicians want libertarians to vote for them, then they should be less hostile to libertarian values.   

In the mean time, it appears Ann Coulter will be spending a lot of time tracking down libertarian voters in North Carolina—after she drowns Reason's Ron Bailey first, that is.