Libertarian Party

Could This Be the Start of Something Beautiful for the Libertarian Party?

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Over the weekend, CNN and ORC released a poll of North Carolinians showing the Libertarian candidate for Senate, Sean Haugh, receiving support from 7 percent of likely voters. He's one of several third party candidates receiving attention this year for their potential to muck up the outcome of close Senate elections.

Sean Haugh, the Libertarian Party's candidate for U.S. Senate
Sean Haugh, Libertarian for US Senate

Given all that attention, some may be wondering whether the American people have become so fed up with the two major parties that they're finally ready to start throwing their support behind an alternative. With six in ten disapproving of congressional Democrats' job handling and seven in ten disapproving of congressional Republicans', could we be looking at the beginning of a Libertarian Party wave?

The problem is that third party candidates don't just fail to win elections—historically, they do even worse at the ballot box than polling would suggest. In 2012, the Libertarian Party's nominee for president, Gary Johnson, received about 1.2 million votes to capture 1 percent of the electorate. Given that this was the largest raw number of ballots ever cast for a Libertarian, readers might be tempted to celebrate. But some pre-election surveys had Johnson at 5 percent or more. In other words, he underperformed his polling.

That outcome wasn't specific to 2012. When Libertarian Robert Sarvis ran for governor of Virginia last year, there were high hopes that one in 10 voters might swing his way. The final RealClearPolitics polling average before the election put him at 9.6 percent. In reality, he took about 6.6 percent of the vote—inarguably a respectable result, but still not as good as surveys forecasted.

It seems voters find it easier to tell an interviewer they're going to punch the box beside the name of a third party candidate than they do to follow through with that pledge. One theory is that it feels good to describe yourself as the kind of person who's willing to take a principled stand—but in the privacy of the voting booth, the downsides of "throwing your ballot away" on someone you know can't win overpower the upsides of helping a candidate you like make a strong symbolic showing.

Which isn't to say that this year's slate of Libertarian hopefuls will have no effect on the final results. A third partier need only take a couple of percentage points to be the difference in a close election. If a significant number of erstwhile Republicans choose Haugh over GOP challenger Thom Tillis in North Carolina, for example, that could be enough to secure the election for Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.

It's also natural to wonder if this might be the election that breaks the rule. The trend is for third party candidates to underperform their polling on Election Day, but then, past events are a good predictor of future events—right up until they cease to be.

NEXT: More Health Plan Cancellations are on the Way. Obamacare is to Blame.

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  1. Even if the numbers were real, the LP would screw it up. This can be the start of something beautiful for the GOP if they are pressured into more libertarianism by the LP.

    NC libertarians and non-libertarians: please vote Tillis. He’s one of the good ones.

    1. Libertarians have completely destroyed any interest that either the base or the establishment has for dealing with them. Far easier to toss them and the Koch baggage to the curb and move towards Huckabeeism. Enjoy the wilderness.

      1. Rand Paul and Amash are pretty good for ‘wilderness’.

        1. No it isn’t. A political movement with two elected national officials. The religious right has at least 120.

          1. Gotta start somewhere.

          2. There are 3 libertarians in congress now. He left out Massie.

            That’s a 300% increase from just a few years ago when there was only Ron Paul.

            Yes, it’s still small, but I expect it will keep increasing, it’s just a matter of how quickly.

            1. Strangely all three don’t have a L after their name when they speak on cspan. You might keep that in mind when antagonizing the Republicans.

              1. How many democrats have a P after their name, oh genius? I said that they are libertarians, not Libertarians. And that would be correct. And their voting records uphold it.

              2. I’ll definitely think about Rand, Amash, and Massie when I call out the GOP on its bullshit. I’ll think about how calling the GOP out on its BS got us those three Congressman in the first place.

                1. That FO comment was in reply to Sam Haysom’s 2:13 PM comment.

                2. I’m definitely going to hang around now.

                  1. I’m definitely going to hang around now.

                    I guess having a Republican apologist troll will be a nice change of pace from several left-tard proggie trolls that usually shit all over the comment threads here. /sarc

                    1. …in the same sense that explosive dhiarrhea is a nice of change of pace from extreme constipation.

            2. You forgot about the Jeff Flake.

              1. Jeff Flake is old-school neocon Republican. Mos def not libertarian.

        2. Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie are REPUBLICANS.

          Get that through your head. They were elected by REPUBLICANS–in their primaries.

          Just like Ron Paul

          And Gary Johnson.

          And then they won actual office–as Republicans.

          There are libertarians–not Libertarians–inside the Republican party, working to change it–and they are having some success.

          There is nothing like this in the Democrats.

          And in the Libertarian party? Save for the occasional libertarian Republican, like Johnson, they field screwball candidates like te quasi-hippy pizza delivery guy who’s gonna hand the seat to Hagan–of he can coax enough votes away from libertarians to Libertarianism.

          Libertarians are proud that they toss seats to Democrats–libertarians who want libertarian ideas and policies enacted are not.

          What’s more important? An ‘L’ after an name–or getting actual libertarian policies enacted?

          It’s almost as if the Libertarian Party would be satisfied with being the ‘L’ in TEAM BE RULED.

          1. Its almost as if the Republicans would love to be the R in ruled since they keep fielding ANTI-liberty candidates who are exactly the same as their prog counterparts

      2. Awww, look, Koch bros, isn’t that so cute.

        1. Anybody think “Sam Haysom” is just a “Michael Hihn” sock-puppet?

          1. [Raises Hand] ME! ME!

      3. Huckabeeism

        What?

        1. Youll figure out.

          1. Youll figure out.

            What?

            1. Just say it slowly, out loud.

              “Huckabee”.

              Do you hear it? Thatt’s the sound of moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

      4. One is more persuasive when not a moron.

    2. Actually if you look at dollars per vote, the Democrats and Republicans always spend 3 to 10 times as much for each vote as Libertarians do.

      Libertarians usually don’t have enough funds to do advertising to even reach voters who would have voted for them had they known they were on the ballot.

      Some day we will see an election where the Libertarian had funding on the same order of magnitude at least as the incumbent parties. That will be an instructive election.

  2. “in the privacy of the voting booth”

    Isn’t this the place where you’d be far more likely to vote the way you really feel? One would think Libertarian votes would be far higher when privacy is in place. People know their one vote isn’t going to swing an election, so why the “let’s pretend this is a horse race so I can back a winner” attitude?

    1. It’s directly related to the two major parties having such dire approval ratings. You aren’t risking much by coming out publicly as “anti-establishment” when everyone hates the establishment already. But if you lean Team Red already and it’s now time to stick to your anti-establishment guns in the voting booth, you don’t want to run the risk of Kay Hagan getting reelected, you get cold feet and so you go with Team Red again.

    2. People know their one vote isn’t going to swing an election,

      People don’t know this. Doesn’t the endless bickering about one candidate ‘stealing’ votes from another tell you this?

      How about the chortling over someone being a ‘spoiler’–from people who often say that there’s no point in voting because the votes don’t matter?

      People, in their heart of hearts, actually believe that not only does voting matter, but that every single vote matters.

      Millions are spent on just this idea.

  3. The fear of spoiling a race in favor of the worse evil does drive a lot of people back to the big two.

    1. ^^^This.

      Polls are all well-and-good, but when it comes to crunch time and real-world politics, people chicken the fuck out.

      1. Yeah, sign me on to this bandwagon.

        The swing toward Jesse Ventura in 98 was amazing. He was trailing for a long time. Once however, it seemed like he might actually have a chance, there was a huge swing towards him as people realized that they wouldn’t be “wasting” their vote.

        Until was a credible threat people were more worried about the other team’s guy winning and weren’t willing to chance it.

      2. This is why we need something like instant runoff or preferential voting.

        1. It should cost $100 to vote.

    2. I put the over/under at 3% of the vote.

      1. What are they odds on the under vote?

    3. PEople are idiots, who think their vote is supposed to be a prediction of who wins, so that any vote for anybody but the winner is “wasted.”

      I don’t even know where to start with that sort of thinking. So I don’t.

      1. So right, it makes me want to punch people in the face.

  4. If I weren’t libertarian, I’d still consider voting LP just to shake up the duopoly, which serves none of us beyond a tiny minority very well.

    1. That’s a really strange attitude I’m going to stick it to the duopoly by helping one side of the duopoly. Would you prefer a monopoly. Libertarians loves the New Deal Era right? Who can forget Commerce Secretsry William Graham Sumner?

      1. No, tool, he’s not helping one side of the monopoly, he’s helping the LP. Lrn2read

      2. Short-term pain for long-term gain? Certainly, trying to move the GOP has had very limited results. Not that I don’t agree with that strategy, but it should merely be one front in the overall war.

        If the GOP lost a couple of major elections clearly due to libertarian voters taking votes from their candidates and those losses were viewed as a trend, they’d do what the parties have done forever–try to co-opt that vote. The Democrats can’t really do that, because they’re too openly authoritarian now.

        1. No they wont. They will just abandon small government conservatism completely and opt for the Huckabee approach. Tillis was about the best ally libertarians could have had. He wasn’t good enough people stop trying to win you over when they find out you can’t be pleased.

          1. Then they don’t really mean it and aren’t a useful vehicle towards shrinking government.

            1. Name one government program the libertarian party reduced. You can’t. Just admit your a tribal stone thrower just like all those republicans and democrats you sneer at.

              1. Government has been expanding mostly without check for decades. The LP may not have stopped it, but neither has the GOP.v And one of those has had ample opportunity to do so.

        2. Why should they try to co-opt the small party’s picayune vote, when they can instead try to get the other big party’s substantial vote? Surely just by the law of avgs., there are bound to be more targets in the big crowd who are hittable than in the small one.

          1. Does it not make sense that the more they try to resemble the candidate that gets 1% of the vote, the more they’ll drive down their own vote total toward 1%?

      3. Could someone derpslain this for me? I know that somewhere in this fat mass of drivel there is a thin point fighting to escape, but I can’t seem to fin it? We must rescue that point before it drowns in the drivel.

        1. Your self indulgent childish rant against drival was longer than my post. But here goes in red crayon. The alternative to duopoly is monopoly in the American system. An example of that was the New Deal Era. Libertarians (that’s you) really disliked that period. I’m not going to bother explaining the last sentence it was a reference that went way over your little head.

            1. He sounds like a clone of Michael Hihn, or whatever the fuck that trolls name was.

              1. I see I’m not alone.

            2. I like your tactic, RBS. “What?” seems like the only rational response.

              1. Well, the old scroll wheel is also a rational response.

                Sam/Mike/Whoever: Yes, you’re running scared. We get that.

          1. I see!

            You are a surrenderer!

            You hate leftists so much that you would surrender our ancestors hard-fought freedoms for the crumbs a few corporatist whores might send your way!

            You keep bringing up the New Deal as an example of how Democrats must be kept out of office at all costs! I expect you’d be horrified to find out which party originated the New Deal; their mascot was an elephant, end their president was a man about whom Calvin Coolidge said, “”That man has offered me unsolicited advice every day for six years, all of it bad.”

            Comically, that party, and I won’t say their name, through championing the creation of the FCC did as much to ensure the dominance of the Democrats until the 80’s as almost any other political movement.

            Gosh, it’s so lucky that that party won the elections in the roaring 20’s!

            1. Comically you are an idiot. Well not that comically I don’t like to laugh at the less fortunate. You can read though right? I suggest you read a brief summary of the New Deal. you won’t find Herbert Hoover in it. Unless it’s preceded by the clause following Roosevelt’s landslide victory over. The ERCA is in no way a New Deal Program anymore than No Child Left Behind Act was.

              1. Hoover tilled the ground for the ND you ignorant oaf.

                1. No the Great Depression did. I guess Harding and Coolidge were New Dealers too then. I guess Hoover was a Great Society politician too then.

            2. That man has offered me unsolicited advice every day for six years, all of it bad.

              The world needs more Calvin Coolidges.

              1. I agree more New England Puritanism and prohibition please.

                1. Harding and Coolidge both opposed Prohibition.

      4. Oh, now that you suddenly need that 7% to make a difference, now you’re interested. Its a strange attitude that we should vote for Chiang because at least he’s not Mao. Or Robespierre because he’s no Louis — there’s always someone who will tell you it could be worse. Hell, ven if your guy IS one of the good ones, he’s going to caucus with a lot of bad ones. I’m sure he’ll feel really bad when he reluctantly votes for anti-liberty measures because the party needs him.

        1. Regardless of strategy, I’m voting for the guy I like best. I’d have to be horrified in some radical manner to vote GOP just to cockblock the Democrats.

          I utterly despise Obama, for instance, but I still voted LP in 2012. Why? Because the GOP put up another statist fuck. I’m not voting for those, see. And the GOP does have some people that at least think government should have some limits–how about running those candidates? Thanks.

          1. I’d have to be horrified in some radical manner to vote GOP just to cockblock the Democrats.

            If I were in Massachusetts, where the gubernatorial race seems to be close, I might think about voting for the Republican just to keep Martha Coakley out of office, considering the way she and her boss brainwashed a bunch of children into believing they had been molested in order to further their own political careers.

          2. I think voting Team Red to stop the horror show back in 2010 was sensible. In 2014 we not only can be more picky we have to be.

          3. I have made a point of voting against the incumbent in every single race. I broke it in voting for Bill Nelson over Katherine Harris in the FL Senate race — I’m sure there were minor party candidates I could have voted for, I just hadn’t gotten all the way out of the TEAM BE RULED mindset yet. And I may vote for an incumbent county commissioner. Maybe.

            1. I voted for Charles Bronson. I mean, come on, Charles Bronson.

        2. Im not interested. I’m interested in disassociating the libertarians from the Republican brand. But I’m happy to point out how silly and argument about duopoly is when the alternative is monopoly for the left.

          1. MUH TEAM /Sam

        3. Wait a minute, are you saying you wouldn’t much, much rather have Chiang Kai-Shek than Mao Tse-Tung?

      5. This has been explained around here a million times.

      6. It was impressive the way those GOPsters in Congress got rid of the ExIm bank.

    2. Eh I think shaking up the duopoly os overrated. Europe is more statist and they have lots of parties. Just vote for whatever candidate is best willing AND able to deliver what you want instead of what you don’t want. Tillis for NC, Sarvis for Virginia.

      1. The hope is the LP displaces one of the two parties. Not likely, but it has precedents in American electoral history.

        1. No it doesn’t. Never in American history has a marginal political movement that has existed for 50 years replaced one of the major parties. Early anti-slavery parties were winning actual elections within twenty years of their founding.

          1. My goodness! If we applied that slavish hostility to change, in the 19th century we’d be saying that no advanced civilization had existed without slavery, and in the 18th century that no country without a king had prospered!

            1. I know right. It’s not like I was responding to someone who claimed that there were precedents in American history. And it’s not like either you nor he can point to any examples. But now that i think about it

        2. More likely I can use the LP to park my vote when the GOP or Dems fail to deliver what I want.

    3. Why does the fucking LP deserve your vote any more than any other TEAM?

      Based on the things he says, Pizza Delivery Boy doesn’t scan very libertarian.

      But Tillis sounds like he might actually do some libertarian stuff–despite not having an L by his name.

      It’s so frigging weird to see so many people leaping to TEAM.

  5. Given all that attention, some may be wondering whether the American people have become so fed up with the two major parties that they’re finally ready to start throwing their support behind an alternative.

    I found an alternative a long time ago: staying home on erection day and playing video games.

    1. Yeah but they want to actually do something possibly constructive.

      1. Minecraft?

        1. Possibly the most libertarian video game of all time
          No objectives or rules other than survive or die

  6. I’m proud to announce that Seattle, in the same vote that led to banana peels being illegal, declared October 1 to hereafter be known as Episiarch Day. Besides the usual parades and f?tes, it is also customary for everyone to act like Episiarch throughout the day. Here’s an example.

    1. Have you always been this retarded? And your projection smells.

    2. Look at me! I’m an asshole! I love cocaine! Your mom! Calculon!

      1. Hey! I only sound 96% like that! Just like your mom.

        1. I was snorting some coke off of a whore’s ass, then I realized that wasn’t a whore, that was your mom. So I saved fifty bucks.

          1. How much coke when *poof* when she farted?

          2. I was so pained by the way your mom looked, I actually had to use my pain pills for their intended purpose. You can’t know how pissed that made me.

            Also, Ender’s Game.

          3. Were there any rape bears?

    3. I’m gonna build my own amusement park. But with gambling and hookers! Ah, forget the amusement park.

      1. Man, that makes me miss Action Park. New Jersey is the best, you jerks. REGION WAR is for retards like your mom. What are you, poor?

        1. You’re as stupid as Michael Bay. Did your mother have any kids that lived, after I banged her?

          1. That reminds me of a scene in Con-Air, a movie I claim to hate but can’t stop referencing!

            1. That’s low, Hugh. I never reference Con Air; that was Tulpa’s thing. Wait, did you just equate me to Tulpa?!?

        2. Well now I do miss Action Park!

        3. Action Park is back, you kumquat. Only now there’s more safety and less devastation.

      2. Gambling and hookers aren’t amusing?

        1. Dude, I make it a rule never to help anyone move. Sorry. I’m just not into carrying furniture.

          1. I have know idea who they’d be, but there are people who would get off on watching your body sweat under the strain of trying to move heavy pieces of furniture.

    4. Does this only apply to Seattle, because even though I used to live in Seattle and have many tediously specific anecdotes about local culture, I also want to talk at length about the many other places I have lived, unless all of you animist statist TEAM BE RULED fetishists have a problem with that.

      Also an unrelated ATHF quote.

      1. Calm down, Hitler. You think Ron Howard just wished Willow was great? No…and yet it was.

        1. Whatsamatter? Steroids make you deaf???

          1. You sound just like Tulpa. You are Tulpa, aren’t you?

            1. What if you weren’t such a dick? What if, when we’re done here, we go to your house and I rape your mama? What if you find her on top of your dad slamming a big black dildo in his ass while he’s calling out my name? – Nice touch.

  7. I don’t think it’s that those 5% who polled in favor of the Libertarian candidate switched sides and voted D or R. I think they just didn’t show up at the polls.

      1. Maybe if someone gets a fleet of buses full of free beer and offers to take the Ls to the polls, that 5% will stop dwindling down to 1%? Fuck, it might jump to 10%!

        Hey, at least I’m trying to do come up with some ideas to help the cause!

        1. I like your ideas, sir, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  8. Tillis isn’t a generic Republican hack, he actually did some useful things for NC as a legislative leader.

    What he’d do in the U.S. Senate I don’t know, maybe he’ll be Peter Principled into a hack, but for now, he’s looking good.

    1. But he’s not Team Libertarian!

  9. Wow look, Michael Hihn shows up at the same time as Sam Haysom, who sounds exactly like him. I’m shocked!

    1. I’m still not entirely sure what it wants. It just seems…angry.

    2. I was going to make the same comment when I saw Hihn’s name up there.

    3. They’re both Mary.

      1. If its Mary, she must have gotten some help and some medicine because she manages to make a couple of valid points.

    4. I thought Sam was maybe Tulpa.

    5. Grow up I’m a social conservative the faction that he seems to hate the most. You night as well say I’m a sock puppet for that Chesteron poster because we are both pro-life. Hinh wants libertarians to be more savy I want them to quit the half in half out approach to the Republian Party and focus on winning elections with their own party. Sorry couldn’t keep a straight face.

  10. You thought it was the start of something beautiful? Well think again.

  11. The Sarvis candidacy pretty much put the lie to “Libertarians take votes from Republicans”, at least according to exit polling:

    Stop Scapegoating Third Party Candidates for Election Results You Don’t Like

    … an exit poll of Sarvis voters showed that they would have voted for McAuliffe by a two-to-one margin over Cucinelli.

    Which candidate Haugh hurts the most, I suspect, will be the issues Haugh focuses on. Economic issues will extract Republican votes. Civil liberty issues will extract Democrat votes.

    1. That fact never gets mentioned. It is unclear whether that result is a trend or just the result of McCullough being one of the worst candidates in American history.

      The Libertarian party getting north of 10% on a consistent basis will result in one of two things. If their share takes equally from each party, then chances are both parties just ignore them as a net neutral and go happily on their way. Maybe they try and woo them but that is far from clear. If they take unequally from either party, it will effectively put the other party in charge and create a one party state.

      You always hear about how Obama’s real ambition is to make the entire country like Chicago where the Democrats rule everything and the Republicans don’t even count as a nuisance. The only way I could ever see that happening is if there was a no kidding large Libertarian party that split the Right.

      Ultimately, even if the Libertarians managed to take over the Republican Party or kill it, the SOCONs and national greatness conservatives would just form their own third party and do to the Libertarians what the Libertarians did to the GOP. Either way we end up with a single party Liberal Democratic country as Democrats would then be able to win with less than 50% of the vote.

      Those on the Right can either hang together or hang separately. Libertarians don’t like to hear that, but I don’t see any way that it is not. I sure don’t see the Progs busting up into two parties any time soon.

      1. If they take unequally from either party, it will effectively put the other party in charge and create a one party state.

        I honestly don’t know that I could tell the difference, at least not on anything that matters.

        1. Really? There isn’t any difference between a one party government like Maryland or Chicago or California and more evenly divided governments like the ones in Missouri or North Carolina?

          As bad as the feds are, single party prog states like California are worse. Moreover even if the two parties are exactly the same, giving one complete control would still make things much worse if for no other reason than the winning party would no longer have to care about losing elections. At least now, they each worry about the other one taking over. Take that threat away and things get much worse very quickly.

          1. At the national level, the parties are so similar that I honestly don’t see either one changing the trajectory we are now on, John.

            Do you? Seriously? We are where we are because DC is a game of bipartisan growth of the source of power and wealth for both parties. The only differences are in the “useful idiot” culture war issues.

  12. Voting should only affect those who vote.

  13. The GOP kicked Libertarians off the ballot here in Pennsylvania, so I’m just not planning on voting this fall.

    I probably would have voted R in local and stat races without an L, but they went and fucked that up.

    1. If you were not going to vote for them anyway, why should your not voting matter to them?

      1. Because in local races if 2,000 registered Libertarians stay home, and were so inclined to vote R whenever no L candidate, then in local races their failure to turn out should matter to the Rs.

        1. Sure it should. Except that what if pandering to Libertarians causes an equal number of other voters to stay home?

          You guys act like you are the only people in the country who can withhold your votes. You are not. And there is nothing to say kissing your asses is going to get the GOP anywhere.

          1. If Democrats can keep racist unions and blacks in a coalition then perhaps the GOP can find a way to pander to libertarians without losing the neo-cons.

            1. But that still doesn’t get them a majority without the dreaded SOCONS.

          2. It’s not like the GOP has to lurch into anarchist rhetoric to capture the 5-10% who favor at least some concept of libertarianism. In fact, I firmly believe that enough of the country favors freeish markets and limited government enough that the GOP could win fairly big with just a somewhat more libertarian platform.

            1. They could, but the good ol boys of the GOP don’t need no stinkin libertarianism in their party. They’d rather lose and then at least the ones of them left can keep being crony assholes along with their friends in team blue, with nothing to stop them lying and stealing right along into oblivion.

              1. You do understand that SOCONS feel exactly the same way.

                1. Honestly, I think the GOP could keep a lot of votes it has now while capturing some it doesn’t.

                  Clearly, if it doesn’t repudiate out-of-control spending and the growth of government power, it’s going to destroy us eventually, too. Maybe slower than the left, but we’re still driving towards the cliff, even with an all-GOP government.

                  Heck, let’s assume for the moment a GOP Congress and SCOTUS, with, say, Rand Paul as president. Think we’ve won? I don’t, because I think the other two branches will still be more socialist-statist than not.

                  1. Clearly, if it doesn’t repudiate out-of-control spending and the growth of government power, it’s going to destroy us eventually, too.

                    I agree. But I doubt that would be enough to capture many L votes. To many Libertarians are far too dedicated culture warriors and are single issue abortion, immigration or gay marriage voters for that to happen.

                    1. Well, that’s where they’re dumb like the rest of the country. The single issue that matters is the out-of-control government. Everything else is ghafla.

            2. In North Carolina it sure seems like they do. Tillis would be the second most libertarian senator in office. For this reason a lot of mainstream conservatives are rightfully wary of him. But nope a pizza guy who I’m sure is running purely out of civic commitment not because he craves status is polling at seven percent. You can bet that if Paul gets the nomination Sheldon Anderson is going to make sure at least one candidate draws off a few percentage points from Rand’s total. I better not hear a peep from Reason when Rand loses by one point while the Libertarian candidate polls at three percent.

        2. Also, from the perspective of the GOP, why is it wrong or irrational to choose winning the statewide elections at the expense of the local ones? It leaving the L candidate on the ballet kills them in the state elections and kicking him off kills them in the local, then it is not possible to win both.

          1. Or maybe it is possible to lose both state and local when the Ls stay home in the closely contested suburbs.

            1. Or they could lose both as other blocks of voters walk away because the party is too Libertarian. Again, you guys think you are the only ones who can stay home and the entire country owes you kissing your ass. It is not that simple.

  14. I am still waiting to hear how the rise of the L party ends in anything other than complete Democratic control. The only way that wouldn’t be the result is if the Libertarian party takes more votes from the Democrats than they do from the Republicans. I can’t see that happening.

    Even if it did, however, you would just end up with the Republicans running everything. The Republicans would start winning more in blue states because the Libertarian Party was splitting the Left. Gee, more Peter Kings would get elected. Where do I sign up?

    There is no way around the hard reality that to get anything done you have to form coalitions with other political groups. No one ideology is going to command a majority. It just won’t.

    1. Maybe you get the coalition necessity but those morons at GOP who refused to even allow Ron Paul’s delegate votes to be announced at the convention sure don’t. What olive branches are the establishment GOP extending? “I want to drown you?” “Shut up wacko-birds and vote for our turds?”

      1. Then I guess the Democrats are going to rule everything then. I don’t know what to tell you other than the Libertarian party isn’t ever going to save us.

        1. Civility instead of purges would be a good start.

        2. Then I guess the Democrats are going to rule everything then.

          Fine by me. Won’t be able to tell much difference, I’m betting, if the current quasi-one-party system becomes an actual one-party system.

          1. Again, you seriously don’t believe that. If you did, you would be living in California. It is a nicer place to live and it doesn’t matter if there is a one party political system, right?

            1. I seriously do, John.

              Other than the meaningless culture war issues both wings of TEAM BE RULED trot out to whip up their useful idiots, I really don’t see any fundamental differences in the two “parties”.

              1. I don’t see how you can say culture war issues are meaningless. Last I looked abortion, gay marriage and porn and such were very important Libertarian issues. In fact some of the most important.

                And really, California is great on all of those.

                And as far as other issues, good luck with your second amendment rights in the new Progtopia. And again, Texas and Georgia and Ohio governments are really different than Illinois and California. If you refuse to admit otherwise, you are either blind or just being pig headed and wont’ admit you lost the argument. Like I said, the treat of losing alone makes a two party system better than a one party one. And you know it.

                1. I don’t see how you can say culture war issues are meaningless.

                  In the context of the WOD, the surveillance state, trillion dollar deficits, massive crony corruption, routine and grotesque violations of civil and human rights, the warfare state, the regulatory state, etc. ad infinitum?

                  Yeah, I pretty much do. Either side could win every single culture war issue tomorrow, and we would continue our current trajectory to fiscal collapse, total state penetration of civil society, and the loss of our rights.

    2. Don’t worry, John. This time the Romulan is going to win and stop those evil libertarians forever, before they ruin the perfectly great GOP. So the GOP can then get on to shrinking the size of government, like they always say they will. Why, maybe next time, they’ll shrink it right down to only a 2% increase in spending!

      Seriously, the only way to get the GOP to be more acceptable of libertarians in the party is to use the threat of playing the spoiler. Otherwise, you’ll never have more than a handful of libertarians in the GOP and things will never change.

      1. Two things. First, once they start playing spoiler I seriously doubt it will stop. Don’t think for a moment that leftist concern trolls won’t immediately co-opt that to ensure the game never ends.

        Second, even if it does work, what then is to stop the SOCONS and regular conservatives from doing the same thing? That is what you guys don’t understand. You think you are the only people on earth who can play spoiler. You are not.

        You guys hate the SoCons with purple passion. And that is your right. What is not your right, however, is to expect SOCONs to roll over and support you and accept not having a voice in anything. They are not going to do that.

        1. So SOCONS and neocons can have their respective itches scratched in the GOP but libertarians, even after largely being told to go screw by the masters, just have to sit there and take it in the can?

          If the GOP won’t actually listen to libertarian ideas internally, what recourse is there other than to vote for big Ls on the ticket?

          1. What itch do the Libertarians want scratched? Where is the Libertarians’ compromise?

            When SOCONS see Libertarians they just see people cheering on the progs to make it against the law to object to homosexuality and supporting total unregulated abortion. Explain to me why SOCONS should think Libertarians give a flying fuck about them or do anything to keep the progs from oppressing the living shit out of them?

            Most Libertarians are single issue abortion, immigration and gay marriage voters and don’t really care if gay marriage causes anyone who refuses to play along to be put out of business.

            1. What itch do the Libertarians want scratched? Where is the Libertarians’ compromise?

              Lower taxes. Smaller government. Incremental steps to that end are the compromise.

              Damned if I can see either major party taking serious incremental steps to lower taxes and smaller government, though.

              1. Most GOP voters agree with that. Their crap weasel politicians often don’t. But the only real effort I have seen to change that came from the Tea Party. And Reason has made it clear it has no use for the Tea Party.

                And while that may be your compromise, you are in the minority. Libertarianism is about the culture war more than anything these days.

                In some ways things are not so bad for Libertarians. They are getting what they want on the culture war. They are getting a half a loaf with the Left running things. Really, maybe one party Dem rule is the best result from the libertarian perspective. A win on the culture war is a win any way you cut it.

                1. The fact that you think libertarians need to compromise with the GOP over the lynchpin issues of lower taxes and drastically smaller government says everything about the state of today’s GOP. And it’s not just the pols that only pay lip-service to low taxes and small government. As soon as some shitbird 55+ “conservative” hears about privatizing SS (god forbid just binning the whole thing) or means-testing Medicare (same parenthetical) they have conniption fit. They’re all for “small government” until they want the morals (theirs, obviously) gestapo.

                  The major difference is that both teams want to use government for their own ends, libertarians largely just want people to be able to make their own decisions and be responsible for the outcomes. Again, why that should be a compromise at all for the GOP says plenty.

      2. And in fairness, isn’t the GOP better today than it was in 08? If the reward for that is them losing elections and still being out of power, explain to me exactly how that is supposed to result in them becoming more libertarian?

        If the GOP doesn’t do well this and the election cycle, the lesson will be, “we should have surrendered completely” not “we just were not true enough to the 5% of the country that are Libertarians”

        You people really do live in a fantasy world sometime.

        1. Well, the GOP is largely an opposition party right now. It was rhetorically better in 1993, too.

          1. Okay. That doesn’t change the fact that no one is going to beat the Democrats without winning the millions of Republican voters who are not Libertarian.

            That is what you guys refuse to accept. You are not the majority. So if you want to accomplish anything, you have to work with other groups. More importantly, we have a winner take all system not a parliamentary one. So you can’t play both sides against the middle and be a spoiler party.

            You guys don’t like to hear it but you have no plan or end state beyond “hey lets play spoiler and put a bunch of Progs in office, and then ‘profit’!!”

            Lets say you finally are the dog that catches the car and the Libertarian Party kills off the GOP and becomes the other major party. Alright, what then? Why wouldn’t the other factions of the GOP just leave and form their own third party?

            If your attitude is “go fuck yourself you God damned ignorant fundies and war mongering NEOCONS” and trust me you guys don’t even realize it but that it is most certainly your attitude, why wouldn’t they leave?

            1. So if you want to accomplish anything, you have to work with other groups.

              And if there were a major party that showed any willingness to work in good faith with libertarians, I would be happy to do so.

              But there isn’t. So if a party who won’t work with me goes toes up, I should care, why, exactly?

              1. And if there were a major party that showed any willingness to work in good faith with libertarians, I would be happy to do so.

                I dont’ believe you. I really don’t. And even if you do mean that, you are a small minority. Most Libertarians are single issue culture war voters. The most important issues to Libertarians are in descending order

                The drug war
                Gay Marriage and Transgendered rights
                Open borders
                Abortion
                Ending all overseas military intervention

                Other than number four, it looks to me Libertarians are doing pretty well and getting most of what they want. Even the drug war is starting to fall under its own weight.

                1. Most Libertarians are single issue culture war voters.

                  I’m not one of those. If that leaves me a pretty small minority, well, I’ve been a minority of one, politically, practically my whole life. I’ll get over it.

                  1. I am not one of those either. But that is the evil genius of the Progs. By constantly and aggressively waging the culture war, they ensure their enemies fight over that and never unite to defeat them.

                2. “Most Libertarians are single issue culture war voters. The most important issues to Libertarians are in descending order”

                  Did you just pull that out of your ass? Seriously, what are you basing this on? You sound just like the progressives who think that libertarians only care about taxes, spending,, and regulation (and maybe weed).

                  “Other than number four, it looks to me Libertarians are doing pretty well and getting most of what they want.”

                  This is kinda confusing, as I’m pretty sure you mean abortion in that most libertarians are “pro-choice” in which case wouldn’t that be the issue they actually are getting their way on? Setting aside that it’s an issue that divides libertarians. A couple slight easements of the excesses of the drug war doesn’t mean libertarians are getting most of what they want at all, nor are military intervention overseas ending, nor do we have open borders. Gay marriage is still only allowed in a minority of states, and most libertarians would ideally like to see marriage licenses abolished altogether. It boggles my mind how you can read and comment on a libertarian site for years and make a post like that.

                  1. Yeah, I was utterly confused by this as well. In addition to the complete ignoring of the massive amount of attention the Second and Fourth Amendment receives here and in libertarian circles. Oh, and there’s that pesky “we can’t stand Obamacare thing.”

                    But yeah, I just vote with my (non-existent) uterus.

                  2. I know what gives John that impression: branding. Libertarian activists & organiz’ns always seem to be at pains to differentiate themselves from whatever else is out there. Libertarian ideas are so closely captured by the Republican Party and/or “conservatives” that, in order to get att’n by distinction, outlets like Reason and CATO have for decades exaggerated their differences with “conservatives”. The easiest way to do that is to heighten the priority of these culture war issues.

                    It was even more so ~35 yrs. ago.

                3. It seems you don’t understand libertarians at all. And you seem to have ignored MegaloMonocle’s point above. Libertarians have been trying to work with Republicans and have been told to go fuck themselves by the party establishment. Even the Tea Party is attacked more vehemently by establishment Rep’s than the Democrats. What exactly are you suggesting, that libertarians blindly vote for the GOP? Why, exactly?

                  1. The Tea Party is attacked vehemently by Reason. Let’s dab those crocodile tears off your checks.

              2. We’re way down the path to socialist tyranny in no small part thanks to the GOP. I hardly see it as a likely savior. What I do see is a small chance we can get a loud libertarian voice within the party going for a while.

                The real test will be when the GOP takes the Senate. Will we see real reform then? If so, great. Not bloody likely, but great if it happens.

                1. Will we see real reform then?

                  If we do, I’ll probably change my opinion of the Repubs. But I don’t take anything politicians say on faith.

    3. The only way that wouldn’t be the result is if the Libertarian party takes more votes from the Democrats than they do from the Republicans. I can’t see that happening.

      But that does happen sometimes.

      But regardless of which major party it takes more votes from, that just means you help install whichever party is farther away from what you want.

      1. No, I don’t help install anyone I don’t vote for. Period, full stop.

  15. Can we PLEASE

    1. just start

      1. a MOONBASE?

        (no, seriously)

        1. With purple-haired administrative personnel?

          1. I am totally fine with this.

  16. Seriously, guys, the “OMG, libertarianism could spell the end of the Republican Party” is supposed to scare me into voting Repub?

    Don’t make me laugh.

    I don’t vote for anyone who I don’t want to see hold office. If a bunch of idiots put somebody I don’t want in office, that’s on them, not me. If another bunch of idiots can’t elect someone I don’t want to see in office, why should I care?

    1. It is not supposed to scare you. You don’t want to vote GOP, don’t. But don’t insult my intelligence by pretending the result of that is going to be anything but a single party Dem state.

      If the right splits, the left will then rule everything. I don’t understand why you either can’t see that or think wishing it were not true will somehow change it. I can’t tell you how to vote. I can only tell you what the results of that will be. If you want to blame the results of that on the evil SOCONS, well that is your right. And take solace, the Progs will exact a lot of revenge on them for their sins.

      1. But don’t insult my intelligence by pretending the result of that is going to be anything but a single party Dem state.

        And don’t insult my intelligence by pretending that, in DC, both parties aren’t engaged fulltime in growing the government to grow their own power and wealth.

        1. And don’t insult my intelligence by pretending that, in DC, both parties aren’t engaged fulltime in growing the government to grow their own power and wealth.

          Okay, I won’t. And now explain to me why giving one or the other of them complete power with no threat of losing an election is going to fix that?

          1. Its not. But so what? Keeping both of them involved isn’t going to fix it either.

            So why should I dirty my hands by supporting a party engaged almost entirely in something I oppose?

            1. Because the nature of politics is dirty hand. If you don’t like being associated with people you don’t or agree with, you will never accomplish anything and forever live under the power of those who are not so picky.\

              I am sorry your high school civics class lied to you. But life is a lot more complex and government and politics much harder and less pure than you were lead to believe.

              I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to remain pure, remain pure. But understand you will forever be ruled by other less scrupulous people.

              1. I’m willing to get quite dirty, supporting a party engaged in things I favor.

                I’m not willing to get dirty supporting a party engaged in things I oppose.

                I see no reason to sacrifice my purity, as you put it, to move things in the wrong fucking direction. And that’s all either of the current major parties offer me.

      2. If the right one faction promoting the growth of the Total State splits, the left other faction promoting the growth of the Total State will then rule everything.

        That’s how it looks to me, John. Which, as you can probably imagine, leaves me unmotivated to oppose a split in one of the factions.

        1. Then don’t worry about it. Or go vote Democrat. At least that will enable you to vote for the winning side. Even if you are right, voting L is still pointless.

          And how exactly you think taking away even the threat of losing to the other party is going to make things anything but worse remains a mystery.

          1. I’ve never understood this logic. Voting isn’t supposed to be a sports game. The point isn’t to vote for who will win, something that an individual vote doesn’t even impact (except perhaps in certain local elections with a very small electorate).

          2. And how exactly you think taking away even the threat of losing to the other party is going to make things anything but worse remains a mystery.

            My premise is that there is practically nothing to choose between the Reps and the Dems. From that premise, I care very little whether Reps or Dems win any given race, or control the levers of power.

            1. Then your argument is garbage because your premise is not true. Again, the Democrats attempted to repeal the guarantee of freedom of speech. Hagan was one of the co-sponsors. What has Tillis done that is comparable?

            2. Your premise is wrong. However, if it were right, it would predict that the Libertarian Party would draw voters away equally from both, and therefore have 0 leverage on either.

  17. CNN and ORC released a poll of North Carolinians showing the Libertarian candidate for Senate, Sean Haugh, receiving support from 7 percent of likely voters.

    And yet come election day, he’ll be lucky to get 1%. “Because OMGZ WE CAN’T THE EVUL ___________ WIN!!!11!!!! I MUST VOTE FOR THE LESSER EVUL!!!11!!”

  18. Cheering for a continuing Democrat Senate majority and then a continuation of Obama policies under Hillary? Go America.

  19. Excellent analysis of Libertarian Party impact. I am a LP candidate and treasurer of the Arizona Governor campaign of Barry Hess, who has a proven track record getting more votes in the past three elections than the difference between the Top2. It is a mistake to think any of those votes “belonged” to a Demopublican prior to election day, because the voter decided on election day to act differently. They had decided when they were polled, and changed their minds on election day. Their first choice was Libertarian. But most Libertarians just didn’t go vote in the Demopublican-rigged election. The Demopublicans stole a few Libertarian votes. If they were smart, they would figure out how to appeal to more Libertarian voters, adopt more Libertarian positions, and adopt Ranked Choice Voting.

  20. “If a significant number of erstwhile Republicans choose Haugh over GOP challenger Thom Tillis in North Carolina, for example, that could be enough to secure the election for Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.”

    Hagan, one of the 48 Senators who co-sponsored the amendment to repeal freedom of speech/press, retaining her seat is desirable outcome from a libertarian perspective because…?

    I understand libertarians voting for their Team if that is their priority. I don’t understand why there is no urgency to punish an incumbent Senator who is that demonstrably terrible on civil liberties, which libertarians claim are vitally important to them.

  21. I don’t understand why there is no urgency to punish an incumbent Senator who is that demonstrably terrible on civil liberties,

    If I vote against her by voting for one of her opponents, haven’t I punished her all I can?

    What’s funny about this conversation is that a few of us are viewing a vote as an individual act (that is, I’ll vote for who I want to win, and if somebody else wins, how is that on me?) versus those who view it as a collective act (that is, your vote is part of the collective effort to install the winner, or was part of the failed collective effort on behalf of one of the losers, or something like that).

    As far as I’m concerned, the collectivists can piss off. I’ve got a lot of options to vote against someone, and the odds are I’m going to vote against who you want me to vote against. Convince me to vote for your guy on his merits. I’m not going to vote for some crypto-fascist total state crony enabler just because he wears the laundry of one team or another. Period.

    1. The part I quoted from the article was specifically about the impact of libertarians on the election. If the libertarian vote is relevant, then it is throwing the election to an incumbent who is horrific on civil liberties. If that is the impact of the libertarian vote then it is an objectively terrible outcome.

      “…those who view it as a collective act (that is, your vote is part of the collective effort to install the winner, or was part of the failed collective effort on behalf of one of the losers, or something like that).”

      That’s pretty much what the point of elections are. If you cannot convince enough other people to support your candidate and issues then your politics will never be implemented.

      “I’m not going to vote for some crypto-fascist total state crony enabler just because he wears the laundry of one team or another.”

      The article endorses voting for someone because he ostensibly wears Team Libertarian laundry over how he stacks up against another candidate. I am not seeing an explanation of how Tillis is a demonstrably worse choice than Haugh other than he has an R behind his name.

  22. Dear State Libertarian Parties: If you keep on running candidates in elections that may “spoil” Harry Reid into continuing control of the Senate, as opposed to, say, actually running serious candidates against the most egregious nanny-state liberals, all you will do is cause republicans and progressive-hating independents to hate your guts. Wake the fuck up already!

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