Robert Sarvis

Robert Sarvis, Libertarian Senate Candidate from Virginia, Denies "Spoiler" Charges from the GOP

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I blogged on election night about some NBC exit polls that I thought lent some credence to the idea that, without Robert Sarvis in the Virginia Senate race for the L.P., that Republican Ed Gillespie might have won.

The heart of my analysis:

Sarvis drew equally from liberals, moderates, and conservatives according to this poll—3 percent of each.

But when it gets to party identification, he drew statistically nothing from Democrats, 3 percent from Republicans, and 7 percent from Independents. Independents were otherwise split evenly 47-47 between Warner and Gillespie. So, there is indeed some cause for GOPers to think that Sarvis' presence in the race was bad for them.

Sarvis wrote me last night with a contrary analysis, hooked to a fact I neglected to account for: that not all Republicans, if the exit poll is correct, actually voted Republican in this race–7 percent went Warner:

One can't assume the 3 percent Rs would be voting [Gillespie] in my absence—it's quite likely these R voters would have joined the 7 percent of Rs voting for Warner. Polls throughout the race showed Warner enjoying double-digit support among Rs, and a fair number of Rs told us they can't stomach voting for [Gillespie]. A lot of business-type Republicans consider Warner acceptable, so probably many Rs who really disliked [Gillespie] voted for me because I was preferable to Warner, but would otherwise have voted Warner not Gillespie. So those R Sarvis voters were "taken" from Warner not Gillespie.

Similar thing happened last year, with pretty high certainty. A poll in September showed that *among Sarvis supporters*, 60+ percent had a favorable opinion of Gov. McDonnell, but 70+ percent had an UN-favorable view of Cuccinelli. So I was a vessel for moderate, R-leaning, anti-Cuccinelli voters who preferred voting for me to voting for MacAuliffe, i.e., I "took" moderate R votes from MacAuliffe.

Moreover, my share of the Independent vote clearly skewed younger, so from voters not inclined to vote D than R.

Reason on the whole "spoiler" thing with the Libertarian Party.

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  1. Doggone it, doesn’t he know those vote are the property of Team Red?

    1. Seriously, he snuck inside in the middle of the night and stole them!

      It seems like Ann Coulter has a lot of drownings to do.

      1. She’s the giraffe for the job…

  2. Sarvis, shut up! Being a spoiler or perceived as one = power!

    1. No power comes with winning elections. But please keep up this argument I prefer for libertarians to not figure this out.

      1. I’d say significant power comes from winning elections.*

        *commas are your friend.

        1. + 1 eats, shoots, and leaves

      2. Playing spoiler can influence future candidates.

    2. Yes and no. Gillespie didn’t win. So him or the GOP deciding “hey we need to appeal to that other 3%” doesn’t mean any power. They are not in office. And even then, appealing to the 3% only makes sense if you think you can do so without losing more votes from other groups. It is not like Sarvis voters are the only ones who voted against Gillespie. There were a whole lot more that voted for Warner. Moreover, working to grab their votes is more effective that getting Sarvis’ votes since each vote not only raises your total it also reduces Warner’s.

      1. Gillespie didn’t win. So him or the GOP deciding “hey we need to appeal to that other 3%” doesn’t mean any power. They are not in office.

        Um. Wow really? You know that you don’t have to be in office to consider that this small voting block is important enough to try and attract.

        1. You know that you don’t have to be in office to consider that this small voting block is important enough to try and attract.

          No but if you are not in office, your deciding that doesn’t mean anything.

          1. Yes it does. There are people with influence out of office, and people who can run for office. Am I really going to have to spell this out?

      2. So libertarians should be worried that Republicans will get fewer So-Con votes if the Republicans Party becomes more libertarian?

        1. No. That is the Republicans’ problem. But Libertarians shouldn’t expect Republicans to come running to them either.

          You wouldn’t expect the Democrats to throw the black vote or the public employee vote over the side to attract Libertarians would you? So why would you expect the Republicans to throw one of their largest and most loyal voting blocks over the side?

          1. I expect them to appeal to us. If they don’t, sucks for them. What the SoCons do is beside that point.

            1. They didn’t appeal to you and they just won big last night. So I would say it sucks for you not them.

              The big stars from Tuesday are not meeting your purity test. So, you might want to think about voting Democrat.

              1. Do note that in Colorado the Republican ran on making birth control available OTC. Hardly a SoCon argument.

  3. The problem with calling him a “spoiler” is that you don’t know how many of that 3% and just as importantly who of that 3% would have just stayed home rather than showed up to vote had he not run. While most of the people who voted for him were probably Republicans normally a significant minority were Democrats. There is no way to tell which side would have stayed home greater numbers. It is entirely possible that the Democrats who voted for Sarvis would have voted for Warner at a higher rate than the Republicans who voted for Sarvis. We will never know.

    Beyond that, I don’t get the appeal of Sarvis. I look at his web site and to the extent that he is good on issues like gun control, he talks in vague talking points. And I still don’t trust him after he came out for GPS tracking cars so that we could make the road tax more efficient a couple of years ago. He seems like the sort of empty suit talking point machine that the major parties often run.

    1. meh. What’s to get he ran against two people who built their entire wealth on using gov. regulation to strangle competition.

      1. That is a pretty low bar. One of the freedoms of being a minor party is that it should allow you to run really serious candidates with serious ideas rather than empty suits like Sarvis.

        1. That’s pretty much what they did with the guy who ran against Graham too.

        2. Still he leaps clear over it.

    2. Part of the problem is that (until recently) he *was* one of the empty suit talking point machines run by a major party (in his case, the GOP). As I understand it, he got sour grapes from not being given committee assignments or seeing a path upwards from where he was at.

    3. I saw him speak and didn’t get the impression he was an empty suit. It was a small, friendly crowd, so he wasn’t exactly tested. But he seemed to have a pretty good grasp of the issues based on what was asked. He didn’t give people the runaround, either.

    4. I’ll concede that his website’s issues statement is oddly spartan, but calling Sarvis an empty suit is a strange line of attack. He’s got degrees in math from Harvard and Cambridge, law from NYU, and economics from George Mason. In every interview I’ve read or seen he’s delivered substantive and intelligent defenses of libertarian positions. No candidate is perfect, but libertarians could do worse. Are you disappointed he doesn’t drink liquid silver?

      1. Maybe he is. If so, he needs a better web site. And even if he is, the GPS thing really pissed me off. It showed that he learned his economics at Mason but apparently forgot his larger values in the process. Fuck him if he thinks an efficient tax system is worth taking away people’s privacy.

        1. the GPS thing really pissed me off. It showed that he learned his economics at Mason but apparently forgot his larger values in the process.

          The GPS thing pisses me off because it’s Breitbart-level BS. He never advocated that he just mentioned it was something others suggested. Then conservative ‘new media’ spread that lie to the gullible conservative masses (conservative new media sure operates a lot like the old media).

          1. it was something others suggested

            And, I believe, something Sarvis suggested was more along the lines of reporting mileage when you get a state inspection, not gps trackers in cars.

          2. The GPS thing pisses me off because it’s Breitbart-level BS. He never advocated that he just mentioned it was something others suggested.

            If it wasn’t followed by “this is a stupid idea”, then Sarvis is a fucking moron. If he doesn’t like people associating him with stupid ideas, he should stop talking about them.

            1. Woosh go the goalposts.

              You’re still a liar.

    5. came out for GPS tracking cars

      Why must everyone put words in his mouth? He said nothing of the sort.

      1. Because John and many conservatives are extremely mendacious. Their ‘new media’ hives give them the cocoon echo chamber liberals have had in MSNBC and the MSM for a while now.

        1. Sure. He just mentioned it might be a good idea.

          Sarvis could come out in favor of killing children and you would think it was great.

          Oh wait, you support that anyway. So I guess you are not such a partisan.

          1. He just mentioned it might be a good idea.

            I don’t think he did. Until I see a quote saying otherwise, I’m just going to assume this is example XVII of ‘John makes stuff up/outruns his evidence’.

            1. One of the older, unattractive, blonde bimbos on FNC was the first I heard say that he said that and called him a fake libertarian. It seemed she was trying to con libertarians/independents that would possibly vote for the Cuccinelli (I can’t spell his name) because Sarvis supposedly didn’t care about your privacy. She is a mendacious cunt.

              1. the Cuccinelli*

  4. Fuck you Ed Gillespie, be more libertarian.

    1. PREACH

    2. Yeah I really don’t like pulling the lever for any lawyers politics aside.

      1. He’s a lawyer and a lobbyist? Jeepers creepers.

        1. He’s creepy as hell. Just a feeling but he’s a major party politician so I trust that feeling.

  5. Well, what do you expect from a Conservative Anarchist Non-Interventionist Bleeding-Heart Progressive?

    Sheesh…

  6. There are quite a few Bruce Bartlett Republicans out there who grew sick of the drunken spending ways of the GOP 2002-2007 and like the relatively sane fiscal discipline of Obama.

    I said RELATIVELY sane, Red Tony.

    1. What you’ve just said… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul…

      1. The lefties are having a hard time after Tuesday. For a while Shreek’s meds seemed to keep him his usual incoherent self. But now even he is reducing to even more incoherent ramblings than usual. These people are psychotic and don’t look to be getting any better.

        1. I honestly think the midterms broke some of these people.

          1. I think you are right. When Republicans lose they are pissed off and often feel sorry for themselves but they do seem to mostly keep a grasp on reality. Democrats seem to have completely lost their minds over this.

    2. Yeah, adding $7TT to the debt is totally “sane fiscal discipline”.

      Fuck you are a retarded demfag.

    3. This is a fascinating psychological aspect of team politics.

  7. Just saw that Craig Watkins, Dallas County DA who started the “conviction integrity unit” within his own department, lost his re-election bid. He’s the only prosecutor I have ever heard of that had any principles whatsoever other than “conviction at all costs”

    1. Thanks for kicking me in the balls Kristen. Couldn’t you have at least given me some kind of warning?

      1. I suggested on his FB page that he should try working on the other side of the courtroom now.

        1. I’m sure he can get a gig at any defense firm he wants now.

    2. Hey, I got like 15 votes for Solicitor.

    3. Damn, I guess I should have voted.

  8. So after all the mouth running about spoiling senate elections the best the libertarian party could muster was to spoil a race no one thought the Republicans had a chance to win. If anything the Republican curb stomping spoiled the libertarians chance of arrogating influence for themselves via “spoiling” a race or two.

    1. Yeah, we get it, we’re politically powerless and not worth consideration by the major parties. Like that’s fucking news.

      What’s your excuse for wasting your time telling us what we already know, shitstain?

    2. the best the libertarian party could muster was to spoil a race no one thought the Republicans had a chance to win.

      For now, that’ll have to do.

      I’ll take it.

      If anything the Republican curb stomping spoiled the libertarians chance of arrogating influence for themselves via “spoiling” a race or two.

      Because the people voted FOR the Republicans rather than AGAINST the Democrats, right?

      As I said earlier…you Republicans and Democrats are the greatest libertarian recruitment tool that’s ever existed. Keep up the good work.

    3. So after all the mouth running about spoiling senate elections the best the libertarian party could muster was to spoil a race no one thought the Republicans had a chance to win.

      Yup, and your yummy tears made it all worth it.

  9. the relatively sane fiscal discipline of Obama.

    What was the average annual spend while W was in office?

    What has been the average annual spend while Obama has been in office?

    What do you mean by “fiscal discipline”.

    Thanks. I’ll wait.

    1. Government grew from $1.9 trillion to $3.5 trillion under Dumbya. It is about $3.6 trillion now – a sane and small increase.

      Government never contracts, btw.

      1. Yes, if you are delusional and think Bush stayed in office through 2009.

        No one buys that bullshit. You have your nose rubbed in that little pile of shit hundreds of times.

        1. The Republicans promise less intrusive, less expensive government. But will they deliver? In the past, they have said they would shrink the state, but then they came into power and spent more. Consider George W. Bush’s eight horrendous years: The budget grew 89 percent?from $1.86 trillion to $3.52 trillion.

          https://reason.com/archives/201…..-cut-gover

          John Stossel

          1. BUSHPIG!!

            and the Democrats owned Congress and thus the budget after 06 delusional little turd.

          2. Sure you wanna keep playing, shreek? The game’s always between you and getting called a cunt. That dropped eye of yours looks like the hood on a cunt to me, shreek. When you talk, your mouth looks like a cunt moving.

      2. Federal outlays were $3.0 trillion in 2008, up from $1.8 trillion in 2000. They have increased by $600 million since then, but receipts have remained about the same ($2.5 trillion to $2.8 trillion — so, more debt!). Also, the government did contract in the 1920s, and quite substantially, too.

        1. CBO said Bush was on track to spend $3.52 trillion in 08/09 before Obama was sworn in.

          I linked -you can’t. CBO or Reason accepted – not Wingnut.com.

          1. What, no love for the OMB?

            1. Gotta love those estimates, too. Even the OMB can’t deny $500 billion+ deficits aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I do love how they estimate receipts are going to keep pace with outlays. Magic money!

            2. And federal spending has not grown at all since Obama was sworn in according to the OMB.

              It is projected to rise.

              1. And federal spending has not grown at all since Obama was sworn in according to the OMB.

                How much spending did he veto?

      3. (1) Obama implemented one of the biggest entitlement program in the history of the nation. Not even the CBO pretends that it won’t add to the deficit. That the government might have grown as fast under Obama is really a moot point.

        (2) Who forced Obama who scale back slightly on (discretionary) spending during the fiscal cliff and sequestration showdown?

        I also seem to recall that the Democrats supported Bush’s big spending, even his wars. The creation of Homeland Security, TSA, Czars, alert system, a bunch of departments – the Democrats weren’t about to oppose them in the post 9/11 era.

        Obama and the Republicans didn’t do a thing to address entitlement and a whole bunch of autopilot programs guaranteed to increase spending.

        1. The ACA is tiny compared to the giant spending crater the GOP left.

          What is the Dept of Homeland Security? $150 billion/yr? Medicare Welfare? $40 billion/yr? Iraq war? About $2 trillion total? Defense spending outside the wars exploded.

          Don’t lie to me. I know who blew up spending.

          1. Lies and misdirection.

        2. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, first proposed by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century in January 2001

          The Bushpigs started spending early! Eight full months before 9/11!

          1. The Bushpigs in the Clinton administration?

    2. The Republicans promise less intrusive, less expensive government. But will they deliver? In the past, they have said they would shrink the state, but then they came into power and spent more. Consider George W. Bush’s eight horrendous years: The budget grew 89 percent?from $1.86 trillion to $3.52 trillion.

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..-cut-gover

      John Stossel

      1. Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! NOW! MOVE IT! Or I’m going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, IF IT SHORT-DICKS EVERY CANNIBAL ON THE CONGO!

          1. It’s like you don’t understand that both of these statements are true:

            Bush was an awful president and a fiscal disaster.

            O’bama is an awful president and a fiscal disaster.

      2. Cool story bro.

      3. Congratulations, Obama took a supposedly one time stimulus of $800BB, added it to the yearly budget and made that the new baseline. That’s a real fiscally sane move right there.

        Never mind the Democrats owning congress from 2006.

        1. Even doing it once was batshit insane.

  10. The answer that any third-party candidate should give when being accused of being a “spoiler” is: if you don’t want me taking votes away from your party’s candidate, then put up a candidate who can get the support of the people who voted for me.

  11. EARN our vote, GOP. EARN it.

    1. All 3% of them.

      1. If the R’s fielded more libertarian candidates, they would probably pick up votes from more than just the 3% of people who vote libertarian. They would pick up a lot of votes from moderates and independents.
        The proportion of the US public with moderately libertarian leanings is a lot bigger than 3%.

        1. Another great point.

        2. Maybe. Of course those people presumably voted Democrat at least in 08 and 12. The Democrats didn’t seem to be very libertarian and they still got their votes.

          I don’t think you have a very good understanding of why people vote Democrat. You think it is because they wake up every day thinking of how they can get free shit or because they think gay marriage is the most important issue in the world. It is not true.

          The moderates you describe vote Democrat for one or both of two reasons. They either are angry at Republicans for being corrupt and incompetent or they have bought into the cultural myth that voting Democrat is a way to show you care about the less fortunate. They don’t vote Democrat because they are dying for the new Libertarian state. And going more Libertarian isn’t necessarily going to attract them to the GOP anymore than being actual Libertarians has attracted them to the Libertarian party.

          They center right but it is not center Libertarian. It is just not.

          1. In which John uses his non-existent psychic powers in an argument. This thread is just an exhibit to John’s faulty way of arguing. You suck.

            1. What are you talking about you half wit? Really. You and Hazel’s argument boils down to that there is this huge silent majority of America that want gay marriage, legal pot, open borders and the free market, yet somehow neither of the major parties manage to appeal to and are just waiting to vote for whoever wants to.

              The fact that the Libertarian party exist to appeal to just these sorts of people and is lucky to get 5% somehow doesn’t matter. They are all out there voting Democrat out of false consciousness or something.

              Are you 12 years old or something? How do you manage to think like this?

              1. Legal pot seems to be winning a lot lately. So does gay marriage. Strangely this is happening at the same time as Obama hitting a 40% approval rating and R’s retaking the Senate.

                1. Gay marriage lost nearly every time it came for a vote Hazel. Gay marriage is winning in the courts as judges overturn gay marriage bans.

                  Gay marriage won by judicial decree because outside of a very few places it could never win at the ballot box.

                  And marijuana is not legal in most places. And plenty of socially conservative people are starting to realize the drug war is immoral. You don’t have to be a social liberal to think locking millions of people up is a bad idea.

                  1. MJ legalization is advancing light-years faster than abortion restrictions are.
                    There is a reason for that.

                    1. Yes Hazel. It is because the Supreme Court doesn’t step in and strike down marijuana legalizations.

                      If abortion is so popular why do the feminists worry so much about Roe v. Wade? All overturning Roe would do is kick the issue back to the states. That shouldn’t matter since there is this giant silent majority of Hazels out there.

                      Of course it does and the feminists know it and know that at a minimum late term abortions would get banned if Roe ever went down.

                    2. There isn’t a chance in hell that abortion will be illegal again in my lifetime. Even with a majority of conservatives on the court, they have no taken it up.
                      Roe is not going to be overturned. I doubt if more than 3 of the 5 conservatives right now owuld vote to overturn it.

                      SoCons are going to have to win a lot more elections and appoint a lot more hard SoCon justicies to get rid of Roe.

                    3. Neither Kennedy nor Roberts would vote to overturn Roe today, and you know it. And I’m pretty sure the Republican presidents that appointed them knew it too.

                    4. Late term abortions would be banned and have been in several states and were just overturned by the courts Hazel.

          2. Lots of people vote Democrat because they are social liberals and see the Republicans as socially retrograde bible-thumping bigots.

            1. Absolutely Hazel. And most of those people you describe are also socialists or economic illiterates who are never going to buy what Libertarians have to say about economics.

              1. Most maybe. Like 2/3. That still leaves 1/3 that are economic or fiscal conservatives. I hear people all the time say they are social liberals and fiscal or economic conservatives.

                1. They say that but they don’t mean it. If they did, the Libertarian Party would get more votes. Clearly, they don’t consider economics that important or they wouldn’t be voting Democrat. So what does the Libertarian party or the new Hazel version of the GOP offer them? Social liberalism? They already have that with the Democrat.

                  If you really care about these social issues so much Hazel, just vote Democrat. The Democrats really do deliver on those issues.

                  1. No, people don’t vote libertarian because it’s a “wasted vote”. Not because they don’t sympathize with Libertarian principles.

                    These people aren’t voting democrat either. They are independents and swing voters. They aren’t solidly in the Democratic camp. They are people who probably don’t vote at all because they don’t think there is a viable candidate who represents them.

  12. Even if Sarvis was a “spoiler” he was only one because Gillespie failed to win other votes. Had Gillispie managed 12,000 more votes from non-libertarians, Sarvis wouldn’t have been a spoiler.

    Meanwhile, I bet at least half of the votes Gillespie did get came from SOCONs. So tell me again why it is smart for the Republicans to kick the SOCONs to the curb and go after Libertarians?

    I am not being a smart ass here, I am asking a serious question. Sarvis got 3%. That sucks. That is not a spoiler. That is a statistical rounding error. Anyone who tells you otherwise is fucking delusional.

    1. Unfortunately, this is probably the situation. Had a more libertarian-leaning Republican run, they may have picked up some of that 3%, but would they have turned off non-libertarian Republicans enough to stay home? That is the calculus. It’s not just about how much you gain by shifting, it’s about how much you *net* after considering the possibility of losses.

      I don’t know enough to say how many votes the Republicans may have lost by running someone more libertarian. It’s impossible to know for sure, polls are never accurate when discussing hypothetical candidates that people can project on to.

      1. You never know. And that is why it is stupid to call Sarvis a spoiler. And really if Gillespie managed to get all but the 2% who voted for Sarvis of the political right, he did a hell of a job and the problem was there wasn’t enough right wing voters period not that some small percentage of them went Libertarian. There is always going to be that.

      2. They might pick up OTHER gains, besides the 3%. There are lots of social-liberal fiscal-conservative moderates and independents out there.

        1. There are lots of social-liberal fiscal-conservative moderates and independents out there.

          No there are not. You guys just tell yourselves that. But what evidence is there that any of them actually exist? Most of the people who agree with you about taxes and economic policy are socially conservative. Most of the people who agree with you about the culture war are economic illiterates or outright socialists.

          That is the reality Hazel. If it wasn’t the reality, there would be more politicians out there appealing to these mythical voters.

          1. But what evidence is there that any of them actually exist?

            The fact that in a Republican wave year, personhood amendments went down to defeat, and marijuana legalization didn’t.

            That ought to tell you something.

            1. Marijuana legalization didn’t win everywhere. And poll after poll show a majority of the country opposes late term abortion. The personhood amendments failed because they were seen as a way to ban all abortions not because everyone agrees with you an Cytoxic and all abortions at any point are great.

              And it has taken decades to even make small progress on marijuana. Meanwhile the drug war goes brutally on. You do yourself no favors by lying to yourself Hazel.

              1. MJ legalization got majority votes. It just didn’t get the 60% threshold in whatever state that was.

                Nobody put late-term abortion on the ballot. Strange that.

                Clearly, there are some people voting Republican who are also voting for MJ legalization and against the extremer SoCon policies.

                1. Nobody put late-term abortion on the ballot. Strange that.

                  Its because banning it is unconstitutional. So they put vague personhood amendments up instead.

                  The advancement of science and the rise of the ultrasound has made late term abortions very unpopular. It just has. And the people who defend it are left arguing that it is a lump of cells one moment and a person the next thanks to some sort of magic that happens during birth. It is an indefensible and irrational position counter to both common sense and the science of fetal development. It is doomed to eventually disappear.

                  1. So basically, the SoCons put something on the ballot was is pointlessly unconsitutional, and was roundly rejected by voters, and your conclusion from this is that there are tons and tons of socons out there that the GOP can’t afford to annoy?

                    1. and your conclusion from this is that there are tons and tons of socons out there that the GOP can’t afford to annoy?

                      No. My conclusion is that most people don’t want to ban abortion outright but that has nothing to do with their views on late term ones or say anything about their views on other social issues.

    2. Why cant you appeal to both?

      1. Note: before you answer, consider the junior senator in my state.

      2. I agree it can. But not everyone does.

        1. What so hard about the advice then? If the GOP wants to win run a Paul or Massie who can appeal to libertarian leaners and socons.

          1. Maybe. I would like that. But they could also run someone who appeals to SOCONs and various soft Dems who voted for Warner because he thought he cared more about them.

            The point is that its not that simple since Sarvis voters are not the only voters to be had.

            1. Maybe. But I think appealing to the middle loses more voters than appealing to libertarians. Outside the NE, no one likes rinos.

      3. How much does Rand appeal to SoCons, though? I’ve never seen numbers on that.

        My guess is that it is possible to find a libertarian-leaning conservative that SoCons will tolerate, but probably hard to find one that they’ll enthusiastically support. Unless their libertarian leanings are almost exclusively on the economic issues, in which case they lose broader appeal.

        1. Democrats cant win in KY without socon votes. Half the D party (outside Louisville and Lexington) is soconish.

        2. He seems to appeal a lot. And what exactly is Paul saying that won’t appeal to them?

          The problem libertarians have with SOCONS is that they never talk to them and when they do it is usually some harangue about how they need to shut up and support gay marriage.

          And the SOCONS have been ahead of Libertarians on the issue of prison reform. The only people in the country that are actually talking about the inhumanity of our prisons are SOCONs and Libertarians.

          I think SOCONs are a hell of a lot more amenable to Libertarian ideas than the urban left. Yet, Librarians seem to be obsessed with appealing to the urban left and terrified of being associated with the dreaded SOCONs.

          1. Ive been saying that for 20 years. Thete are libertarian tendencies in every church Ive been in.

            They arent going to be pure, but they are fellow travelers on many issues.

            1. No one is going to be “pure”. God knows the millenials Reason is always going on about are not going to be “pure”.

              A lot of it is how you frame issues. The drug war is the best example of this. If the issue is framed as “we just want to smoke dope in peace”, yeah the SOCONS are not signing up. But if it is, “it is immoral and wrong and beneath a society that claims to be moral to lock people up for decades for the crime of taking drugs”, they are going to listen.

              Even if SOCONs wouldn’t sign up for legalization, they could be a hell of a lot of help in sentencing reform. That sure as hell would be nice.

              1. We just doubled the number of states with legal MJ during an election where older whiter conservative are more likely to vote than other groups compared to presidential cycles. Either the SoCons are okay with ‘let us smoke dope in peace’ or they are just irrelevant. Either way, there’s really no reason for us to compromise with them. They must come to us.

                1. Either way, there’s really no reason for us to compromise with them. They must come to us.

                  Why? To collect you staggering 3% of the vote?

                  1. To win. See Hazelmeade above. There are other people they can appeal to. The fact that libertarian causes such as MJ are advancing while SoCon ones aren’t is testament to our superior appeal to the public. They need us; we really don’t need them.

                    1. No Cytoxic there are not. You are telling yourself lies. The people who agree with you on economics don’t agree with you on the culture war. The people who agree with you about the need to exterminate the SOCONS are socialists.

                      Life sucks dude. Get over it.

                    2. The fact that people voted for Mj legalization and against personhood amendments is a lie?

                    3. No Hazel. It just doesn’t mean what you think it does. And if the voted Republican, why do the Republicans need to go further Libertarian to get them? They already go them enough to win a landslide victory.

                    4. There are lots of socially moderate, fiscally conservative (i.e. moderately libertarian) independents out there who are sitting elections out because they don’t agree with either candidate. They don’t want to vote for a socialist OR a bible-thumping bigot, and the LP candidate is a pointless wasted vote.

                    5. Again Hazel, there isn’t any evidence of that other than your wishful thinking.

                2. I just saw a poll somewhere that almost a third of evangelicals support gay marriage. I’m so ready for these issues to disappear.

          2. No the problem libertarians have with SoCons is that they are active enemies of freedom. Balancing the budget and reducing spending comes after pumping up anti-drug paranoia and border walls. They aren’t even interested in free trade.

            1. You really are the Team Orange Shreek. You are incapable of having a rational conversation about this issue.

              Why don’t you just point to the part on the doll where the SOCON touched you. Lets stop fighting and try to see if we can help you work through some of your anger issues.

              1. You really are the Team Orange Shreek.

                Stop trying to break my irony-meter Mr. Red Tony.

            2. Border walls?

              I dont think immigration policy is a particularly syrong socon issue.

              Drugs, maybe, but it can framed right to get their support. Of the bootlegger/baptist alliance, the bootleggers are the biggest problem.

              1. Note: that might be my bias, as I despise rent seekers more than morality zealots.

          3. I’m not reflexively against SoCons. I probably have made comments in the past that make it seem that way, and some of that is probably being in the Reason echo chamber, but I grew up surrounded by social conservatives, some of my family falls distinctly into that category, and I myself and very much in the pro-life camp. I just saw Book of Mormon last night. Believe me when I say that I would probably rather hang out with actual Mormons than some of the people in the audience that got to feel self-righteous by laughing at the rubes who believe that stuff.

            My problem with SoCons is not so much that they oppose gay marriage or get all evangelical. I can live with that. It’s the way they blow those issues out of proportion, and it’s the way they can talk about freedom out of one side of their mouth and then want to ban certain harmless behaviour. It’s the way they try to co-opt history to fit their narrative, or come up with completely untenable arguments to try and support their preferred policies. And honestly, some of it is probably familiarity. If they would just tone it down, I’d be happy to ally with them.

            And when I say SoCons, please understand that I realize that label does not refer to a monolithic group. Really, I’m thinking more of the individuals and organizations that carry the SoCon banner. Though in my experience the rank and file do seem to mostly think the same way.

            1. And by “ally with them”, I mean more broadly. I’ll ally with anyone on specific issues where we agree.

            2. The problem is that it is the left that blows these issues out of proportion. The left lives and dies by the culture war and is always the aggressors. They constantly start new culture wars to keep people fighting and voting about that and not notice as they destroy the economy and loot the country.

        3. but probably hard to find one that they’ll enthusiastically support

          Depending on the situation you might not need their enthusiastic support. If they hate the Dem candidate enough they will go out and vote anyway. This is why I think Rand would do well running as a libertarian Republican in 2016. The conservative base might despise the Dem candidate enough that Rand wouldn’t have to give them a thing.

          If Rand won in 2016 it would be an interesting test of his character too. He’d probably still have a GOP Congress. Would he be able to say NO to them?

          1. If they hate the Dem candidate enough they will go out and vote anyway.

            An average, you are probably right, but I wouldn’t take it for granted. We are talking about some very principled people that don’t exactly strike me as being very concerned with political strategy.

    3. Sarvis got 3%. That sucks. That is not a spoiler.

      Yes he is a spoiler. RTFA and try to move past the denial stage.

      I bet at least half of the votes Gillespie did get came from SOCONs.

      You’re better at making stuff up than analysis, but I’ll play. SoCons are 1) slavish and incapable of voting for anyone else and 2) dying out.

      1. Why don’t you learn how to do math, you fucking half wit. Gilespie lost by 12,000 votes. There is nothing to say that he couldn’t have won by appealing to the some of the 97% of the vote who didn’t vote for Sarvis.

        And not all of that 3% were Republicans. A good portion of them were Democrats. Again, anyone who thinks Sarvis was a spoiler is delusional. Let me put on my suprised face that you think exactly that.

        1. Again, anyone who thinks Sarvis was a spoiler is delusional.

          RTFA. Sarvis pulled more Republicans than Dems.

          There is nothing to say that he couldn’t have won by appealing to the some of the 97% of the vote who didn’t vote for Sarvis.

          It’s not an either-or situation. This is example 9038598
          of ‘John basing his argument on false dichotomy’.

          1. Sarvis pulled more Republicans than Dems.

            More means majority. It doesn’t mean all. A significant minority of Sarvis supporters were Democrats.

            It’s not an either-or situation

            Yes it often is. When you appeal to one group of voters you necessarily reduce your appeal to others. Softening his image and saying things like “I believe we need to ensure the future of medicare” would probably appeal to a lot of suburban women who voted for Warner. But it sure as hell wouldn’t have appealed to Sarvis voters.

            Do you even think about these issues? Do you even try?

  13. Without libertarians who are intellectually committed to actually voting for libertarians, Republicans will never even pretend to give a shit about reducing the size of government or enhancing freedom.

  14. Oh, come on, embrace your spoiling! Cackle with glee and revel in it. If you can’t spoil things, you’re powerless to influence them.

  15. What was the average annual spend while W was in office?

    What has been the average annual spend while Obama has been in office?

    Fucking baselines- how do they work?

  16. If one or the other party is worried about the LP being a “spoiler” in a particular race, then go to the LP and ask what the price is to keep a candidate out of that race. Surely there are some political appointments that could be bargained for that would look good on a future candidate’s resume.

  17. Here’s a simple answer for Republicans:

    If you don’t want libertarian “spoilers” in the race, try adopting positions closer to libertarian positions that will hence attract more libertarians to support the Republican candidate.

    It’s like Republicans expect libertarians to vote R out of some sort of tribal loyalty, even when the Republican candidate shits all over out principles.
    Fuck that. Make them work for our votes.

    1. This. So simple, but their fuckminds have a way of rationalizing their way out of it. See John’s rambling nonsense above.

  18. The Republicans are more likely to go after Democrat voters by running “compassionate conservative” candidates than to try to appeal to libertarian voters.

    1. Amd that leads to winning one cycle and getting blown out the next few.

  19. Ignoring Sarvis for a moment, Ed was supposed to lose this race by at least 10 points. He was supposed to be little more than a sacrifice before the invincible Warner. He was a terrible choice for a candidate considering his history. And yet he was able to turn it into a 1 point loss. Imagine if the GOP had managed to field a candidate who didn’t make everyone gag a little every time they heard his name… This mythical candidate could have stomped Warner. But this is the Stupid Party we’re talking about.

    1. It is surprising. I was telling libertarianish people on both sides that this was a great election to vote L because the result wasn’t really in doubt and you didn’t have to worry about TEAM. Ooops.

    2. Maybe Gillespie was the best they had? You can’t just create good candidates. They are often hard to find.

      And a certain percentage is going to vote L no matter how good of a candidate the Republicans run. Considering that Sarvis only got 3% of the vote, Gillespie didn’t lose because he failed to appeal to Libertarians, since I can’t see how the L candidate would have gotten any fewer votes no matter who the Republicans ran.

  20. At 9% of the vote in a three-way race, Sarvis was a spoiler or he was irrelevant to the result. Which do you want it to be?

  21. I think Reason and Sarvis are both looking at the results too narrowly. Of course, using the exit poll is like making cake without all the ingredients. To wit: my wife and I, both 57, and our 2 sons, 28 and 33, all voted for Sarvis for Senate and Governor last year. NONE OF US WOULD HAVE VOTED AT ALL IF SARVIS WAS NOT ON THE BALLOT. None of us voted for a D or R down ballot, so we did not ‘take’ any votes from anyone. We even voted for the Green for our Congressman as a pure protest vote.
    Vjk

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