Election 2016

Yugely Hated Trump Even With Clinton in New NBC Poll

FFS, Dems & Reps: There's a pile of libertarian votes that are easy to win and hold...

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God, is there anyone running for president who's worse than Donald Trump? As it turns out, yeah.

A new online NBC/SurveyMonkey poll of 11,000 people who say they're registered to vote (yes, yes, caveats apply!) showed that the awful billionaire is basically neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton and that he fares better against the former senator and secretary of state than the Republican establishment's new boyfriend, Ted Cruz.

NBC News

When Cruz is pitted against Clinton, he pulls just 32 percent against her 37 percent.

Read full thing, including methodology, here.

For me, the biggest silver lining in this dark cloud of an election is the interest in third parties, which I read as "The Libertarian Party" (LP) since it's the only alternative that will be on the ballot in all 50 states and whose 2012 candidate pulled over 1 million votes and around 1 percent of all ballots cast four years ago.

The NBC/SurveyMonkey results show consistent double-digit interest in voting third party due to the folks at the top of the major-party tickets. The poll asks who Trump and Cruz supporters will vote for if their guy doesn't get the GOP nom, and in either case about one-quarter say they'll go for a third party.

Federalist.com/Today Show screencap

As I suggested yesterday in a conversation with WBT's Keith Larson (listen here!), if the LP pulls even in the high single digits in the general election, it will have a major influence on how each major party reconstitutes itself after this election. Yes, the Democrat or the Republican will win in November but unless Clinton and Cruz or Trump all get personality transplants between now and the, we're going to see a winner with less than 50 percent of all votes.

Because it can appeal to both conventional liberals and conservatives (read: Democrats and Republicans), the LP will become a natural place for the major parties to turn to woo new voters. Libertarian voters (whether registered in the party or not) are the easiest goddamn voters to win every time: Just be socially liberal and fiscally conservative in your policies and attitudes; shrink the size, scope, and spending of government by getting it out of the boardroom and the bedroom; be against elective war and pot prohibition, for immigrants and marriage equality (or getting the government out of such things), and argue that the the government should do fewer things better. As each party drives toward the low-20s in terms of voter identification, they should be looking to see how they can placate the vast and growing libertarian middle without alienating their own wingnuts.

FFS, major-party types! The Libertarian Moment is so fricking over that libertarians are now the single-largest ideological bloc in the country, according to Gallup. We're not coy. If you tack in our direction, you'll pick up more and more votes and the only cost will be that once you're in power, you'll have less power to wield. That's a bargain we can all live with, isn't it?

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NEXT: A.M. Links: Trump vs. Cruz, Hillary vs. Bernie, Two More Suspects Charged in Brussels Terrorist Attack

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  1. if the LP pulls even in the high single digits in the general election

    The LP nominee will have to reach one single digit first. Something it has done only once before in 1980.

    1. Thanks to those evil Kochs!!

  2. it will have a major influence on how each major party reconstitutes itself after this election.

    something something Tea Party

    1. Tea Party= 17%

      Libertarian Party= less than 1%

      1. I think we’re in violent agreement.

    2. Reconstituted feces is still feces.

  3. Sure, Nick.

    …sure.

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  5. Hated billionaire bully in dead heat with beloved former first lady. Sad.

  6. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but online polls aren’t exactly known for their accuracy. If they were, Ron Paul would be president now.

  7. And the Winston signal has been lit.

    1. So you’ve welded the outline of puckered asshole to a spotlight?

  8. … but unless Clinton and Cruz or Trump all get personality transplants between now and the, we’re going to see a winner with less than 50 percent of all votes.

    The personalities of some will get filtered better than of others by the time they reach news consumers.

    Anyway, I doubt the Democrats will see much a need for a party correction after this one. Everything is generally going as planned. The GOP, however, is going to have to nuke itself from orbit.

    1. I doubt the Democrats will see much a need for a party correction after this one.

      Nope. Even if Hillary doesn’t make it due to FBI leaks or her health, they won’t connect any dots with a structural problem in their party.

  9. I thought I was having a libertarian moment, but it was just gas.

    1. You need more moral fiber.

  10. Eagerly awaiting the Winston-rage that this post will surely induce.

    1. Well let’s go for a double rage and suggest Lew Rockwell for VP.

  11. Sorry Nick, you’re delusional. These particular candidates are leading, in part, because they reject libertarian ideals and policies. It pains me to say so but we’re a small minority of people and no amount of bullshit libertarian moment articles is going to change this.

    1. Much more succinctly put than my effort, below.

    2. Libertarians find it difficult to understand that most Americans prefer free stuff to freedom.

      1. “Hey, free is free, amirite?”

        1. TANSTAAFL

  12. libertarians are now the single-largest ideological bloc in the country

    And if you believe hard enough, Tinker Bell will live!

    1. This delusion that “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” is a marker for libertarianism simply will not end.

      Hint: its not. SL,FC has been polling well for years and years, yet votes keep going to hardcore authoritarians, nannies, and statists.

      1. I think that’s probably more a function of beliefs versus actions than anything else.

        1. Partly, but probably not more than anything else. “Fiscally conservative” in some cases can mean “fiscally responsible”, i.e. raising taxes to cover deficits, although it usu. does include some spending restraint. However, “socially liberal” generally means being on the “liberal” side in the culture wars.

  13. only cost will be that once you’re in power, you’ll have less power to wield. That’s a bargain we can all live with, isn’t it?

    LOL

  14. FFS, Dems & Reps: There’s a pile of libertarian votes that are easy to win and hold…

    True that. But totally ignores that the type of policy that would take would scare off non-libertarian voters. So for every libertarian you’d win you’d lose ten soccer moms. Not a good policy prescription.

  15. “FFS”

    OMG LOL FAIL

    1. ur post reminded me of ohio orrin lol

      1. Not enough misspellings.

  16. If Hillary won with 38% of the people who voted (in that graph), then she’s win with 42% of the popular vote.

    According to this list, that would make Hillary Clinton the most unpopular President since John Quincy Adams in 1824.

    http://tinyurl.com/hb6kbsw

    And Adams only won in 1824 because no one got enough electoral college votes, so the President was chosen by the House of representatives.

  17. There’s a pile of libertarian votes that are easy to win and hold…

    Because libertarians are easily swayed and very agreeable. We all know this. Only moronic “libertarians” would disagree, the statist fucks that they are.

  18. Maybe SF can team The Jacket up with Donald’s hat and hair to take him over and turn him to our side, because Nick sounds less and less like The Jacket has any influence over him. His articles have become so much “I’ll support anyone who acknowledges I exist!”

  19. HAHAHAHAHA!

    Youz guyz! Is there any group as self defeatist and pessimistic as libertarians?

    Jesus fucking Christ on the cross, if we can’t make inroads when the alternatives are a commie, a fucking crook, an arrogant moron and the most hated guy in DC, you may as well just kill yourselves.

    1. Because “accept your doom, the best you can hope for is mid-high-single-digits% and a big brain like “Nazi Cakes” Gary Johnson” is such an appealing pitch

      1. Perhaps the best course of action is inaction. If everyone who is disgusted with the choices doesn’t vote, turnout will be a record low and that might send a message.

        1. Send a message. LOL.

          DC is the world’s largest dead letter office.

        2. turnout will be a record low and that might send a message.

          Indeed. Just what message is up in the air, though. For the winner, I doubt any message will be received except “We won.” For the loser, its likely to be “We have to be more like the winner if we want to win.”

    2. “…you may as well just kill yourselves.”

      I will probably just go fishing instead.

    3. We have made inroads, even when it comes to presidential races. The field of contenders was, & still is, considerably more libertarian than it was in most elections over the past century. If Goldwater were nominated today, he would not get slaughtered in the gen’l election for prez the way he was then. and he might even beat today’s equivalent of LBJ (whom I guess would be Joe Biden after Obama’s assassinated).

  20. Maybe a unicorn will fart and the GOP will make Gary Johnson the nominee. Other than that, there is no, and never has been any “libertarian moment.” Would be nice to actually see one in my lifetime but I doubt it, so long as the LP is regarded as a bunch of 420-loving child haters. Got into an argument with my bro (who is voting for Hillary) this weekend about this. He used to have “libertarian views” about 10 years ago, but now is adamantly against ending pot prohibition because he is the dad of two teens. He told me I will feel the same way when my kids are that age…I told him if my kids turn into potheads, its because I have failed as a parent, not that the gov’t has failed to protect them.

    1. Libertarianism isn’t about seizing the reigns of power through elections anyway.

      First people’s hearts and minds change, and then the politicians clue in to that. Cart before horse.

      I never thought I’d live to see states legalize recreational marijuana or gay marriage–yet here we are. Those things didn’t happen because libertarians elected members of the Libertarian Party. They happened because Democrats, Republicans, and independents became more libertarian on those issues.

      If people are becoming more libertarian on a lot of non-economic issues, then that’s what they’re becoming, and Gillespie and company are right to point that out. In fact, getting people and politicians to pay attention to libertarians and respect our influence is kinda his job.

      1. Gay marriage is here to stay. I’m not so sure about legalized pot, which still remains illegal per the Feds. All we need is some convincing sob story about some cute white teenage valedictorian type who got high for the first time and got in a fatal car wreck or was sexually assaulted. Her parents go on the Today show and Kaboom! The hammer comes down on CO, WA, OR, and any other states that legalize.

        1. That shit happens every day.

          So do multiple shootings and yet, much to Obama’s consternation and surprise, mass shootings don’t seem to do a damn thing to Americans’ support for the Second Amendment.

          That’s because of something. If we won’t accept having our rights clipped even in the face school shootings and condemnations, then it might be because of a libertarian something.

          What do you want to call that?

          1. What do you want to call that?

            Bitter clinging?

      2. In elections–when people were given a voice, the resoundingly rejected gay marriage in California, Oregon, Michigan and a whole host of blue strongholds–as well as in the usual red areas.

        Courts made gay marriage legal–by further gutting the BoR–not in any way that could remotely be called ‘libertarian’. It has led to strife and litigation in the mold of Roe v Wade.

        Applauding that process is applauding rank statism.

    2. I became more in favor of pot legalization as my kids approached teenage years. It’s quite simple, I don’t want an agent of the state killing my child over harmless experimentation.

    3. I told him if my kids turn into potheads, its because I have failed as a parent, not that the gov’t has failed to protect them.

      So much this.

      “B-b-but… ‘it takes a village!!11!!!!'” /tard

    4. As the father of two (previously) teens, I would much, much, much rather they smoke a joint (which they both did) than drink a few beers. A question I have posed to numerous anti-potters, “If your 16 year old daughter was going out tonight with a few of her friends, and you knew for a fact that she was going to over-indulge, would you rather it be marijuana or alcohol?” NO ONE has ever answered alcohol, no matter how much it pained them to admit. I may have to pick her up from jail with either one, but I won’t be visiting the morgue, or waiting for her rape kit to be completed at the hospital.

  21. “…Republican establishment’s new boyfriend, Ted Cruz.”

    W. T. F.

    1. You disagree with that statement?

      1. I think it’s an asinine take.

    2. The various establishment media mouth pieces seem to have a new found love of Ted. No one is saying they like Ted. But in politics marriages of convenience sometimes happen.

      1. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the establishment is going balls out against Trump.

      2. Like who, exactly?

        Fox New is slobbering over Trump (except Megyn Kelly, for obvious reason). Drudge constantly attacks Cruz, as does Breitbart. NewsMax, not exactly a major news channel but it exists and is on DirecTV and is vaguely conservative, also slobbers over Trump

        Most of the conservative media sites have always liked Cruz, because he’s pretty much the most conservative candidate ever. Which is why he’s endorsed by Mike Lee and Justin Amash

        Yeah, the establish now likes him over Trump, because all the other candidates are out of the race and while they might hate Cruz, at least he’s a Republican, unlike Trump.

  22. Bill Clinton never won 50 % of the vote. And once he was President no one cared. He didn’t have less power or do anything differently because he failed to obtain a majority. Whoever wins the Presidency will win and that will be it. It won’t matter if it is with 60% or 40% of the vote. There will be only one winner and a group of losers. Whether you are the first or the last loser makes no difference and there is only one level of “winner”.

    As far as this poll goes, it is an online poll. So, I wouldn’t give it much stock. But I wouldn’t give any of the polls much stock right now. That said, I think it is wishful thinking to assume Trump can’t win.

    As far as “libertarian” voters go, they are not easy to win, at least not this year. The two biggest issues driving this election are trade and immigration. And libertarian voters are fanatical about both issues and on the wrong side of the public on both. So there is no way to appeal to libertarian voters without alienating even more non libertarian voters.

    If libertarians were a cheaper date and could be had in return for criminal justice reform or easing off the drug war or reforming the regulatory state, it would be different. But they are not a cheap date. Anyone who doesn’t support total open borders and free trade as a matter of principle is not going to get Libertarian votes. That is not saying Libertarians are wrong to demand that. Right or wrong that is the way it is.

    1. “Bill Clinton never won 50 % of the vote. And once he was President no one cared. He didn’t have less power or do anything differently because he failed to obtain a majority. Whoever wins the Presidency will win and that will be it. It won’t matter if it is with 60% or 40% of the vote. There will be only one winner and a group of losers. Whether you are the first or the last loser makes no difference and there is only one level of “winner”.”

      Because Bill Clinton was so narrowly popular, he didn’t go as far with things like Hillary Care as he might have. The things he did do his first two years in office were so tentative because of his unpopularity. When Gingrich and the Contract with America took over the House in 1994 (first time the Republican controlled the Hose in 40 years), it was largely in reaction to Clinton’s unpopularity.

      Clinton won with only 43% of the support in 1992, and that made him vulnerable, flexible, and risk adverse.

      1. Those bills were not passed because they were unpopular with the country. Can a President get unpopular bills through and unwilling Congress based on his popularity? Sometimes but only once in a while and almost never with really big bills.

      2. Clinton won with only 43% of the support in 1992, and that made him vulnerable, flexible, and risk adverse.

        I doubt Hillary will be any of those things, regardless of vote totals.

    2. Good point, John about Clinton’s win. And Perot, the anti-establishment vote, didn’t do anything with his support.

      1. forgot to put anti-establishment in fear quotes

        1. “fear quotes”

  23. “Libertarian voters (whether registered in the party or not) are the easiest goddamn voters to win every time”

    much as i wish i could get behind this article, the truth is that we are the easiest goddamn voters to piss off.

    1. Whatever you think of Cruz, there are a lot of issues that Cruz and Libertarians agree. And I don’t see reason getting behind Cruz anytime soon. If Cruz can’t win over Libertarian voters, who other than a pretty strict Libertarian can?

      1. And I don’t see reason getting behind Cruz anytime soon.

        In all fairness, Reason will jump in bed with the first outright socialist who carves out a narrow caveat of not personally leading the country to war and then makes fun of conservatives for having a love-hate relationship with a sometimes-libertarianish Republican.

        Cruz is a Troll and Reason clearly prefers systematically and ideologically batshit crazy.

  24. There’s a pile of libertarian votes that are easy to win and hold

    1) I don’t think that pile of votes is as large as Nick seems to, and

    2) They’re not that easy to win and hold. That purity test is a bitch, and anything less than 100% disqualifies you for a lot of libertarians.

    1. Seriously. If Libertarian votes were easy to win, why wouldn’t Cruz already have them? Cruz is not a Libertarian but he is about as close as one can be without totally alienating the rest of the GOP. I have my issues with Cruz, but if Cruz can’t get Libertarian votes, i don’t see how any Republican ever will.

        1. Which part of “Cruz is not a Libertarian” did you not understand? Cruz is about as close to being one as anyone who appeals to a majority of either major party will ever be. If that is not good enough for you, fine. Just don’t tell me you are an easy vote because you are not.

          1. Which part of “Cruz is not a Libertarian” did you not understand?

            Are you serious? He’s a social fascist, military hawk … and a serial liar. Just for openers.

            1. Then don’t vote for him. I don’t care. The topic of discussion is not whether you or anyone else should vote for Cruz. The point is that those who won’t can’t call themselves easily won voters.

        2. So what you’re saying frankie, is that you don’t want any major candidate to “Tack in the libertarian direction” because you’ll reject anyone who falls outside your arbitrarily defined boundaries, regardless of their movement in our general direction?

          That’s exactly the kind of spirit nick was appealing to, i’m sure.

          1. The ONLY thing libertarian about Cruz are the things that libertarians and conservatives consistently overlap on anyway. Oh, and he supported Rand Paul once as a publicity stunt. Look at that chart. He’s not even close to anything that could be considered libertarian and anyone who tells you he is, is a Team Red shill attempting (lamely) to convince you to vote for the boyz.

            Arbitrary? Fine. You ask who’s “libertarian enough” to vote for…I give you an answer…and it’s not good enough.

            Fuck off Gilmore! You have become almost as big a troll as John and you’re an arrogant prick.

            1. I’m just pointing out that you seem to want to pretend that voting for Gay Jay is supposed to pull major candidates “in a libertarian direction”.

              Yet by your own admission, you’ll never vote for anyone moving in a libertarian direction, so what use are you to any major party?

              I’m not voting for either so i don’t personally give a shit. I’m just pointing out that posture is a self-defeating one.

              I apologize if i rub you the wrong way. At least i dont opine that everyone else should “kill themselves“, and then pretend to be the apex of humility.

              1. I’m just pointing out that you seem to want to pretend that voting for Gay Jay is supposed to pull major candidates “in a libertarian direction”.

                No.

                I believe many Americans are, in fact, inclined to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but are inconsistent because they a) haven’t thought it through and b) have never been exposed to a philosophy that offers such. Getting GayJo on the stage with Trump and Hillary, two despised candidates, would present an opportunity to draw libertarian leaners into the tent, where hopefully, they’ll want to learn more about liberty.

                Yet by your own admission, you’ll never vote for anyone moving in a libertarian direction

                I’ll vote for anyone who’s libertarian enough (roughly, anyone in the upper quadrant, by my estimation). Cruz, isn’t even close.

                At least i dont opine that everyone else should “kill themselves”, and then pretend to be the apex of humility.

                Humor, Gilmore. You might have notice that points are often made with humor around here, as opposed to being a condescending asshole at every opportunity.

          2. GILMORE
            So what you’re saying frankie, is that you don’t want any major candidate to “Tack in the libertarian direction” because you’ll reject anyone who falls outside your arbitrarily defined boundaries

            Get a grip. I’ve NEVER been on Francisco’s side,as you may know. So I could be wrong. But I’d bet money that what “Frankie” (your childish term) says is intended to ridicule the wacko claim that Cruz is the closest to a libertarian who appeals to a majority of either party. Especially when 59% of Americans are Nolan libertarians (fiscally conservative and socially liberal) … whereas Cruz is one of THE most extreme social conservative bigots, an egregious military hawk … carpet bombing! … and almost a big a liar as Trump and Carson.

            Then again, his tax “plan” IS as wacky as either Paul’s. Bullshit and slogans held together with magical math.

            1. Especially when 59% of Americans are Nolan libertarians (fiscally conservative and socially liberal)

              I am Micheal Hihn and I am totally sure everyone agrees with me. I also have no idea how political parties and the primary system actually works.

        3. Horseshit!

          When the quiz isn’t ambiguous, especially in the libertarian case/sense, it’s really and intrinsically slanted; ‘Take no action’ is synonymous with ‘No opinion’.

          Libertarians oppose *permitting* prayer in public school?
          Libertarians oppose *allowing* Churches and religious institutions to provide welfare services?
          Libertarians want to link Human Rights to Trade with China?

          Sounds like a ridiculously fucking statist notion of libertarianism to me.

          1. Holy Hell; Libertarians Strongly Support Sexual Orientation being Protected By Civil Rights Law.

            Fuck that!

            1. I would say that if you support extending protected classes in any way, shape or form, you are not a libertarian. Pretty much like if you support extending gun control in any way, shape or form, you are not a libertarian.

              1. Multiple quizzes differently worded makes me less than enthusiastic about your datapoint. Assuming Cruz himself didn’t take it (not that it would matter or change the data much).

                For “Comfortable with same-sex marriage” the libertarian position is ‘Strongly Support’. WTF does that even mean?

                I know straight libertarians in opposite-sex marriages that aren’t comfortable with the idea. Moreover, it’s not like gay marriages are garlic to a vampire-like Cruz or that being comfortable with same-sex marriage is any sort of hallmark of libertarianism (see Sanders).

                1. For “Comfortable with same-sex marriage” the libertarian position is ‘Strongly Support’

                  Of course it is. When you apply libertarian principle to whether or not gays should be allowed to marry, the answer is quite obviously yes as they aren’t initiating aggression.

                  Your friends may, in fact, be libertarian on the whole, but if they truly believe gays should be prohibited from marrying each other, their position on that issue is most assuredly NOT libertarian.

            1. Weird, I took the quiz directly here rather than comparing to candidate results and the classifications change. A dot drawn on a grid ‘up and to the right’ means fuck all as far as I’m concerned.

              Still, some of the responses to yours aren’t different. IDK, that libertarians or Libertarians favor an *unfettered right* to abortion or insist that trade with China be linked to Human Rights issues.

              1. I think there is an old version of a quiz floating around. I saw something similar a while back. Far as I know, the results are from the questions I posted.

                I take exception with two of their questions. The abortion question is one of them. The American exceptionalism is the other.

                It’s not perfect, but it’s a tool to get you in the ballpark. The results, from my own observations are fairly accurate.

                As far as the chart itself, it’s simply a model that can explain the existence of both Republicans and Democrats with respect to liberty. The notion being (and again not a perfect rule) that Republicans are pro-liberty on fiscal issues and anti-liberty on social issues. The opposite for the Dems.

                Just a tool, but generally works faily well. The chart is a good model, but as you point out, the accuracy lies with the questions.

                1. I think there is an old version of a quiz floating around. I saw something similar a while back. Far as I know, the results are from the questions I posted.

                  But it is on the same site that you posted a link to on your image..

                  There is a lot more bad with that quiz. If you look at the quiz results, it says that a hard core libertarian:
                  * Strongly supports Sexual Orientation Protected by Civil Rights Law.
                  * Strongly Opposes permitting prayer in public schools
                  * Strongly Opposes allowing churches to provide welfare services
                  * Strongly supports linking Human Rights to Trade with China

                  That is horseshit. A libertarian wouldn’t let kids pray (of their own volition, with no endorsement) at school? A Libertarian wouldn’t let Churches give out welfare? A Libertarian would expect the government to prevent a private business from discriminating against Gays?

                  FWIW: I looked at the quiz details and it seems to mask the same assumptions. For example, on “Comfortable with Same Sex Marriage” it says “Strongly Support: Neither governments nor corporations have any right to decide about sexual preferences.” Is that really the Libertarian answer?

                  1. But it is on the same site that you posted a link to on your image..

                    Yes, that’s what I said. You are still using the old quiz, which has apparently been updated.

                    This is the quiz from the home page.

              2. That same quiz for some reason once suggested that libertarians should demand more-stringent EPA regulations, and some other oddities. tho it looks like they switched on the EPA thing.

                I think its a dumb measure of a candidate’s relative libertarian appeal, personally. More important is “how much better are they than the alternatives on key policies” – i.e. a “gap” analysis on specific issues, rather than a sum-of-the-parts on all of them.

                it would also be nice if you could weight issues based on your own perception of their importance, rather than accept the quiz’s premise that everything deserves the same weight. Apparently abortion is ‘just as important’ as “free trade” in how one should be measured.

                as already noted, this idea that you can’t ever “move people in the right direction” until they’re already ‘perfect’ on everything is fucking stupid and self-defeating. If you’re unwilling to vote for someone 55%-good compared to 75%-awful, you aren’t really doing much for your stated cause.

          2. Sounds like a ridiculously fucking statist notion of libertarianism to me.

            Based on what you listed, you have no idea what “statist” means

            And you’re full of shit up to your ears on churches providing welfare services. That’s who did it — plus free hospitals — before FDR fucked everything up. Charity hospitals never allowed people to suffer like Medicaid does. And they did it all with voluntary dollars from (largely) the collection plate. . I;m a devout atheist, but I know Charity Hospital staff would not even go home at quitting time, if anyone still needed care. It would be a sin.

            Are you aware that churches are in the private market and government is not?

            Prayer is already permitted in school. Just not led by a teacher, or the administration, or the PA system. Religious cubs and organizations have been defended by the Supremes since the late 1980s.

            Human rights and China? What are you smoking and how do I contact your dealer?

            No offense, but you seem to be influenced more by the Santorum/Huckabee crowd. Think for yourself. We’ll fight like hell to protect that right for you.

            Our founders were adamant about Separation. The (un)Holy Inquisition was still committing church/state moral atrocities until almost our Civil War. And we’d suffered the Salem Witchcraft trials.

            1. I know grasping reality isn’t your strong suit Michael but that was my point. I don’t know exactly where they go askew with their quizzing, but they have some pretty top-down controlling definition that they label as libertarian. This quiz indicates that Libertarians would ‘strongly oppose’ Churches providing welfare and permitting prayer in school.

              I’m with you, I’d rather see collection plates providing medical care voluntarily rather than the state doing so at the point of a gun. And while I know libertarians who would oppose mandatory prayer and agree that that would be a libertarian position, the quiz uses a rather blatant ‘libertarians would violate 1A’ format.

              I’m not calling Cruz a solid gold libertarian by any means. Vote your conscious (or don’t). If you don’t do that, vote LP. If you don’t do that, Cruz is the closest thing to a libertarian option.

      1. “Seriously. If Libertarian votes were easy to win, why wouldn’t Cruz already have them? Cruz is not a Libertarian but he is about as close as one”

        Haha… John made a funny. You’re on a roll, John.

        1. as one can be without totally alienating the rest of the GOP

          You should really learn how to read and understand what these things called sentences and periods are. It would improve your meager literacy skills greatly. There is also this thing called a dependent clause that modifies the meaning of the sentence. You seem to have missed the one I quote below.

          If you could read a bit better, you might get over your socialism issues. Functional illiteracy and knowing just enough to be stupid about various subject are the leading causes of the socialism disorder.

          1. Mmm, ok, john… You’re the smart one. It’s amazing I can even write a subordinate clause. Here’s my try.

            I won’t be voting for anyone in the Republican Party because I think they are libertarians.

            Did I get it right?

    2. Yep. Yuuuuge fail for Nick there.

  25. If the choice is Clinton vs. Cruz or Trump then, yeah, I think I’d vote for a 3rd party. I wish there was an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans whose members didn’t downplay social issues in favor of economic ones, weren’t Randian shitheads that think government programs are for the poor poors whose patheticness is their on damn fault, who don’t think we should just trade gold bars with each other because monetary policy is a commie plot, and who didn’t keep showing up in the same damn places and saying the same fucking things that right-wingers on the AM radio say.

    Because that would be nice. So if the choice is Republican total asshole, Democratic warmonger, or libertarian weirdo right-wing extremist I’m in a quandary. Is there a 4th party?

    1. Word salad is confusing.

      Let me simplify that for you.

      “I hate libertarians.

      Blah, blah, blah.

      Woof! Woof!”

      1. “I hate libertarians”

        Not at all. If libertarians were consistently non-interventionist, didn’t start discussions about muscle cars when the subject of abortion comes up, and didn’t think every dime spent on the poors and the olds could be better spent by a tech billionaire in Silicon Valley I’d be more sympathetic. As it is you all don’t sound that much different from Rush Limbaugh– and that’s too bad. I don’t think we libertarians have anything in common with conservatives.

        1. You’re not a libertarian by anyone’s definition except your own. You’re a socialist. You don’t adhere to NAP in any way, shape matter or form. You want to take from those who make what people demand and give it to those who do nothing.

          If you defined words even close to their real definitions, then anyone you could call a “libertarian” wouldn’t want wars of aggression. As for abortion, we eventually do get sick of discussing it at a certain point, especially when no-one changes their mind.

          1. There’s nothing incompatible with libertarianism and a society where people are choked to death for not paying taxes, or thrown in cages for braiding somebody’s hair without sitting through 1000 hours of training, or raided by commandos for building guitars out of the “wrong” type of wood. Duh.

  26. ? llibertarians are now the single-largest ideological bloc in the country, according to Gallup.

    Cato’s survey — a Brand Preference type by a top pollster (Zogby) found 59% of Americans were libertarians …10 years ago …. But 91% of them rejected the libertarian brand.

    A Libertarian Moment that dare not say its name? Cato/Zogby found only 5.3% would accept the libertarian label. That’s lower than what we’ve seen, but typical in a Brand Preference survey, which measures alternative labels for the same thing..

    In marketing terms (I’m a marketing professional) the libertarian brand is “toxic” (Brand preference well below our “product” preference)

    So WHO has been fueling the increased social tolerance in Americans. The 5.3% “movement” libertarians? Or the 54% “Nolan” libertarians … who are totally ignored despite thousands of them in elected local office. How does Gary appeal to them with no policy planks on the issues voters care about most?

    The Cato link is rather lengthy, reviewing several surveys. Scroll down about 2/3 to the boldface header How libertarians see themselves Scary.

    http://bitly.com/1AGaBU7

    NBC/SurveyMonkey is NOT a real survey. Here’s how NBC describes it (my emphasis)
    “Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day.” (website)

    1. Libertarians are very big on not compromising their principles. There is of course nothing necessarily wrong with that. The problem is that the nature of politics is compromise. If you refuse to compromise your principles and want to get into to politics, you had better have a short list of pretty flexible principles. Libertarians of course have a pretty extensive list of very inflexible principles.

      You have two choices, ideological integrity or political success. You can only have one. And Libertarians have chosen the former. Again, there is nothing necessarily wrong about that choice. Libertarians just should be honest about the cost of making that choice.

      1. I’ll happily do the right thing regardless of the perceived consequences. Most people won’t.

        Also, although you are mostly right that in a “democracy” you can either have principles or win, that’s not true of “politics” in it’s strictest sense. After all, war is simply an extension of politics. In war it’s actually quite helpful to have inflexible principles, regardless of what movies might tell you.

        1. In war it’s actually quite helpful to have inflexible principles, regardless of what movies might tell you.

          I am not so sure about that. What matters in war is an inflexible will to win. The point is not to die for your principles. It is to win.

          1. But winning is a bit of a Pyrrhic victory if you’ve turned into the evil you’re fighting against. You might as well not fight in that case (game theory).

            People don’t like the side who steals stuff from them and kills them. People want to support good principles; I don’t mean that bad principles will help you win.

      2. John obviously doesn’t know a damn thing about libertarians in public office.
        Or you wouldn’t use dumbass terms like “compromise” It’s “win-win” Both sides get a victory at a cost which is freely accepted by both sides. It’s not easy, but that’s how most of the big stuff gets done. “Compomise” implies no such “profitable” exchange.

        For an extreme example, I’d sit down with the other side(s) and say, “What do you need from my team, in return for your support on … a 10% spending cut?” That one won’t work, but hypothetical are difficult.

        I never agreed with Ted Kennedy (after his role in deregulation). But he was a master of win-win. That’s why Orrin Hatch always defended him as a person. The two of them did a fair amount of bills together. Both influential in their own party. It only takes two to cut a deal, work through all the nuances, then go sell it to their own party.

        MAJOR legislation with Senator Nancy Kassebaum (KS) in 1996, provided for portability of healthcare when changing jobs, even with a pre-existing condition. And it has a VERY simple hurdle. If you’ve had health insurance,you’re obviously not a deadbeat waiting to get sick FIRST. Medicare does the same thing (roughly)/ Common sense. When I divorced my wife, whose employer provided our healthcare, the same law required the carrier to continue my coverage at the group rate, to maintain constant coverage. No real loss to them. Win-win.

        1. Micheal nothing in those three paragraphs makes any sense or responds to my point. All you are doing is giving examples of people doing the give and take of politics. Yeah, that is how politics works. And if Libertarians were willing to say agree to strict border enforcement or tariffs on Chinese imports in return for a reduction in the drug war, your examples would make sense. They are, however, totally unwilling to do such things. Any of these “libertarians in office” (which you can’t name and exist nowhere I can think of) were to ever propose or make such a trade, their Libertarian voters would have a stroke.

          I really don’t know what else to tell you. You seem to have completely not understood my point. And so no ability to understand it. So it is difficult to respond to you.

  27. If the Libertarian Party really wants to pick up a significant voting block then they should go after Evangelical Protestants. It’s a simple message: “We might disagree with you but we won’t make it illegal for you to practice or profess your faith.” Why do you think Trump is getting so many Evangelical votes? They certainly don’t think that he’s “one of us” but they think he’ll leave them alone.

    Consider:
    * hyper-PC college crap making headlines,
    * bakers being persecuted for saying “no” to a gay cake,
    * a sitting president who talked about “clinging to guns and religion”,
    * criticizing Ms. Jenner being called “hate speech”, …

    Many Evangelicals no longer want the government to encode or enforce Christian code. They even realize that a “Christian majority enforcing Christian behavior” sets a very dangerous precedent for the possibility of a Muslim majority some day. These voters can be attracted to a Libertarian Party that promotes free speech, free thought, and free association.

    1. I am an Evangelical Christian who once was a conservative. I will tell you that you are right. It’s comparatively easy to convince them that it’s bad politics (let alone morality) to make people act “good” against their will.

      My advantage over others is that I don’t have to give political arguments as to why they shouldn’t do it, I mainly stick to Theological reasons.

      Did you know the entire New Testament never tells people to use government to do anything at all? It never says “A is wrong, use government against A”. In fact, the entire mechanism of how Christianity works has little to do with outward actions, and forcing unbelievers to be “good” does nothing to help them.

      1. I think there is something to this. The problem is that a good number of Libertarians can’t help themselves but endorse various leftist culture war issues. If you want the evangelical vote, I am pretty sure letting men in women’s clothes have a right to use the women’s shower at the gym or local high school is a pretty bad way to go about it.

        1. But 59% of Americans are fiscally conservative and socially liberal.. Actually, most Evangelicals I know have no problem with that.

          1. Actually, most Evangelicals I know have no problem with that.

            They are totally okay with boys who claim to be boys showering with their teenage daughters? Really? You might want to ask them about that again.

            And fiscally conservative and socially liberal are totally subjective terms. They mean something different to everyone who answers the question. So 59% of voters saying they are fiscally conservative and socially liberal in no way means they actually agree on anything. And that is not even considering the issue of what issues they actually vote on versus just passively supporting.

            1. I think you mean boys who claim to be girls but you’re exactly right. It’s not just Evangelicals. Most non-Christians that I know also have a problem with this if they feel safe expressing their viewpoint.

              Just in my family, from my youngest niece (13) to my mother (87), there’s not a single woman who wants someone with male parts in the same shower or locker room. Frankly, I don’t know a lot of guys who want someone with female parts in their locker room either but the strongest feelings seem to come from the women. If the left keeps pushing this issue, they’re going to lose voters. If the Libertarians join the left on this issue, those voters will go Republican.

              To be clear, I’m NOT talking about bathrooms. A lot of commentary seems to push these things together. When it comes to bathrooms the opinion seems to be “it depends”. If we convert bathrooms into individual stalls with floor to ceiling walls and doors, then I don’t think many of us care what the person next door is doing or what parts they have. If we leave bathrooms physically as they are and just declare them all gender neutral, then there’s a problem.

      2. Are we talking Old Testament or New Testament? ’cause if we’re talking New Testament, then eh, there’s a lot of disagreement on whether Jesus nullified the old laws (he says he didn’t, but apparently a lot of Christians like eating lobster and wearing poly/cotton blends so they say he did)

        If we’re talking Old Testament, then you’re full of it. There’s plenty of cases where G-d is conflated with government, mostly ’cause the tribes in those stories didn’t have a formal government, so when the prophet leading them says “God wants us to go kill a bunch of people and rape their virgin daughters”, that’s what was done. Throw in the various capital punishment admonishments in there, and yeah, Old Testament? Calls for “government” sanctions against sins.

        1. he says he didn’t, but apparently a lot of Christians like eating lobster and wearing poly/cotton blends so they say he did

          To be fair, this is a long discussion. (This is the “best understanding” we have) in the Old Testament, there are basically 3 kinds of laws, moral, ceremonial, and civil. Moral law always applies such as “don’t murder”. Ceremonial law applies to the Temple and pre-Christ methods of dealing with sin, so none of those apply. Civil law depends on the civilization, so some apply and some don’t (sorry about that one).

          Food laws were civil law, and they were directly and specifically undone (in more than one place in the NT). After all, I’m not in the Jewish civilization anyhow.

          Moral laws always apply, but that doesn’t mean that the punishments for breaking them does. Again, the main purpose of the OT law wasn’t to make people good, but to show people that they couldn’t make themselves moral (Romans 8:3, etc).

          Once upon a time, the OT law applied to people as Moral law and “governmental” law. It was only in one place and time in all of history (Israel, the time of Moses and the Judges). The Judge didn’t make law, only (it seems) dealt with problems between people. Once the King took over (1 Samuel 8), what was right to do and what the government (King) said were again separate.

          (continued)

        2. Now, it may make no sense to you that God told his people to kill literally ALL of the Canaanites. Remember though, God is the Creator and the land is his. He directly claimed Palestine as his (at the time of Abram) and also in Leviticus 25:23 “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.”

          God basically called the Caananites trespassers on his land. He told the Israelites to kill them because they were really evil and apparently wouldn’t leave (not like there was any chance of that happening anyhow). That the land was God’s, combined with the fact that he redeemed them from Egypt, also explains why they had to listen to him. The first generation of Israelites that he saved literally were his, and the next generations were on his property. They could leave if they wanted and engage in “wild living” if they wanted to.

          Now, if that was annoying for you to hear about (when you have no real horse in the race), imagine how hard it is for people who have believed for generations that God told us to use all government to enforce moral law because he once told a “government” to do so.

          Now that the Law doesn’t bind believers as a schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24), the Law can be seen as what it is, a revelation of moral action to those people at the time, and some parts still a good example of moral action today.

  28. Unless the polls were conducted in Ohio, Florida and the 4 other states that decide the election, it’s irrelevant.

  29. Stated versus revealed preference, Nick: no major party candidate will take libertarian principles seriously as long as the LP candidate keeps getting 1% or or less of the vote.

    And pre-election polls don’t matter, because the LP candidate is always just one election cycle away from hitting it big.

    1. Its also game theory. You only get one vote. So the question isn’t what laundry list of positions you have. The question is which positions do you consider important enough to change your vote over.

      Its like criminal justice reform. A pretty substantial majority of the country agrees that we need to do something about minimum mandatory sentencing and the explosion of criminal laws. Yet, there is almost no political momentum for reform. Why? because even though people would be happy with such, they won’t change their vote based on the issue. So politicians rationally don’t bother to take it up.

      1. because even though people would be happy with such, they won’t change their vote based on the issue. So politicians rationally don’t bother to take it up.

        Not really. That’s what they do AFTER the election — if they can cut a “win-win” deal. Each side gets a victory at an acceptable cost (what they support on the other side). Just like a market transaction, both sides have a (net) gain. In the next election they run on the gain and never what the trade-off was (big ones are reported by the media).

        Routine to anyone who’s served in a legislative role.

  30. Historically the Agora always wins. It’s the time in between when the State takes power away from Society, and when Society takes power away from the State that causes the most technological stagnation, bloodletting, and suffering for the common man.
    I am both skeptical, and optimistic about the Libertarian moment.

  31. IMO the best way for Libertarians to win is to to push the economic freedom angle. The logical, and historical arguments are solid.

    1. “We love free trade, increased foreign visa workers, low minimum wage, and uberization of economy! Yes!”

      Says no one in this decidedly populist time.

      If the LP gets 7% in California, it really doesn’t matter. That state is already decided. As it is, they’ll get slaughtered anywhere whites aren’t an outright majority. While Sarvis did well in VA, Chris Christie cleaned up in NJ. How did the LP candidate do in that state?

      Libertarianism have no pulse among the diverse, growing demographics. And now, they’re starting to lose impoverished white republicans who are in the mood for protectionism. You can’t celebrate an increase of the same white votes that usually goes center right.

  32. The only poll to have shown Trump doing this well is, unsurprisingly, an online SurveyMonkey poll.

  33. ” Libertarian voters (whether registered in the party or not) are the easiest goddamn voters to win every time”
    Unless, of course, you are the Libertarian party. Then those voters are damn-near impossible to win.

  34. This online poll is a totally useless, easily manipulated piece of junk and should be totally ignored. No reputable poll gives Clinton less than a ten point lead over a Trump.

  35. “A pile”?
    Why, there might be as many as six or seven.

  36. “A pile”?
    Why, there might be as many as six or seven.

  37. Is there anyone more brain dead than Nick Gillespie? Jonah Goldberg maybe? unReason; the LSM slimeball.

  38. I have great regard for NG and reason.com, but (always a but) I have taken to describing myself as fiscally conservative and socially libertarian. The ‘reason’ being that there are few – none that readily come to mind – socially liberal policies that do not violate my sense of fiscal conservatism. It is my small way of getting the libertarian word into conversation in a context that is understandable to even those who believe libertarians don’t want the government, local, state or federal to pave our roads and fix potholes,etc. Such a minor quibble, but maybe an ehancement of the message?

  39. Nah, Trump will get destroyed in the general election.

    Unless Clinton is indicted or something.

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