Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party Has Qualified for 39 More Ballots Than Evan McMullin

Green Party has confirmed 27 states so far; meanwhile the latest #NeverTrumper is about to start off his presidential campaign 0 for 33

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As Nick Gillespie pointed out here earlier, latest #NeverTrump heartthrob Evan McMullin, who is trying to maintain at least a toehold of government influence for Goldman Sachs and the CIA, has a 26-state problem. Which is to say, he is already 0 for 26 in getting his name on state ballots as a candidate for president. But it's actually much worse than that.

Tomorrow is the ballot-access deadline for Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Ohio, and the District of Columbia. That's right, in a little more than 24 hours, Bill Kristol's Great New Hope will likely start off his Electoral College career 0 and 33*.

"I've known from the beginning of all of these rumblings of an independent #NeverTrump candidate that they would run into all of the ballot access barriers that Republicans and Democrats have been putting up to suppress the Libertarians for years," Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, told me today via Direct Message. "If the latest white knight wants to spend Republican donor money to sue to break down unconstitutional ballot access barriers, I'm happy to let him do so."

So how many state ballots has L.P. presidential nominee Gary Johnson gotten on so far? "39 states as of this morning," Sarwark says. "Still forecasting 50 + D.C. No trouble spots beyond normal parameters."

The Green Party this afternoon announced that it has achieved ballot access in 27 states so far, "with petitions filed in [five] more states awaiting confirmation by state election boards," Media Coordinator Scott McLarty told me via email. "We expect to surpass the 37 states we had in 2012, which represented 82% of all voters."

In the lawsuit that was tossed out of District Court on Friday, the Green and Libertarian parties sought to lower the threshold for participating in the fall's presidential and vice presidential debates from the current 15 percent average in five selected national polls (plus mathematical ability to draw a majority of Electoral College votes) to just the ballot-access requirement. However, as Damon Root pointed out in the Morning Links, the Republican/Democrat-controlled Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), has been making the mildest of noises that the duopoly might be considering some changes.

Politico reported today that the CPD has told debate venues to prepare for the possibility of a third podium on stage. And CPD co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf indicated to CNBC last week that the body might be open to altering its requirements. "If someone came in and let's say he was [polling] at 14.5 percent and the margin of error in five polls was 3 points, we are going to have to sit down and look at it," Fahrenkopf said. "But right now that person would not be included."

This suggests some willingness to heed public pressure. Toward that end, the Chicago Tribune has editorialized in favor of letting Johnson debate, a notion that has been seconded or amplified to include Jill Stein by the likes of Glenn Reynolds and others (including me in tomorrow's L.A. Times, hopefully).

At some point in this zany campaign season of unprecedented poll negatives, record-high L.P. enthusiasm, and near-record polling support for the Green, the CPD's institutional ass-covering will become a political liability. Just imagine the two-party duopoly trying not to crack up when compiling FAQs like this:

Why did CPD Select 15 Percent as the Polling Threshold for Inclusion in the Debates? The CPD first adopted the 15 percent level of support criterion in 2000. Its initial adoption, and its adoption in subsequent cycles, was preceded by careful study and reflects a number of considerations. It was the CPD's judgment that the 15 percent threshold best balanced the goal of being sufficiently inclusive to invite those candidates considered to be among the leading candidates, without being so inclusive that invitations would be extended to candidates with only very modest levels of public support, thereby jeopardizing the voter education purposes of the debates.

More accurately, as the League of Women Voters put it when relinquishing its participation in presidential debates and letting the CPD run full riot, "the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter….The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."

* Was "34"; also in the headline. Adding is hard.

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23 responses to “The Libertarian Party Has Qualified for 39 More Ballots Than Evan McMullin

  1. This is even dumber than the David French idea.

    I’d pay decent money to see how much Bill Kristol is ranting at the dinner table every night.

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  2. I suppose here would be the ideal place to express schadenfreude at McMullen and his buddies for discovering the arbitrary nature of ballot-access restrictions.

    But I suspect they’re not actually aiming at ballot access in all states – just in some key states where they can take votes from Trump.

    1. McMullin with an “i,” sorry

  3. Having completed his CIA service, in 2011, McMullin transitioned to the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs in the San Francisco Bay Area,

    Not shady at all.

    1. Hey! Maybe he was an expert on money laund–uh, never mind.

  4. I don’t know about you guys, but I still stand with David French.

    1. Note to self: You don’t have to RTFA, but at least RTFC.

  5. I read on the internet somewhere that Better for America already has established ballot access in several states, including New Mexico, which allow the candidate’s name to be filled in later.

    1. Hehe

  6. Except he might kill Gary Johnson’s only chance at a Electoral College victory: Utah. McMullin is a Mormon and Utah native. Utah’s independent ballot access deadline is August 15th, and only requires 1,000 signatures.

    1. ^^^this!!! If Hillary doesn’t outright crush trump but he continues acting more and more insane perhaps Utah could go to Gary and make a statement. Not like the House has the balls to do what’s right if such scenario played out but if you can’t wish for something, there isn’t anything to do but bury your head

      1. The good people of Utah aren’t going to give their electors to a baby-killing hop-head like GayJay.

    2. That’s the real purpose of McMuffin. The LP must never achieve any kind of respectability even if it means a sociopath ends up in the White House.

  7. Why isn’t there this much effort to get Libertarians on the ballot at the State and local level? What happened to the Free State Project? You can’t build a political following from the top down, where’s the grass roots?

    1. Libertarians, and small govt types in general, just want govt to leave them alone. They don’t actually want to be a part of govt. Govt is for statists, so if you run for office you are a statist, not a libertarian.

  8. With a name like McMuffin they expected what? a landslide victory? The death sentence for marijuana and reproductive rape republicans will simply walk across the street to the Tea-totalitarians or Consta-2-shun prohibitionists, no biggie…

  9. “If someone came in and let’s say he was [polling] at 14.5 percent and the margin of error in five polls was 3 points, we are going to have to sit down and look at it,”

    Statistics, how do they work?

  10. Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle is on 19 states’ ballots. Looks like he’ll be a write-in in TX and GA though.

  11. Trump is on the verge of a complete implosion, taking the GOP with him.

    The Libertarian Party has a historic opportunity to take the GOP’s place as the second major party, but only if Johnson/Weld step up and convince sceptcal voters that they are serious and mainstream.

    Will Libertarians let them do what it takes or will they turn against them, accuse them of selling out etc.?

    1. I think the Johnson / Weld strategy might work. That is if enough folks realize they are walking on eggshells to attract the most voters. If there was a time for the Libertarian party to excell, this is it. You have to get in first to change anything. Not be some combative blogger with a website that turns everyone off, and makes them move along.

  12. I think Matt has a bigger problem than addition. He’s failed to subtract the states that will suddenly remove Gary Johnson from the ballots on spurious charges of fraudulent signatures and do so about a day before the ballots are printed . This is inevitable if Johnson succeeds in passing the magic 15% threshold.

    Even though Johnson will sue and win, the case won’t be decided until 2024 or after Johnson dies whichever comes last.

    1. “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes” – CPD

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