Liberarian Party

Free Staters Seem to Have Cost the Republicans a Senate Seat in New Hampshire

Former Free State Project chair Aaron Day is sure his over 17,000 votes as independent cost Kelly Ayotte her around 1,000 vote loss.

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Aaron Day, a former chair of both New Hampshire's Free State Project and the New Hampshire branch of the Republican Liberty Caucus, never much liked his state's Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte.

He liked her so little he got on the ballot as an independent in her race this year. And she lost. (Democrat Maggie Hassan won.)

Judd Weiss/Facebook

But did Day really beat her?

"Beating Ayotte was my goal," Day says, in a phone interview this week. "I appeared in a Breitbart article in November of last year in which I threatened to get in [the race] over Medicaid expansion" which Ayotte supported.

Day has been all about trying to beat Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, and launched a SuperPAC that tried to make sure only Republicans who shared that goal survived.

"If the New Hampshire GOP isn't for getting rid of Obamacare in its various forms, we have no Party," he says. (Day says that, with his independent run done and no further plans for any running for office himself, he's a Republican again.)

Both the New Hampshire Union-Leader and Slate have credited/blamed Day for claiming Ayotte's scalp, and Day firmly agrees.

Given that he earned 17,742 votes and Ayotte lost by just over 1,000, Day thinks he was the secret ingredient that brought her down.

But some have done fine-grained vote analysis that makes it seem more likely that a Day voter, minus Day, would have voted for the Libertarian Party's Senate pick, Brian Chabot.

As quoted in the Union-Leader, Kathy Sullivan, a Democratic National Committeewoman from Manchester, noted that Libertarian candidates in the state tended to get around 30,000 votes, including Gary Johnson for president and Max Abramson for governor.

And if you combine Day's 17,742 with Chabot's reported 12,597, you get right around the typical total L.P. vote in the state.

Certainly if you combine the two "liberty movement" candidates and their approximately 30,000 votes and presume that even 4 percent of those voters would have, absent their presence, voted for Republican Ayotte, the liberty movement writ large in the state can be credited/blamed for costing the GOP a precious Senate seat.

Day thinks it's "completely untrue" to say that he was in direct competition for votes with Libertarian Brian Chabot, who he writes off as a "left-libertarian" who believed in single-payer health care, the very opposite of Day's stance.

Day thinks he has some empirical evidence to back his claim that he was pulling more votes from otherwise Republican voters than otherwise Libertarian ones.

"I am involved in two different election recounts" in New Hampshire races, he says, and in the (unscientific) sample of ballots he's gotten to review in the course of them, "85 percent were straight GOP tickets with me as the only outlier."

"This was one of the most expensive state races in the country," Day says, with $30 million spent by the campaigns themselves, and a reported $100 million total. [UPDATE: Original post lacked the italicized part of the sentence]

"The question is, why did I get 17 thousand votes, given that I didn't spend any money, had no campaign website, didn't go to debates, didn't give speeches, and didn't have yard signs?" Day says. "How did I get five thousand more votes than the Libertarian? It's because the hardcore Republicans and the liberty community and the Free Staters see my name on the ballot and know who I am."

Day has another reason for being confident he shifted votes that would have been Ayotte's, though he stresses "I'll probably be blamed for this but I had nothing to do with it": three mailers sent to Republican voters in the state, with no identifying sponsor in violation of campaign finance laws, that hyped Day as better than Ayotte in right-wing terms on Obamacare, the environment, and guns. [UPDATE: Reporter Tony Schinella points me to this interesting reporting by him about those mailers, which imply an NRA endorsement of Day.]

Among Day's other complaints against Ayotte are that she, from Day's perspective, helped cost the state its speaker of the House Bill O'Brien, who he admires and supports. As far as he's concerned, with Ayotte, "every vote is the wrong vote," including voting to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general.

Day points to her Heritage Action rating of just 26 percent, compared to a GOP Senate average of 57, as another sign of why Ayotte had to go. Day also thinks her past record as New Hampshire's attorney general was rife with corruption, including declining to prosecute what Day calls a Ponzi Scheme.

Day tried to get former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway to run as an independent against Ayotte, but when Hemingway declined Day stepped in himself. "I was my own last choice," Day says. He accuses the state GOP of an "unprecedented" legal attempt to disqualify his ballot petitions, saying they knew from the beginning he could be what ruined her.

"Any state Republican Party leader who is angry with me about [Ayotte losing] will all be voted out" of their leadership positions, Day confidently predicts. "I don't care to talk to the current leadership in the New Hampshire GOP. I'll just wait until they are replaced."

Day does not relish having to support primary challenges to Republicans he sees as weak, or spend his time on "wacky independent runs to take out Ayotte. That's not my goal. But I'm the only one sometimes" willing to do what he thinks is necessary to make the Republican Party a party of liberty.

"I'd like to be able to work cooperatively with a Republican majority on things like school choice, repealing Obamacare, decriminalizing marijuana," and helping elect candidates on the town council and school board level to rein in state property taxes which he thinks are "out of control."

"I want to go into a more constructive phase. I never want to have to do what I just did" again, Day says. The GOP probably is with him on that.

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  1. This shit drives me nuts. Pick a position reason. Either third party votes cost one side or the other elections or they don’t. Whenever someone brings up strategic voting, reason claims that third parties don’t cost anyone elections. But whenever the math works out where they can claim they do, then all of the sudden the third party cost the loser the election.

    1. Re: John,

      This shit drives me nuts. Pick a position reason. Either third party votes cost one side or the other elections or they don’t.

      There’s only one person to blame for Kelly Ayotte’s defeat and that would be: Kelly Ayotte.

      Reason is talking about registered independent voters that belong to the Free State Project, John, and not third party candidates. You’re the one muddling this issue.

      1. No Reason is talking about Day.

        Given that he earned 17,742 votes and Ayotte lost by just over 1,000, Day thinks he was the secret ingredient that brought her down. and

        And if you combine Day’s 17,742 with Chabot’s reported 12,597, you get right around the typical total L.P. vote in the state.

        Certainly if you combine the two “liberty movement” candidates and their approximately 30,000 votes and presume that even 4 percent of those voters would have, absent their presence, voted for Republican Ayotte, the liberty movement writ large in the state can be credited/blamed for costing the GOP a precious Senate seat.

        What the fuck are you talking about Mexican?

      2. John muddling an issue? Say it ain’t so.

    2. I think it’s a good thing that Reason doesn’t pick editorial positions that it forces on it’s writers.

      I don’t think anyone really denies that third (or forth) party candidates can make the outcome different than it would be if only the major parties had candidates. That would be ridiculous. The objection is to the idea that they are taking votes from the “real” candidates. Third parties don’t take votes away from candidates. They give voters the opportunity to vote for someone that more closely matches what they value.

      1. I think it’s a good thing that Reason doesn’t pick editorial positions that it forces on it’s writers.

        Reason clearly has editorial positions that the staff adheres to.

  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..78a19b4886

    In other news Mad Dog is going to the Pentagon.

    I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.

    If ever there was a message the Pentagon needed, that might be it.

    1. What the Pentagon needs is an audit, not some Gung Ho madman. Unless he’s a Gung Ho madman who happens to be an auditor.

      1. Yeah, the last thing the Pentagon needs is actual soldier in charge. No, they need a CPA.

        Whatever. You have really lost your fucking mind.

        1. Mattis is one of the reasons we got stuck with a fucking insurgency in Iraq. If he had been half as smart as he thought he was, he would have modeled the initial 1st MarDiv’s actions on the early Marine successes in Vietnam: Clear-and-Hold. Instead, he embraced the goddamn idiotic mantra of “Maneuver Warfare” against an enemy that barely had any sort of mechanized forces left. All in an effort to bolster his vanity: to beat the Army to Baghdad (which he failed to do anyway).

      2. Drain the swamp.

  3. There was a ‘left libertarian’ running who supported single-payer healthcare? Sounds like Reason and Gary Johnson’s kind of candidate. Libertarian moment!

    Wait…what do we believe in again? Something, something, cocktail parties? Is that right?

    1. Nothing says Libertarian like forcing you to pay for my healthcare.

      1. This is a bit ridiculous. Of course you are gonna be paying for someone else’s healthcare – unless you actually prefer going to an open-heart surgeon where you are the first patient. The rich pay for medical experience – and the only way doctors get that experience is by practicing on those who can’t afford to be so choosy.

    2. If someone who supports single payer can be called “Libertarian”, the term no longer has any meaning.

      1. Indeed. “Left libertarian” is an oxymoron; if you think single payer is just dandy, you’re a statist. If you don’t understand markets, or think the health service is “different”, you should be required to read a few economics books before calling yourself a libertarian.

        Then again this is the party that gave us Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Gary’s support for Nazi Gay Cakes stems from his lack of understanding of markets and how they handle non-problems like this.

        If there must be a libertarian litmus test, that should be it (market forces, price theory, calculation problem, etc). Otherwise, you end up with these assholes.

        1. Well, it’s better than left-authoriatarian, I guess.

          Sure, it’s not libertarian according to the principles most people here follow. But at least they care more about individual liberties than most on the left (I assume).

          1. It turns out the best way to set your political enemies back, is to switch places with them in the mind of the public.

            See: liberals, abolitionists, the civil rights movement. And soon “libertarianism.”

            1. And this shitshow has been decades in the making for now, see postlibertarianism and liberaltarianism for example. In the end libertarianism will become a playground for liberals who can’t even be assed to virtue signal over “the poor people” and pay lip service to reformist social democratic politics.

              It’s going to be leftist identity politics, smug urban elitists and corporatism all the way down.

          2. It IS left authoritarian–because left=authoritarian.

            The various different ‘types’ of leftism simply denote the speed and brutality with which the Top Men will take complete control of one’s life.

            The idea that the ‘Libertarian’ Party candidate was one such is sickening.

    3. Yeah WTF is that?? In a supposed libertarian-friendly state no less.

      This Day guy though – he sounds like a real dick – i kind of like him.

  4. Was Ayotte good or bad? I saw a lot of her ads but don’t know enough to know if she was any good.

    I guess I’m talking to people from NH like HM and Zeb and others.

    1. She likely sucked. But I bet she didn’t such as bad as whoever replaced her.

      1. I don’t live in NH but I celebrated Ayotte’s defeat.

    2. She is bad. Big on law and order, tough on crime stuff, not so big on negative liberties and reducing the scope of government. She was the AG before running for Senate.

      Maggie Hassan is really bad, though, in all the ways you’d expect.

      This election was really odd in NH. State government went entirely to Republicans. But federal offices and electors all went to Democrats.

  5. So instead of the RINO Ayotte, New Hampshire gets Maggie Hassan, whose top priorities are “climate change and reproductive rights.”

    I can’t see this as a step forward for liberty….

    1. You must have missed the part where the Libertarian candidate supported single-payer healthcare. Libertarian Moment!

      1. I saw that, but did Ayotte?

        1. She supported medicare expansion. This guy supported none of those.

    2. On the upside, state government went to Republicans. Which probably means that we will get constitutional (permit free) carry. And (perhaps surprisingly) I think it means that drug decriminalization (for cannabis at least, everyone seems stuck on “opioid crisis” still) is more likely. And a move back toward more restrained spending and lower taxes.

    3. It’s clearly a step backward, but one that will probably result in a better Republican taking her place in six years. Hassan is awful, but she’s a Democrat so Republicans will be highly motivated to replace her.

  6. New Hampshire politics seems rather…. interesting.

    1. It is in many ways. The state level is much more interesting. There is one representative for every 3000 people or so and all state offices are two year terms (with a two year budget cycle), so it’s possible to have pretty radical changes of direction.

  7. Ayotte needs to tell her friends at the Republican Senate Campaign Committee that maybe, just maybe, future GOP candidates need to spend a little time finding out what liberty-minded voters want in their representative.

    1. Nobody care about liberty-minded folks. He had any effect my friend. Both Hillary and Hassan won their races in NH. You and the other Libertarian got the same number that Gary Johnson got. Chris Sununu won and he hold views similar to Ayotte’s views. But he didn’t ran against a sitting Governor.

      Also you must understand that the GOP is the party of Conservatives not Libertarians who are dogmatic about LIBERTY. Libertarian Party have zero Presidents, zero Governors, zero US Senators, zero, Congressmen/women and even zero state legislators of over 6000 seats nation-wide. The last time someone was elected to a state legislator from the Libertarian Party was in 1998. That because Libertarians cling to the a failed dogma of “Liberty” without any grasp of what it means.

      1. The GOP is the party of conservatives, not libertarians? Libertarians cling to a dogma of liberty?

        I like your revolutionary ideas. Do you have a newsletter to which I can subscribe?

  8. Don’t overvalue yourself. You didn’t had any effect my friend. Both Hillary and Hassan won their races in NH. You and the other Libertarian got the same number that Gary Johnson got. Chris Sununu won and he hold views similar to Ayotte’s views. But he didn’t ran against a sitting Governor. By the way, she got more votes than Trump.

    Also you must understand that the GOP is the party of Conservatives not Libertarians who are dogmatic about LIBERTY. Libertarian Party have zero Presidents, zero Governors, zero US Senators, zero, Congressmen/women and even zero state legislators of over 6000 seats nation-wide. The last time someone was elected to a state legislator from the Libertarian Party was in 1998. That because Libertarians cling to the a failed dogma of “Liberty” without any grasp of what it means. They are wacko lefties on social issues and very soft on crime, narcotic lovers and open border manics. Add to that extreme individualists on fiscal issues to the point of ruining what the idea of a nation is. Conservatives who are the super majority of the Republican Party own the country at the moment, both on the national and Federal levels. And we believe that government is necessary to to establish a civic society and to help people’s life.

    Ayotte didn’t lost because of you. And to think that somehow Conservatives will vote out their leaders because they sympathize with a Libertarian narcotic advocate is an unattainable idiocy.

    1. And we believe that government is necessary to to establish a civic society and to help people’s life.

      *Barf*

    2. we believe that government is necessary to to establish a civic society and to help people’s life

      You do know that Reason is primarily a libertarian website, right?

  9. people who punish republicans by helping democrats get elected are democrats favorite kind of people. especially when you can ignore them after the election is over.

    1. Well, if the Republicans want to gain those votes, maybe they should put forth better candidates.

  10. But you lost.

  11. It’s like you don’t grasp that, if, by running a candidate who has no chance of winning, you throw the race to the worst possible candidate, you’ve done something that doesn’t just set the GOP back, it sets YOU back as well.

    The person who rode these LP votes to victory is far worse than Ayotte–far worse than the statist the ‘Libertarian’ Party put up, and far worse than Day.

    Nothing you want will get done. Some of the things you like may get rolled back.

    Yay.

  12. It’s like playing chess and making a move that saves a pawn at the expense of losing the game and then going on to brag about how you saved that pawn.

    1. “It’s like playing chess and making a move that saves a pawn at the expense of losing the game and then going on to brag about how you saved that pawn.”

      In chess, your pieces do not respawn every 4 years.

  13. Question to Aaron: are you happy to have Hassan as your new Senator?

    I get so tired of seeing leftist candidates win because the principal opponent was “not conservative / liberatarian enough”. This is how Warren won, because Scott Brown “was not conservative enough”, so the Howie Carr (Boston area evening drive-time radio talk show host) crowd stayed home, rather than vote for Brown.

    Yes, I vote for the Libertarian candidates for President, because the Electoral College means that my vote in MA really doesn’t matter. W was almost as bad as Oh-bummah and Trump vs Clinton is like the choice between arsenic poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning. If I lived in NH and thought for a moment that I could make a difference in Hassan loosing to Ayotte, I’d hold my nose and vote for Ayotte.

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  19. Another proud, but confused and utterly dishonest libertarian asshole.

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