Libertarian Party

Libertarians Cover the Polling Spread in 4 Senate Races

It's running strong candidates in toss-up races in a historically tight election year, yet America's third party still finds itself routinely left off polls.


It's five weeks before election day, and we have no idea which political party will control the U.S. Senate come January. FiveThirtyEight reckons that the two likeliest scenarios are for Republicans to maintain their razor-thin 51-49 margin, or for there to be a 50–50 split, with Vice President Mike Pence ready to break all ties.

A safer bet, though it's one few political analysts are currently talking about, is that candidates from America's perennial bronze medalist, the Libertarian Party, will receive more votes in multiple Senate races than the distance between Republicans and Democrats.

Seventeen Libertarians are running for Senate. They're running in three of the five most "toss-up" states (Nevada, Indiana, and Missouri), and they're running in three other races that at least one forecaster has rated a coinflip (Texas, Montana, and New Jersey). With the stakes of Senate control so high—Supreme Court confirmations! impeachment trials!—the opportunities to scream "SPOILER!" may soon abound.

And yet even strong Libertarian candidates in close races are routinely not being polled. Just this morning saw the release of two close polls between embattled New Jersey Democratic incumbent Robert Menendez and Republican challenger Bob Hugin that did not include the Ron Paul–endorsed Libertarian, Murray Sabrin. In the only nonpartisan survey that all three candidates appeared in, Sabrin's 3 percent cleared the distance between Menendez's 45 and Hugin's 43.

Because of the paucity of polling data, as well as the usual third-party fade on election day, plus some wildly divergent partisan numbers in states like Gary Johnson's New Mexico (where a recent campaign-affiliated poll looked considerably more promising than the last straight survey), the following list should not be mistaken for anything like a prediction. Consider it rather a Polaroid-quality snapshot of the potential for Libertarians to be yelled at come November 7.

A note about the numbers below: Where given the opportunity, I choose "likely voters" over "registered voters," and with the noted exceptions of Montana and Nebraska, I exclude from consideration surveys paid for by campaigns or political parties.

With that said, here are the 17 Libertarian candidacies for U.S. Senate, ranked in order of how much they clear (or get close to) the polling point spread between Democrats and Republicans.

Heeeeere's Lucy! ||| Lucy Brenton
Lucy Brenton

1) Indiana, +5.0.

D Joe Donnelly (incumbent) 43.5 percent, R Mike Braun 43 percent, L Lucy Brenton 5.5 percent (2 polls)

Race forecast: "toss-up," according to 9 out of the 10 prognosticators aggregated by Wikipedia's 2018 U.S. Senate elections page

Brenton, who received 5.5 percent as a Senate candidate in 2016, will be participating in televised debates this month. In the one poll that asked both with and without her name, her inclusion cut three percentage points off Donnelly's lead.

2) Montana, +4.0.

D Jon Tester (I) 44 percent, R Matt Rosendale 44 percent, L Rick Breckenridge 4 percent (1 GOP poll)

Race forecast: 6/10 lean Ds, 2 toss-ups

As mentioned, I exclude partisan polls in the rest of this exercise. So why include it here? Because this Axis Research survey from two weeks ago is the only damn poll to include the Libertarian. Montana's a pretty Libertarian-friendly state: Dan Cox got 6.6 percent of the vote for this seat in 2012, and Gary Johnson received 5.6 percent for president in 2016, his fifth-best result. If I was betting against the spread, I'd take the over.

3) Nevada, +1.4.

D Jacky Rosen 43 percent, R Dean Heller (I) 41.7 percent, L Tim Hagan 2.7 percent (3 polls)

Race forecast: the only unanimous toss-up contest in the country

Hagan has run for elected office nine times, never once receiving less than 3 percent of the vote.

4) New Jersey, +1.0

D Robert Menendez (I) 45 percent, R Bob Hugin 43 percent, L Murray Sabrin 3 percent (1 poll)

Race forecast: "likely D" 7/10, toss-up 1

This race is only competitive in this heavily Democratic state because Menendez is widely seen as skeevy and corrupt. Sabrin got 4.7 percent of the vote for New Jersey governor in 1997, and he got 19.4 percent in the GOP primary for Senate in 2014.

5) Missouri, -0.3.

D Claire McCaskill (I) 45 percent, R Josh Hawley 41.7 percent, L Japheth Campbell 3 percent (3 polls)

Race forecast: 9/10 toss-up

In the two polls that ask both with and without Japheth Campbell, the race goes from tied (without) to a 3.5-point lead for McCaskill.

Yes, there is Another. ||| The Amarillo Pioneer
The Amarillo Pioneer

6) Texas, -2.0.

R Ted Cruz (I) 42.7 percent, D Beto O'Rourke 39 percent, L Neal Dikeman 1.7 percent (3 polls)

Race forecast: lean R 6/10, toss-up 3

Libertarian John Jay Myers won 2.1 percent of the vote last time this seat came up. Rebecca Paddock got 2.9 percent for Senate in 2014. "It will be the Libertarian voters who win this race," Dikeman recently told the Texas Tribune.

7) West Virginia, -5.0.

D Joe Manchin (I) 46 percent, R Patrick Morrissey 38 percent, L Rusty Hollen 3 percent (1 poll)

Race forecast: lean D 8/10

Rusty Hollen has also appeared in two partisan polls, one Democrat and one Republican, and the average there is very similar: 48.5 percent to 40 percent to 3 percent.

Never forget! ||| Matt Welch
Matt Welch

8) New Mexico, -6.0.

D Martin Heinrich (I) 43 percent, L Gary Johnson 18.5 percent, R Mick Rich 18.5 percent (2 polls)

Race forecast: 9/10 safe D

Hold on a galdarned minute, wasn't this race closer? Well, it depends. There have only been two nonpartisan polls since the 2012/2016 former L.P. presidential candidate (and two-time former New Mexico governor) jumped in the race, and they differ wildly about Johnson and Rich: 21 percent to 11 percent in the first, 16 percent to 26 percent in the second. Meanwhile, polls sponsored by Democrats and Republicans average out to 45.5–29.5–21 for Heinrich-Rich-Johnson, and three polls taken by Johnson confidant Ron Nielson, including one released last week, show Rich lagging in third: 37.3–26.3–16, on average. If the latter numbers were mirrored by nonpartisan polling outfits, Johnson would be tied for first on this list.

9) Ohio, -11.0.

D Sherrod Brown (I) 49 percent, R Jim Renacci 35 percent, L Bruce Jaynes 4 percent, G Philena Farley 2 percent (1 poll)

Race forecast: 6/10 likely D

Ohio has been among the toughest states for the Libertarian Party, largely because of major-party ballot-access stiff-arming led by Republican Gov. John Kasich.

10) Virginia, -14.0.

D Tim Kaine (I) 50.7 percent, R Corey Stewart 32 percent, L Matt Waters 4.7 percent (3 polls)

Race forecast: 9/10 safe D

Corey Stewart, you may recall, is the super-Trumpy fellow who croaked liberty-movement Republican Nick Freitas in the GOP primary. Waters, who comes across as a libertarian-leaning conservative Normal, is the Libertarian candidate I predict is most likely to top his poll numbers on election day.

11) Pennsylvania, -16.7.

D Bob Casey, Jr. (I) 49.7 percent, R Lou Barletta 31.3 percent, L Dale Kerns 1.7 percent, G Neal Gale 1.3 percent (3 polls)

Race forecast: 7/10 likely D

Pennsylvania is one of eight states left to have the straight-ticket ballot option, which tends to be deadly for third parties.

12) Mississippi, -20.0.

R Roger Wicker (I) 53 percent, D David Baria 32 percent, Ref. Shawn O'Hara 2 percent, L Danny Bedwell 1 percent (1 poll)

Race forecast: 9/10 safe R

Danny Bedwell ran for Congress twice, receiving 1.2 percent in 2012 and 2.5 percent in 2014.

13) Nebraska, -20ish?

R Deb Fischer (I) 52 percent, D Jane Raybould 31 percent, L Jim Schultz unpolled (3 polls, all partisan)

Race forecast: 8/10 safe R

What a godawful disgrace polling in the state of Nebraska is. The Libertarian Party hasn't had many Senate candidates here of late, but Gary Johnson won 4.6 percent of the vote in 2016, and State Sen. Laura Ebke, after switching from the GOP to the L.P. in 2016, is fighting off a Republican in her re-election bid. Articles about Jim Schultz have headlines like "There is a third choice for Senate on the November ballot."

14) Connecticut, -22ish?

D Chris Murphy (I) 56.5 percent, R Matthew Corey 34 percent, L Richard Lion unpolled (2 polls)

Race forecast: 9/10 safe D

Besides Richard Lion, two other candidates on the ballot are not being polled: the Green Party's Jeff Russell and Socialist Action's Fred "Mitch" Linck. Lion received 1.1 percent of the vote for U.S. Senate in 2016.

15) Utah, -30.5.

R Mitt Romney 57 percent, D Jenny Wilson 24 percent, C Tim Aalders 3 percent, L Craig Bowden 2.5 percent, IA Reed McCandless 2.5 percent (2 polls)

Race forecast: 9/10 safe R

Craig Bowden received 5.9 percent of the vote for the House of Representatives in 2016.

16) Delaware, -34.0.

D Tom Carper (I) 61 percent, R Rob Arlett 24 percent, L Nadine Frost 3 percent, G Demetri Theodoropoulos 3 percent (1 poll)

Race forecast: 9/10 safe D

"I am running because I love my grandchildren and I want them to have a better future," Nadine Frost says.

17) Maryland, -38.0.

D Ben Cardin (I) 56 percent, R Tony Campbell 17 percent, I Neal Simon 8 percent, L Arvin Vohra 1 percent (1 poll)

Race forecast: 9/10 safe D

This is the only of the Libertarian Party's 17 races for U.S. Senate in which the Libertarian is not within one percentage point of third place in the polls. Vohra, the party's most controversial figure over the past two years, was voted out of office as national vice chair three months ago and is an announced candidate for the 2020 presidential nomination.

NEXT: Nationwide 'Presidential Alert' Texts: Not the Best Idea

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  1. “Those fucking *spoilers*! There ought to be a LAW!”

    1. Read the 1971 Nixon Anti-Libertarian Law. It bets we sell out for media ad subsidies.

  2. It’s going to be so great when the 2020 LP presidential nominee is Weld/ Flake.

    It will be a real clarifying moment

    1. Let’s you and me go ahead with the
      formation of a new party
      A third party, the Wild Party!
      I know we have problems,
      We have problems on the North, South, East and West,
      New York City, Saint Louis, Philadelphia, Los Angeles,
      Detroit, Chicago,
      Everybody has problems,
      And personally, I don’t care.

      1. Quoting Alice Cooper is a surefire way to may heart, BUCS.

        I am smitten

      2. Done. Just before the LP formed there was a Buffalo party and a Human Rights party, and sprinklings of libertarian sentiment here and there. Nolan did it right, and the looters cannot handle the math in a Three Party Problem. They caved to the Prohis (18th Amendment, Comstock laws) and the Communists (16th Amendment). To keep themselves from losing they were good with throwing the voters under the bus. Now that spoiler votes are going the other direction, this is a good time to press the advantage. Expect them to infiltrate our conventions and staff…

    2. It will be a real clarifying moment

      Because they’re so much less libertarian than Bob Barr?

      1. Barr was the worse. But, yeah, Weld would be A LOT worse.

        1. *worst*

        2. I really don’t grasp how anyone thinks that Weld will not be the ultimate example that the LP has actually become the conservative party in our politics.

          1. The LP hasn’t become anything other than “desperate for candidates who will be taken seriously.”

            1. If “serious” requires the candidate to repudiate everything that would make the LP nominee an alternative to the other two parties then isn’t everything just a futile gesture?

              And if we’re playing the game of “well, deep down he believes in the platform, even if he ignores it every time he speaks” I might be willing to maybe believe that with Gary, but certainly not Weld.

              1. If “serious” requires the candidate to repudiate everything that would make the LP nominee an alternative to the other two parties then isn’t everything just a futile gesture?

                Almost certainly.

                I might be willing to maybe believe that with Gary, but certainly not Weld.

                I don’t think Weld has some kind of secret agenda. I just think he wouldn’t mind being back in office, and is fine with the LP telling him what to say to get there. He obviously stepped into the 2016 campaign at the last minute and wasn’t real clear on what this libertarianism thingy was all about before he signed up.

                I also thought Ralph Nader was an especially shitty Green Party candidate, but he successively brought national attention to environmental issues, for better or worse.

                Weld has almost no chance of becoming president, but if he did he would still be an order of magnitude better than almost anyone else likely to run (except Rand, maybe Sasse).

                1. I also thought Ralph Nader was an especially shitty Green Party candidate

                  And to clarify what I mean by that in this context: even when I was going door-to-door with CalPIRG in the late 80s I was constantly having to separate the environmental concerns from Nader’s bullshit nanny-state obsessions. I was actually quite good with Orange County libertarians who had a visceral hatred of Nader because of the safety/consumer-advocate stuff that had literally nothing to do with the environmental movement.

                  In the 90s, the Green Party was all about local control and decentralized government. Nader was a very poor fit, but he got national attention (although, in fairness to your point, he also single-handedly destroyed the Green Party).

                2. Gary at least governed as somewhat of a libertarian when he was governor and first ran for the Republican nomination as libertarian. Weld has supported every single American overseas conflict since the 80’s. He’s an unrepentant gun grabber and a lover of the nanny state.

                  There is no redeeming quality to Weld and I think people who are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt are being Team Players, which is disappointing.

                  1. There is no redeeming quality to Weld and I think people who are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt are being Team Players

                    Okay. Thanks for your input, I guess.

                    1. Is it possible that Trump is more libertarian than Weld? Yeah, maybe.

    3. My bet is that Flake is the Presidential Nominee for the LP. I was musing about this with a friend earlier today. I think Flake is maneuvering not for a GOP run, but a 3rd party bid.

      1. It seems plausible. If he thinks he’s going to primary Trump, he’s delusional.

      2. Flake really represents all that is wrong with Washington. The guy hems and haws about an unsubstantiated allegation, but has no qualms about voting for the most recent budget; voting to re-authorize the data collection program, and voting in favor of Gina Haspel.

        It amazes me that Reason which enjoys criticizing Paul slavishly writes glowing profiles of Flake. Especially since Paul did not vote for the most recent budget; did not vote to re-authorize the data collection program, and did not vote in favor of Gina Haspel (on the final vote- he voted her out of committee).

        1. Reason (specifically Matt Welch) recently wrote a piece about Flake saying he is universally hated. That NOBODY, not right, left, or libertarian like the guy, even though he’s stepping down.

          If that’s a glowing profile, I hope they never give me one.

  3. Reason needs to pick a position on this issue and stay with it. If they want to claim that LP candidates are not spoilers and cannot be blamed by the losing side if the polls show the results would have been different in a two way race, then they need to stop bragging about having their candidates covering the spread between the two major party candidates. What difference does this make if your purpose is not just to be a spoiler for one side of the other? It makes no difference. If it is the case that the LP doesn’t care if it is a spoiler, then it shouldn’t find covering the spread to be anything to brag about.

    1. Then they cannot have their cake and eat it, as well. It is difficult to thread that needle to say that we matter enough to be petted but don’t matter enough to be scolded for the outcomes created.

      1. I was informed that the LP has issues with cake and libertarianism

        1. It’s hard that no one will bake cakes for us.

      2. They need to figure out what their goal is. Is it to pull the major parties towards libertarian positions or some day become a major party themselves? If it is the former, then being a spoiler is required. But what also is required is figuring out what you want from a major party candidate and throwing in with the major party and not running a candidate when a major party candidate gives you what you want. If it is the latter, then they need to stop worrying about being the spoiler and just worry about building a bigger party.

        I really don’t think they have any idea what they want, other than a few of the reason staff wanting Democrats to win.

        1. The LP needs to expand beyond its base of complete nerds and doofuses before it gets anywhere. It also doesn’t help that both Ds and Rs right now want more government to punish the other side.

          1. ^ This, both points.

            What I found most despair-inducing about the 2016 election was the realization that partisan turnout is inversely proportional to the quality of the candidates.

            I naively thought, going into 2016, that people would recognize that neither Trump nor HRC were acceptable candidates, and that the “risk” of voting third party was probably lower than it’s ever been.

            Instead, people just doubled-down on “I must support the lesser of two evils” even harder than they have before.

            1. ‘Lesser evil’ is actually the most powerful voter motivator out there. It is not a ‘weakness’ of the DeRps. It is the basis of negative advertising (which is the form that works best) and dissatisfaction impels far more action (like voting) than does satisfaction.

              1. Agreed. The dismaying thing is that national elections will continue selecting in favor of the worst people possible.

              2. Which is exactly why all Libertarians need to get behind Ranked Choice Voting, There are no spoilers with RCV. While Approval Voting would be better than what we have now the more candidates you approve of in AV the more you reduce the chance of your favorite winning. No such problem with RCV.

            2. But here we are two years after that election and the administrative state is smaller than it was for the first time since it began, we are not in any new wars, and taxes are lower and people are correspondingly more free as a result. I don’t see how we are any less free today than we were two years ago and in many ways we are more free. You have not been able to say that two years into any Presidential Administration since Reagan.

              Ultimately, I really don’t get why Libertarians bitch with Trump is. Is he perfect? No. But he never claimed to be a Libertarian. He is certainly counter to a lot of libertarian positions. But so is every other politician who isn’t a liberterian. But he is also done a lot of things that Libertarians should like. And he is the first President in 30 years you could say that about. Yet, Libertarians seem to be more upset with Trump than any other President in my lifetime. It is absurd.

              1. So far, Trump has turned out better than I could have hoped during the election. So far.

                If he were taken up by aliens today, he would go down as a decent president.

                I also think that a lot of his positive impact is just the effect of his taking the government’s hands off of the economy to a certain extent, and his refusing to accept how “things have always worked (since WWII)” in international relations.

                I’m not ready to declare his trade policies victorious, however, and I find them to be very, very risky. If some of the good things he has accomplished stick for a few years, I may warm to him. But I’m not yet convinced it’s not mostly smoke and mirrors.

                1. Even if he is smoke and mirrors, a fake good President is a lot better than the real bad ones we have had recently.

                  1. Maybe – there’s an argument to be made that a shitty businessman is better than a “good” politician. I’m just concerned about two things, which is that, if it is all smoke and mirrors then the Obama Stagnation could well transform into Boom!—->CRASH.

                    I’m also concerned about a US Grant effect where a big, well-liked personality distracts from all kinds of corruption and nastiness in his administration that we won’t know about for years to come.

              2. But here we are two years after that election and the administrative state is smaller than it was for the first time since it began

                By what metric? Certainly not the price tag.

              3. You have not been able to say that two years into any Presidential Administration since Reagan.

                Reagan, aside from being responsible (both directly and indirectly) for the largest spending increases in about a century, was also ruthless when it comes to criminal justice. Imprisonment, spending, international conflict and interventionism, etc grew SIGNIFICANTLY on his watch. More significantly than most presidents in the 20th century before him and really any president since.

                So the fact that you’re spouting a Republican version of how you define “freedom” should answer your question about why libertarians bitch about Trump. Listen more to how libertarians define freedom and this should become clearer.

        2. It’s a non issue in the next Presidential election because Trump will appear so very much more libertarian than the Democrat that any thinking Libertarian will want to vote against the Democrat by voting FOR the Donald. If it’s Weld vs Trump vs a “Socialist,” who in his or her right mind would waste an anti-socialist vote on Weld?

          I can handle lots of criticism so tell me why I’m wrong?

          1. It’s a non issue in the next Presidential election because Trump will appear so very much more libertarian than the Democrat

            Is that so? The LP platform (just to use a relatively unbiased, standardized treatment of libertarianism) cites the following categories and subcategories to describe their platform. You can read descriptions of each subcategory on the website.

            1. Personal liberty (self ownership, expression, privacy, personal relationships, abortion, parental rights, crime and justice, death penalty, self-defense)
            2. Economic liberty (property, environment, energy/resources, spending, debt, employees, markets, licensing, sex work, labor markets, education, health care, retirement)
            3. Securing liberty (national defense, internet security, international affairs, free trade and migration, discrimination, representative government, self-determination).

            I think you’ll be hard-pressed to make the case that republicans more closely resemble libertarians on categories #1 and #3. In fact, I’d argue that democrats are a closer ally on at least half of those, probably more.

            And considering that republicans are no longer the party of free markets, reduced spending, or free trade, I’m not sure they’re a closer ally on category #2 either.

    2. Why not play spoiler when the situation sucks?

      Say you’re a parent and the local NAMBLA chapter throws a party for your child and his friends. You gonin and break up the party, sending the creeps out the door with hearty kicks to their backsides. You would be a spoiler. So what?

      The politicians on both sides of the aisle are like NAMBLA, and the voting public is like innocent and dumb children who just want free ice cream. It’s good that the libertarian candidates can be the responsible parent who will spoil the fun in this scenario.

      1. I dunno man…

        It’s more like somebody putting a gun to your head, and telling you you have to send your kid to A party. You can send them to a NAMBLA party, OR a party that will have creepy intentionally scary clowns…

        Creepy clown party is gonna freak your kid out bad, but it’s a hell of a lot better than them getting raped in the ass!

        Voting for the lesser of two evils sucks, but it’s not the 1990s anymore. The Dems have lost their shit, and gone full on commie just about… The Rs are more or less muddling along about the same as they ever have, but have in fact become more libertarian in most of their social views.

        Whatever the case, if I lived in a swing state there’s no way I wouldn’t vote for the Republican at a time like this. I live in a commie infested hell hole, so I always get to vote Libertarian.

        1. The Rs are more or less muddling along about the same as they ever have

          Uh… wut?

          The Rs have COMPLETELY flip-flopped on any semblance of their economic policies, let alone anything resembling Goldwater economics. In fact, there’s a great deal of evidence that suggests they are more of our economic enemies than the D’s considering they have a complete boner about spending.

          They’ve also decided to double down on their conquest of Americans’ civil liberties. Whether their motivations are terrorists, sex, opioids, or their unwavering love for men in uniform, it doesn’t really matter.

          And let’s not forget that the party that used to be advocates of states rights now hold states rights in complete disdain. They’re not even our allies on PROCEDURAL shit anymore.

          With the exception of the 2nd amendment, what the hell do we find redeeming from the R party’s deeds??

          1. Uhhh, other than trade, which is mainly Trump and not all Rs, their economics are about as good as ever. Which is to say they aren’t total free market maniacs, but they never have been.

            Likewise with stuff like The Gays, The Dope Smoking, etc they’re a lot more moderate than they have ever been. There are still hard core prohibitionist floating around, see Sessions… But there are a lot of people going with the “Don’t give a shit” attitude too. That would have been unthinkable 20-30 years ago. THEY WERE ALL anti gay and anti dope.

            They, like the Dems, have always been fair weather federalists too.

            Spending? They’ve always been shitty, but usually slightly less shitty than the Dems. People think Trumps deficits are bad (because they are), but what do you think President Clinton would be spending right now? Let alone President Sanders.

            So, as I said, muddling along the same as ever. The Dems are the ones who have gone hard left. Rs are just doing the same old thing, but the political spectrum has shifted so far left people are freaking out about their positions being extreme, when they’re in fact MORE toned down than they used to be on social stuff, and about the same economically.

    3. Also, against all odds, we managed to get in Donald Trump the most libertarian president we have seen, certainly in my lifetime if not ever. He’s not perfect, and his libertarianism may not be intended, but he is making important gains for freedom in critical areas. If Democrats take control, that comes to an end. If libertarian candidates end up as spoilers in favor of the Dems, they will have shot themselves in the foot.

      I would certainly like to see actually libertarian representation in Congress. But this election is being billed as a referendum on the first two years of Trump’s presidency. Votes in favor of Republicans could stand as a sharp rebuke to the constant “resist” crap we’ve seen from the left for two years, and convince never Trumpers to stand aside and allow more of the agenda to move forward. Yes, that will include things libertarians don’t like (a border wall and restrictions on immigration and tariffs), but in my view it is worth trading those for the advantages (originalist justices and judges who enforce the Consititution, regulatory roll back, unweaponzing the administrative state against conservatives (which to the left includes libertarians), tax reform, crippling/ending Obamacare, etc…). We will not get a perfect solution, and the goal should be to advance the ball in the other direction as far as we can now so that we can continue with someone else later.

  4. Thank you for reporting on this, Matt!

  5. My Dem opponent won’t face me. He even showed up at an event, but left!

    His campaign manager filled in.

    Check out my account of it here on my FB page.

    There is also a link to youtube clips there.

    Jeff Scott
    Peace Prosperity Privacy

    US Congress District 9
    Libertarian Party

    1. If you’re just running against a Dem, Reason’s not interested. You’re also too anti-war for them. They’re all in on Russia fever dreams

      1. Try Scott Horton or Tom Woods

      2. My race is one of the highest profile House races in the country, since the incumbent lost and the district is considered blue-flippable. I am running against 2 newbies, one a former pastor and very right wing, and the other a Chauncey Gardner. Both are in over their heads, never having held public office before. Dems like my anti-war message, but it gets a little squirmy when we talk about universal health care and 2A.

        My point is posting here is to call attention to my communications with voters in my district, not to engage in behind the scenes sectarian issues during the last 4 weeks of the campaign.

        I know if Tibor were still alive we would be arguing about this Russia stuff, since his anti-Soviet position (aren’t we all anti-Soviet?) evolved into anti-Russian sentiment. But, what does he know that Vaclav Klaus didn’t know? There is a strong Russia fever everywhere, and I have to talk to voters about it every time I appear.

        I am frozen out of the debates, largely because i haven’t raised enough money to trigger FEC reporting, to buy local media and to pay to organize volunteers. I am a one-man-media presence and I am boosting out my articles on ICE/DHS, Veterans Affairs, Cannabis and War on the finicky Facebook platform.

        Some regional media has picked up on it, including Richmond Observer, Richmond Daily Journal and WBT radio, yet I am still being pounced by the big media spend of the major parties on Spectrum, Raycom and McClatchey.

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Waters tops 10% in Virginia. He’s not well-known, but lots of conventional GOPers despise Corey Stewart as much as they do Tim Kaine.

  7. This would have been a great year IMO for L’s to nominate women (the voting demographic that will likely have the biggest delta effect on elections this year) – and esp women who can translate L theory into ‘this is what Senators actually do’. Like – ya know – what things are important when it comes to voting on appointed officials and judges? what treaties out there need rejecting/approving?

    Instead it looks like most of the candidates are men – doing little more than the usual useless teaching/evangelizing. Which means that even if they get the margin of difference, it won’t lead anywhere because the teaching/evangelizing approach can never lead to much more than 3% in elections where MOST voters are voting in order to actually you know elect someone who will fill the job at the end of election day.

    GJ imo has a better chance than people think to actually win. Lucy Brenton has a good chance to goose the L’s to the next level with a good debate performance (esp since the DeRp men are going to do everything they can to ignore and condescend).

    1. There is no better way to show the LP as an alternative to the two major parties than to play-up the same identity politics as the Democrats

      1. That’s not what I’m saying and you know it. What I’m saying is – understand your audience and know what part of the audience is receptive to a message of change and what part isn’t paying attention beyond DeRp.

        This year – that audience is women. In 2010, it was TeaParty. L’s either sell L to the audience that’s listening – or they can never sell anything to anyone.

        1. Maybe. But, I’m not sure if that’s accurate in the midterms.

        2. I agree completely. If the LP can’t find a woman to put on a ticket, that just seems to confirm what everyone already says about them. It’s a no-brainer that would solve 90% of the LP’s PR problems right out of the gate and would get them a ton of free publicity.

          1. So …. are all the women politicians too practical to run as a Libertarian? Men are always portrayed as being more “theoretical and idealistic” than the more practical, fairer sex. Could this explain it???

    2. So where you’re losing it is thinking that Libertarian principles appeal to women and/or regular voters at all.

      Libertarianism is a high IQ, male, political philosophy. Especially when one is talking about purist libertarian positions.

      It simply doesn’t appeal to dumb people who don’t have the time/interest/intellectual capacity to get it. You can dumb it down some, turn it into empty platitudes, but then you’re basically just playing Republican light on fiscal stuff, and Democrat light on social stuff, without actually getting the libertarian point across.

      It doesn’t appeal to women, because it is overly rational. You likewise might be able to turn some arguments into emotional appeals… But if you do that, you’re not selling them on libertarianism either.

      I hate to speak these unfortunate truths, but there it is. There’s a reason why women are to the left of men all over the entire world, it’s called biology. They’re too empathetic. Dumb people get free shit from redistribution. That’s the problem.

      There are of course exceptions to the above “rules”, and I know libertarians LOVE to hold up exceptions to every rule… But exceptions are exceptions, and those broad strokes paint the picture in reality for the most part.

      That said, I think we should dumb down the argument and make emotional appeals within reason… But it won’t really work for any purist stuff, but that might get us some watered down L leaning laws/politicians here and there.

      1. Libertarianism is a high IQ, male, political philosophy.

        Liberty is appealing to most every living thing that has been denied it or never experienced it. Video of animals being released merely onto grass for first time. Or kids walking for the first time. If your view of ‘libertarianism’ cannot encompass actual experiences of actual liberty; then go back to some gay pseudo-Mensa society where you can circle-jerk each others highIQ’s.

        Especially when one is talking about purist libertarian positions…It doesn’t appeal to women, because it is overly rational. You likewise might be able to turn some arguments into emotional appeals… But if you do that, you’re not selling them on libertarianism either.

        All you are saying is that your view of libertarian has nothing to do with actual liberty – which encompasses all parts of the human brain – or with actual humans – who use all parts of their brain. It is YOUR view that is limited. And btw – just because you assert that you are rational does not make it so. Nor is rationalism some be-all end-all to define/understand the world.

        1. As I said buddy, unpleasant truths.

          Humans are a complicated lot. We’re a weird mix of individualistic mentality and pack animal. Most people DON’T place individual autonomy at the very top of their list of must haves… They mostly like order, and largely like to have somebody else be responsible for things. Hence all of human history we’ve had autocratic societies.

          Intelligent, and rational people can read through the evidence, and history, and see that autocrats are bullshit. But most people don’t care to even try to figure this stuff out, let alone actually do it.

          It’s not that NO women can do this. We have some awesome chicks who post on here! But it’s not a typical female way of thinking. They are, statistically speaking, more emotional and empathetic. Pure hard core libertarianism does not really account for feelz. It says “If a guy doesn’t want to work to feed himself, he should fucking starve!” I can totally get behind that. Most women immediately would think “But we have enough food in society to feed him, why can’t we just give him some food?”

          1. And that’s where it all begins! The entire nanny state right there. Some men think like that too, but for men it’s a minority, and for women it’s a majority. It’s just our biology.

            I think society functions well when men and women balance each other out a bit… But to have a well ordered, free society, masculine thinking needs to have about 2/3rds of the influence, tempered by a little of the feelz. We used to be that way, now it’s flipped, and everything is going to shit. Feminine thinking is too soft for the realities of the world.

            It is what it is. You’re a feelz guy, and I’m not going to try to explain it beyond this. If you can’t accept that men and women fundamentally think differently, I’m not going to try to convince you. Just living life should be enough for any sane person to realize this, but the indoctrination has lied to generations of people and told us we’re all the same… It clearly got to you.

  8. ties.

    A safer bet, though it’s one few political analysts are currently talking about, is that candidates from America’s perennial bronze medalist, the Libertarian Party, will receive more votes in multiple Senate races than the distance between Republicans and Democrats.

    1. Grrr.

      That this result is considered good is damning.

  9. “And yet even strong Libertarian candidates in close races are routinely not being polled.”

    Of course not. The media doesn’t want you to be confused by having more than two choices (or often just one). They’re just looking out for you.

  10. Many thanks for this. Four of our strongest states, New Mexico, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania (home of the Liberal Party in 1930) are in this new list. This will give us a yardstick to measure against the returns by how much the looter media/pollsters lie to earn those Nixon subsidies. I recall back when Clinton was Prez a Texas libertarian pointed out that the netwits had no trouble ignoring an LP candidate with 20% of the vote on election night–just rounding that off into the looter candidate totals.

    1. Oh, you’ve reminded us of that wonderful Ross Perot. It’s mighty fine when the Dems and Reps don’t get too close to 50% of the vote. Go Perot! ‘Sides, he had a great accent and an entertaining demeanor, huh?

  11. Oh, my gawd… Can we PLEASE be done with McKaskill? Even the proggiest of progs in MO don’t like her. She is universally disliked.

  12. Rick will easily beat the spread in Montana. Last couple go arounds L Senate candidate got 5%. I’m usually in that mix but this year I’ll be voting against Tester and doing something I’ve never done which is pull the lever for an R. After his smearing of Ronny Jackson and the antics of that herd of D swine in the Kavanaugh hearings Tester has to go. Rosendale is a boob and a dbag even more than Tester but this shit needs to stop. I’d prefer a neutron bomb over DC but since that ain’t happening…..

    1. That’s what I’m saying, fellow Montana Libertarian. I’m with you all the way. Tester is a jester and a liberal, lefty fester.

  13. “… even strong Libertarian candidates …”

    There are no strong Libertarian candidates. There are vanity campaigns with conceited dimwits happily running around calling themselves “Candidate for Senate” and less than a snowballs chance in Hell of actually winning. I would say they can’t accomplish anything except help the Democrats, but given the number of people who think “Left Libertarian” is actually an honest description of a political position (or, unbelievably, “socialist libertarian”), they’re as likely to inflict as much damage in the Democrats as they do on the Republicans.

    I’ve been a libertarian for the past 50 years. The reason Ive always walked away from doing anything with the Libertarian Party is that it’s only a club for people who like the tingle they feel when they hear the words “I’m a Libertarian!” emerge from their mouth. These Senate races are cases on point.

  14. It’s really sad when a party’s platform has been reduced to ‘spoiler!’

    There was a time when the LP candidate was actually trying to win.

  15. If you’re in a district where it’s a safe win one way or another, vote away for the Libertarian! I generally do, because I live in a Shit Lib district. But SERIOUSLY, this is not the election to do that if you’re in one of these on the fence swing areas.

    Trump will hopefully get Kav in this week… But there is every chance he might get another pick. That could protect a hell of a lot of liberties from the commies for decades to come.

    Imagine if Trump actually had enough spare votes to pass things with a few RINO senators punking out even? We’d have had a full Obamacare repeal. Better tax reform. What about the future? Non EO regulatory roll backs? MAYBE even cutting spending on some shit that Rs don’t like? Who friggin’ knows.

    All I know, if that if the Dems get one or both chambers, we will get literally nothing positive done until the next election. Trump is crazy and, well, Trump like… But I think he would sign off on some crazy reforms if they could get passed in congress. I’d like to see what that might look like…

    PS Senator Romney… UGH. He’s gonna be garbage. I was hoping I’d never have to hear from his ass again, but oh well.

    1. Actually, Beto is going to be the first Democrat I’ve ever voted for. I want gridlock during this administration (I would have also been in favor of gridlock had Hillary won).

      1. Well, gridlock has its upsides. It is often when things go best.

        But I honestly think Trump would sign off on some legit reforms if they got through congress. I would not have said the same about Bush II. The biggest worry I’d have from crate blanche GOP control is starting another war, but Trump seems to be fairly sensible about that subject… We’ll see how it goes.

    2. You are delusional if you think Kavanough is going to protect any liberties other than for corporations. He will stomp on individual liberties like an elephant.

      1. Ehhhhh, I dunno. He seems to be dodgy on some stuff, but IMO he’ll be solid on the 2A, general government overreach in terms of regulations, the 1A (now that the Dems are against it!), and a lot of typical GOP talking points.

        He may be bad on privacy rights and things like that. But I think the court is balanced enough where I’m not afraid of anything TOO horrible happening on those fronts. It’s not like the Dems have any respect for that kind of stuff anymore either. But I’ll certainly take him over anybody Hillary would have put up.

  16. It’s not only the dumb democrats and the ridiculous republicans that work to deny anyone else a seat at the table. The media rarely covers them because they are not advertising on their platform. It would be interesting to see of the Libertarian party flooded a market with advertising if all of a sudden the media in that market started doing interviews with the candidate and included them in their polls. My money says yes.

  17. I’m not gonna lie. I’m in Texas and I am voting for Cruz. I just can’t take any chances of Beto getting in. I hate that I am that guy, but this time I am.

    On the flip-side. I am voting Tippetts for governor.

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