Libertarian Party

Libertarian Candidate Will Almost Certainly Be Blamed as 'Spoiler' in Georgia Gubernatorial Race

In one of the country's highest-profile campaigns, featuring Democratic heartthrob Stacey Abrams vs. Trumpian Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Ted Metz is likely pulling enough votes away to force a runoff.


Ted, just admit it. ||| C-SPAN

If there is a gubernatorial-race equivalent to Betomania, it's probably the enthusiasm for Georgia's Stacey Abrams, who is vying to be the first black female governor in American history.

Abrams, a novelist and former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, is running neck-and-neck with current Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Trumpian who has been accused in recent weeks of deliberate voter suppression. It would be a plum pickup for Dems: Georgia hasn't had a Democratic governor since Roy Barnes from 1999-2003 Zell Miller in the 1990s, and Donald Trump won the state by five percentage points.

But neither Abrams nor Kemp are likely to win on November 6, and you can bet their supporters will blame Libertarian nominee Ted Metz.

Georgia, you see, requires winning candidates to earn a majority of votes. And while Metz is averaging just 2.3 percent in the six independent polls he's been included in—and third-party candidates tend to underperform their polling numbers on election day by around one-third—that still may prove to be bigger than the distance between the major-party candidates and the 50 percent mark. (In those six polls, Kemp is averaging 47 percent and Abrams 46 percent; but even when Metz's name has not been included, neither candidate has yet to draw higher than 49 percent.)

Metz, a retired insurance executive running on the slogan "Re-legalize Freedom," is leaning into his role as potential spoiler. "This is going to be a runoff anyway," he said at the candidates' first televised debate on Tuesday. "If you're tired of the two-party system and the two-party tyranny of the oligarchs running the planet, then a vote for me is a protest vote to show them that you are sick and tired of the same ol' stuff."

Seven out of 10 political forecasters collated by Wikipedia rate the Georgia race a "toss-up"; the other three have it leaning Republican. There has been exactly one poll (NBC News/Marist College, October 14-18), that asked both with and without Metz, and the net effect of his inclusion was to cut Kemp's lead from two percentage points to one. (Marist, whose polls have been consistently producing the largest numbers for Libertarians across the country, had Metz at 4 percent; no other independent survey has been higher than 2.) In 2014, Libertarian Andrew Hunt received 2.4 percent of the vote.

So what is Metz running on? He wants to eliminate Georgia's income tax, introduce market reforms to health care, and in every interview manages to say stuff like "Medical cannabis is God's gift to the health of mankind." (Metz has literal skin in the game when it comes to pot, having survived skin cancer that recently required the lopping off of his left ear.) Ask him about global warming, and he'll come back at you with industrialized hemp.

As of this morning, Libertarian gubernatorial candidates are beating the percentage-point spread between Democrats and Republicans in a half-dozen races, as averaged out among independent polls. In order of spread-beating, they are: Iowa's Jake Porter (+5), Nevada's Jared Lord (+4.5), Ohio's Travis Irvine (+2), Wisconsin's Phil Anderson (+1.6), Metz (+1.2), and South Dakota's Kurt Evans (+1). Jeff Caldwell might also be beating the spread in neck-and-neck Kansas, but he hasn't been polled—Independent Greg Orman received 9 percent in the only nonpartisan survey published thus far, compared to 37 percent for Republican Kris Kobach and 36 percent for Democrat Laura Kelly.

You can watch the whole Georgia gubernatorial debate below:

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  1. What! Why am I just now hearing about this guy? If only there were a libertarian news site plumping this important story and urging libertarians to support his candidacy.

    1. But…but…supporting libertarian candidates isn’t pragmatic! It’s better to support Democrats and Republicans and then sit around wondering why the government keeps growing and liberty keeps shrinking.

    2. If they become a party organ they’ll violate the Foundation’s 501(c)(3) status – the only way to avoid the IRS is either to be nonpartisan, or to be partisan for one of the dominant parties.

      1. But corporate, for-profit newspapers are free to endorse and promote candidates without their actions being considered in-kind contributions in violation of campaign finance laws?

  2. It won’t be a big deal unless Abrams wins. Which she won’t. Kemp will triumph in a runoff.

  3. “Abrams, a novelist and former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, is running neck-and-neck with current Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Trumpian who has been accused in recent weeks of deliberate voter suppression.”

    Fuck off, Welch. You’re a woke POS.
    I don’t even like Kemp, and Metz sounds pretty good – so promote him if your real goal is libertarianism.
    But we all know it’s not- you’ve made it abundantly clear that your primary goal is to push the progressive narrative.
    Look at how you’ve described each candidate. WTF is a Trumpian, and do you actually know anything about Kemp beyond his stupid commercials?
    You accuse, by proxy, Kemp of “voter suppression”, but you neglect to mention that Abrams encourages illegal immigrants to vote.
    I’d like to move back to GA soon, but not if it’s the socialist shithole you’d prefer?
    Do you live in GA?
    Then cover it ethically or shut the fuck up.

    By the way, Reason editor Matt Welch has been accused of child molestation in recent weeks.

    1. Those Kemp commercials (at least those during the primary) are pretty cringe-worthy. Watching them makes me ashamed to say I’m a Georgian.

    2. Wowser, bud, that’s pretty clever, for someone who’s been accused of not taking his meds in recent weeks.

    3. lol, well someone took it to an 11 pretty quickly

    4. You get pretty mad at your imaginary version of Matt Welch.

      I live in GA… so I’ll cover it ethically for you. Both candidates are fucking horrible. I hate the fact that Kemp will end up being governor of my state. I’m happy that it won’t be Abrams. These two assholes are an example of the wider trend that the only way you can make it as a contestant in the general election is to be a fucking ridiculous caricature of two hyper-partisan parties. So, I’m glad to know that there will be an L on the ballot instead of having to write someone’s name in.

      1. I like that there’s an L too, and Kemp is a joke.
        Still not the disaster Abrams would be, and an unsympathetic inside source reports that he’s not so much the (idiotic) character he portrays, more just a typical POS politician.

        Welch is a progressive piece of shit and his life has no value. Tired of his bullshit propaganda.

  4. Metz is an unimpressive “Hempitarian” anyways. I’m not voting in the midterms.

  5. According to Wikipedia, Abrams wrote under the pen name Selena Montgomery. Here’s her Amazon page:

    1. Abrams outweighs Chris Christie. Bill Maher won’t be joking that the skeletons in her closet are “of cows”

    2. I wonder if she gave signed copies of her novels to her Methodist-minister parents.

      1. “Well, honey, you may be writing racy novels, but at least you’re not a politician.”

        “Actually, Mom and Dad, I have something to tell you…”

  6. Ted will have my vote on election day.

  7. Georgia, you see, requires winning candidates to earn a majority of votes.

    General only, or in the runoff too? Because that’s a fantastic chance for Georgians to write in anybody else and keep preventing anybody from getting a majority.

    1. In Georgia, you actually have to file to be recognized as a write-in candidate with the secretary of state’s office. Otherwise, write-in votes are uncounted and will not affect the election.

      1. There are only four candidates recognized as write-ins for the Georgia Governor’s race.

        1. And they probably don’t accept write-ins for the run-off. Dang.

          1. A runoff is a contest between the top two candidates.

  8. Nice to hear Libertarians are “spoiling” elections between Reps and Dems. We need more spoilers and more spoiled elections.

  9. Yes, that truth hurts, doesn’t it.

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