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Free Minds & Free Markets

How a Libertarian Can Win a Congressional Seat in Georgia

The special election to fill the seat of Rep. Tom Price.

Election Day 2016 is finally behind us. The shock has worn off, the disappointment has mostly dissipated. Now it's time to pore over the results, drill down to state, county, and even precinct level, and try to glean what we can from the data.

From that data, analysts are plotting how to fashion future electoral strategy, and looking for electoral opportunities uncovered by this year's vote totals that might not have been apparent or even have existed before this uncommon election year.

Democrats and Republicans have been doing this since November 9, and have been doing so post-election for decades. It's time for Libertarians to start doing this, too.

From President-elect Donald Trump's announced cabinet picks, a Libertarian electoral opportunity may already be in the cards: a special election is expected to fill the seat of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump's nominee for Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary.

Price's constituency—Georgia's 6th Congressional District—consists of some of Atlanta's growing, affluent northern suburbs in parts of Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb counties. The potential for Libertarian electoral inroads in Georgia's 6th District—and the potential for Trump's association to cause damage to the Republican brand—starts to crystalize when we look at the district's demographics and how those played out in the 2016 election results.

First, a stark fall-off in the Republican vote for president: In 2012 Georgia's 6th District went for GOP nominee Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama by a 61 percent to 37.5 percent margin. This year, Trump squeezed past Hillary Clinton by a single percentage point (48 percent to 47 percent) even as Rep. Price was winning re-election with 61 percent of the vote (down from 65 percent in 2012).

The Gary Johnson-William Weld Libertarian ticket's solid 5 percent tally in Georgia's 6th District over-performed its statewide and national percentage, stretching past 7 percent in some precincts.

Georgia is a state whose upward demographic trends encouraged confident Clinton strategists to talk up as a possible upset. According to The Almanac of American Politics, Georgia's 6th District leads the Peach State in income level, ranking 39th out of 435 congressional districts nationwide. Over half the district's workers are white collar, more than one out of five have put in some post-graduate study.

Trump's anti-trade and anti-immigrant rhetoric that riled up white working class voters up in the Rust Belt and Georgia's stagnant rural redoubts turned off thousands upon thousands of business-minded voters in Georgia's 6th District. In the district's Cobb County, Clinton became the first Democrat to carry the county since favorite son Jimmy Carter did so in 1976, attracting 27,000 more votes than Obama earned in 2012. Meanwhile, Trump slumped in the 6th District, tallying 20,000 fewer votes than Romney.

Previously considered a "safe Republican" seat, this new data led Roll Call to suggest that the special election in Georgia's 6th District "could offer" an "opportunity for Georgia Democrats." But if wariness of Trump does offer an opportunity, from their post-election rhetorical positioning, Democrats don't seem ready to exploit it.

In the wake of Trump's surprise bursting of the "blue firewall" (be it "blue state" or "blue collar"), Democrats are doubling down on their trade-bashing and anti-rich guy rhetoric, seeking to win back the scare points they scored against Republicans for so many decades, when the white working class was the dominant demographic.

But bashing big business and billionaires doesn't look like the way to wring out more Democratic votes in a congressional district with a disappearing blue collar work force and an apparent respect for economic success. If the uber-unpopular Hillary Clinton could grow her vote totals significantly past Barack Obama's historic gains in Georgia's 6th District, it clearly wasn't from class warfare appeals to an educated, upwardly mobile suburban electorate.

Trump's post-election pressuring of the Carrier corporation risks reinforcing distaste for the president-elect among those voters. The Republican nominee in a special congressional election will find him or herself in the awkward position of having to defend or critique this economic heavy-handedness from a GOP president.

A strong, mainstream Libertarian candidate could be better positioned than a Democratic candidate hamstrung by national Democrats' business-bashing to hit a Republican candidate on this issue. One can also be certain that a Georgia Democrat could only offer "me-too but more" as a response to Trump's proposed abomination of a trillion dollar infrastructure spending orgy. A Libertarian could be uniquely poised to take the fiscally sane position against that boondoggle.

There is little evidence that Libertarian social issue positions would be a hindrance in a general election in the 6th District. Rare for a Southern district, Price's predecessor was re-elected despite being avowedly pro-choice. Clinton's relative success in the 6th District was probably abetted by comfort with her social positions, on top of averseness to Trump's economic strongman bluster assailing free trade and immigration.

Speaking of the Republican primary: How much fealty to Trump's agenda will its voters demand? If a Trumpkin minority can extract allegiance, or at least acquiescence, to Trumpian nationalism as the price of winning a nomination, the Republican nominee can expect to be as hobbled as Trump was in this district.

There's actual electoral evidence that a Libertarian-branded candidate pairing social tolerance with voicing support for markets can win votes in a constituency similar in electoral record and demographics to Georgia's 6th District. In his 2013 record-breaking Virginia gubernatorial run, Libertarian Robert Sarvis' "Open-minded & Open for Business" message pulled in precinct percentages reaching 17 percent in Richmond's affluent, educated New South suburbs. (Disclosure: I served as the strategist that ran Sarvis' campaign.)

To be able to run on a similar vote-winning platform emphasizing social as well as economic freedom, a libertarian candidate in this race would need that capital "L" to reinforce his or her brand, triangulating against both the GOP on nationalism and social conservatism, and Democrats on economic regulation, both agendas which appear unpopular with Georgia's 6th District voters.

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  • Libertarian||

    "The shock has worn off, the disappointment has mostly dissipated."

    I don't think you've been keeping up with the news.

  • chemjeff||

    Yup. The disappointment is just beginning...

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    They have not yet begun to disappoint!

  • Sevo||

    "I don't think you've been keeping up with the news."

    The Chron seems to have a daily quota of TDS articles/columns; there are at least 4, plus at least one 'editorial' whine every day.
    I don't see the end of it yet; the flooding and the end of the drought hasn't pushed them off page one.

  • R C Dean||

    The only people disappointed by Trump's election are people who wanted Hillary to win. Their disappointment hasn't dissipated at all.

    My disappointment hasn't really shown up yet, but it will. It will.

  • chemjeff||

    "The only people disappointed by Trump's election are people who wanted Hillary to win."

    How about the people who didn't want either one to win?

  • R C Dean||

    Fair point, chemjeff. I guess I assumed everybody was more or less resigned to one of the two winning, so the only disappointment would be from those who preferred Hillary.

    The rest is sort of baseline disappointment, for many, with our government.

  • Citizen X||

    It's disappointment all the way down.

  • ||

    Trump isn't even in office yet, the amount of disappointment yet to be realized will be epic.

    On both sides.

  • afk05||

    He ran on a populist movement, yet he has already nominated three Goldman Sachs execs. GS has been running our government since the beginning of the 20th century. It's time to end the Fed, but Trump won't do that. He's in bed with Wall Street as well.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    I don't know. The Senate confirmation hearings went like they always do today, right?

  • Dr. Fronkensteen||

    Run as a major party candidate?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Start with down ballot races and build credibility and experience rather then jumping into the big kids pool with no experience or name recognition?

  • Mantis Toboggan, Jr.||

    How a Libertarian Can Win a Congressional Seat in Georgia

    Is the town of Dogdick in that district?

  • Citizen X||

    Are you trying to suss out of shreek is running? He is the One True Libertarian, after all. Just ask him.

  • Zunalter||

    Ah yes, Zero Hedge. Heady financial analysis in the stories, rampant conspiracy theories and antisemitism in the comments.

  • ||

    So, what you're saying is "Win, win"?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    He mentioned three things there.

  • Just Say'n||

    How a Libertarian Can Win a Congressional Seat in Georgia?

    Sellout on all small government principles and run as Democrat-lite? That seems to be the opinion of recent 'libertarian' candidates (ie. the NH Libertarian nominee that advocated single payer healthcare, Gary "Religious Liberty is a black hole" Johnson, the perennial Libertarian candidate in Virginia who advocated for expanding Medicaid, etc.). Wait...come to think of it, you still cannot win.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • chemjeff||

    Honestly, it shouldn't be that hard to sell liberty. The candidate should just say that he/she is in favor of putting yourself in charge of your own life. Don't get into the weeds on abstract stuff. Just make it a simple question: Will this legislation give citizens more power over their own lives, or less? If the answer is "more power", then the candidate should pledge to vote for it; if not, then vote against. And if someone on the left complains that racists and bigots shouldn't have more power to be bigoted racists, or if someone on the right complains that Muslims shouldn't have more power to be Muslim, then just say that it's a package deal. You can't pick and choose who gets more liberty and who doesn't, because depriving someone of liberty deprives all of us of that liberty.

  • John||

    It shouldn't be that hard, but Libertarians manage to fuck it up. It shouldn't be hard but it is hard for Libertarians and that says everything about Libertarians and nothing about the relative difficulty of selling liberty.

  • kbolino||

    If it wasn't that hard, then you would see more people doing it, regardless of party. It is hard and Libertarians routinely fuck it up. At some point, you have to accept that voters are getting what they want, not that they just haven't been properly advertised to yet.

  • Sevo||

    "At some point, you have to accept that voters are getting what they want, not that they just haven't been properly advertised to yet."

    I'm saying a combination in that many, many people do not want freedom; it means they must take responsibility for their actions and that terrifies them. Seriously, read Tony's rants here; the man would be lost without daily guidance on what to thank, let alone what to do.
    But it is also a large helping of dishonesty from the press. An article this morning regards the REIN Act, where the GOP is trying to limit presidential powers. You'd think lefties would jump at that to keep Trump in harness.
    Nope; it's seen as a insult to the POS still in the WH, and (horribly) it's sponsored by the hated GOP, so it's EVIL!

  • ||

    Voters aren't getting what they want, but they continue to get what they ask for.

    GOOD and HARD.

  • kbolino||

    I have no doubt that the media does its level best to shape narratives and stoke emotional responses, but it is still driven by consumption patterns. If enough people didn't want what they were selling, they wouldn't have the platform to spew their bullshit.

  • Zunalter||

    The argument for liberty requires you to convince the populace that they should allow people to do things that they morally or otherwise disagree with. In an era of emotive decision-making, that IS a hard sell.

  • sloopyinTEXAS||

    It's always been hard to sell liberty as a principle. It hasn't been successfully done since 1776. Ever since then what's been sold is a creeping form of collectivism.
    Sure,occasionally people will vote to expand liberty...when it's something they want. But most of those those same people will be ready to stick their boot on the face of individuals who want liberty elsewhere.

  • Free Society||

    It would be a stretch to say that it was "sold" to anyone in 1776. Essentially a small proportion of the population fought for secession, won, and then codified some principles of their revolution into constitutional law. Not to say that bothers me, we're fortunate that the founders were possibly the smartest men of their generation assembled in one place and time who actually valued their rights as Englishmen enough to risk the hangman's noose. If the advent of the revolution and the subsequent founding documents were put to a popular vote, I think the results would have been atrocious.

  • chemjeff||

    I read once - I forget where, I think it was some Pew poll - that when it comes to cutting federal spending, a majority of Republicans only favored cutting spending for "welfare" and "foreign aid". That's it. Not even health care or education, which you would think a majority of Republicans would say that those areas aren't the responsibility of the federal government. The article then hypothesized that the reason for this apparent disconnect is that Republicans (generally speaking) tend to view spending not in terms of efficiency or control, but in terms of merit. That is, spending is fine as long as it goes to the "right people", the ones who "deserve" it. Since welfare spending goes to deadbeats and foreign aid spending goes to foreigners, they don't deserve it, ergo that funding should get cut. But since Medicare goes to people who "deserve" it - old people who have "paid into the system their whole lives" (not really, but that's the argument) - that spending is fine. Since education money, even federal education money, goes to the kids who "deserve" an education, that spending is fine. (continued)

  • chemjeff||

    These types of Republicans aren't going to be persuaded by the Libertarian message to get government out of their lives. They are FINE with government in their lives, because they DESERVE the bennies. They are the ones who voted for Trump to kick out the illegals and deadbeats so that the government rightfully serves the "real Muricans" and not the icky brown people.

    The good news though is that the majorities in favor of keeping this spending wasn't that high. Something like 40% in favor/ 30% against or some such. So there is a substantial minority of Republicans who I think are at least persuadable to come to our side when it comes to spending. I think if you build a coalition of people who do honestly want to reduce the size and scope of government, on the right, with those on the left who are disgusted by the SJW antics to try to force everyone into the "ideal citizen" who only has Goodthoughts, then it might be possible.

  • kbolino||

    The old Goldwater vs. Rockefeller spat. There have long been Republicans who aren't "small government" types. Sometimes they set the party's direction, sometimes another faction does. A bigger problem to me is that the small government Democrats seem to be completely dead now.

  • juris imprudent||

    If only the narrative of liberty was better framed...

    The sad fact is you can't sell someone on something that they just have no interest in buying. Liberty is hard.

  • John||

    With Hillary and Trump on the major tickets, Johnson and Weld, both of whom are as "mainstream" as Libertarians come, got 7%. And in a special election with neither Trump nor Hillary at the top of the major party tickets, a Libertarian is somehow going to not just do better but win the election.

    Yeah, good luck with that.

  • chemjeff||

    Of course there was a lot of Team Tribalism during the general election. Vote for Trump to stop Hillary, Vote for Hillary to stop Trump, etc. In a special election there is a lot less of that. Plus, presumably by time this election takes place, Trump et al. would have actually *done something* to run against, not just offer vague promises about "making America great" that can't be quantified. Plus, voter turnout is lower during special elections. I do think it would take some sort of minor miracle, perhaps some scandal-ridden major party candidates or some world event that affects the election in a timely manner, but I don't think it's unreasonable to shoot for, at a minimum, getting to the runoff phase of the election. Besides, even if the Libertarian candidate was the spoiler that triggered a runoff between the D and the R, it would signal to both parties, that there was a king-making bloc of voters that could tip the balance between the D and the R, and it would behoove each campaign to curry favor with them.

  • Citizen X||

    Yep, i could see a Libertarian pulling down 15, 20% of the vote easy.

  • juris imprudent||

    And I could see the wrong candidate (and therefore most likely) dropping right back down to 5%.

  • R C Dean||

    Johnson and Weld, both of whom are as "mainstream" as Libertarians come, got 7%.

    I thought it was more like 3.5%.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    He meant in that district.

  • NoVaNick||

    Yeah right-the Libertarian Brand, if there ever was one, is now associated with the goofball Gary Johnson, in addition to weirdos living in cabins in Montana. I suppose it could happen if turnout is extremely low, but my guess is that the progs will turn out in full force to flip the seat.

  • Zunalter||

    Watch out, if you say "Libertarian Brand" three times in a mirror, Michael Hihn shows up to berate us with the same regurgitated survey from years and years ago.

  • Citizen X||

    Yet another "libertarian" resorting to bullying aggression instead of responding to the issues.

    (You could just come back to a Hit'n'Run thread at least 8 hours after everyone else has moved on. Hihn will just be getting started.)

  • ||

    If you like watching your corpse get sodomized.

  • Zunalter||

    So...yes?

  • Zunalter||

    It's easy to win an argument when the other person can't respond to you.

  • Citizen X||

    To be fair, he would be more timely, but he has to wait until his grandson can come over and log into the AOL for him.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    As a leftover from the days of segregation, Georgia's ballot access laws are terrible.

    On the one hand, this is the demographic that Johnson was trying to appeal to with his "fiscally responsible / socially tolerant" message.

    On the other hand, people in the 6th district probably wouldn't notice a Libertarian candidate running. All they care about is voting yes for their school boards' SPLOSTs. Every. Damn. Time.

    Who knows? Maybe voters in Cobb would find a Libertarian of interest after the Republicans on the County Commission bent them over the table to buy the Braves a new stadium.

  • The Fusionist||

    I had to Google SPLOST.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    On the plus side, this is a state where you don't have to register a party affiliation when you register to vote, and just ask for whichever ballot you prefer when it's time to vote in the primary. It makes it less onerous to change parties if your politics change, or to find a Libertarian hiding behind a major party label if you want to support them. It also makes me happy in that it can boggle pollsters who don't have registration records as handy to know where the Republicans and Democrats live and have to simply utilize historic trends in voting districts.

    Additionally, Libertarians are a recognized party in Georgia. I assume this means that they can get on the ballot if they put forward a candidate, but that may just be for the President.

  • The Fusionist||

    "Hello there, chums, I sure do like me some grits and country ham, just like I love me some Milton Friedman, wouldn't it be swell if you could elect a Libertarian? Woooo-eeee, and all that."

  • chemjeff||

    Don't forget the PEE-cahn pie!

    But yeah I think a Libertarian running in the South would have to tailor his/her message. Maybe downplay the whole open borders thing, emphasize gun rights, be pro-life, etc., while still drawing sharp contrasts to the Republican, as being pro-liberty on drugs, pro-liberty on trade, pro-liberty on marriage, stuff like that.

  • The Fusionist||

    Fortunately, the only anti-liberty attacks in the marriage arena in the past decade or so have been from the Left, so in a conservative district being pro-liberty on marriage should be fairly easy.

    There is a movement for so-called marriage *equality,* but it has nothing to do with liberty, quite the opposite.

  • Curt||

    FWIW, the 6th district isn't Mayberry or BumFuck Alabama. As the article says, it's wealthy and educated. There's also a pretty high number of transplants from all around the country who came to Atlanta for good work and cheap cost of living. Basically, it's not your stereotype of Georgia (although I live there and will gladly eat the hell out of grits, ham, and pecan pie).

    As someone else mentioned, without the motivation of the major election, I would expect a lot of the people who were passionate anti-Trump or anti-Clinton voters to stay home. I think that removes more of the extreme left and right votes.

    That said, I won't kid myself. Cobb County (fairly good representation of the district) voted for Johnson at 4.4% and the Libertarian senate candidate at 5.3%. I wouldn't expect it to go much higher. Also, generally, anyone who would vote for an L has a job. It's one thing to leave work early for a presidential election. It's another for a HoR special election.

  • The Fusionist||

    I am aware that stereotypes are...well, stereotypes, but sometimes I find them amusing, maybe that's tasteless. In this case, I was portraying an outside Libertarian - I'm thinking Soave - trying to bond with the voters in a Southern district.

  • Curt||

    Yeah, I realize. I'm mainly frustrated because I think this is the kind of area where libertarian ideas would have a chance. In the rural parts of the state, people are much more like the stereotype and will line up to vote for Trump to ensure that Clinton doesn't force their kids into government-mandated gay sex training. In the city of Atlanta, things are closer to the stereotypes of welfare recipients being bussed to elections and hipster, wannabe-socialist Bernie Sanders fans.

    But Cobb is much more of a place where people are inclined to own guns to protect the house where they like to smoke weed with their same-sex spouse. It should be the target market.

  • The Fusionist||

    But according to the article a plurality voted for Hillary.

  • The Fusionist||

    So much for their guns and their weed.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    I live near Cobb County. I also am saddened by how poorly Libertarian candidates do. The affluent Atlanta suburbs (I'm thinking of parts of Gwinnett and Cherokee counties as well) seem like they should be the ideal grounds for Libertarians to actually make inroads. But there's never been much progress made, unfortunately.

  • Curt||

    Maybe just a lingering bad taste from Bob Barr.

  • Citizen X||

    Country ham is nasty as hell. If you want to replicate the country ham experience, rub some lunchmeat on a pile of salt and then eat the salt.

    Grits, on the other hand... Shrimp 'n' grits or GTFO.

  • chemjeff||

    I don't understand the fascination with grits. To me, they are a watery version of Cream o' Wheat. I'd rather have oatmeal than that.

  • Citizen X||

    Have you met UnCivilServant? He doesn't like a lot of really good stuff either.

  • Curt||

    There's a big difference between making instant grits for b'fast on the run and having some real shrimp & grits. The former is only suitable as an abrasive in some kind of industrial application.

  • Robert||

    You mean Cream of Wheat that burned.

  • The Fusionist||

    "John Vaught LaBeaume is a Libertarian political strategist and former communications director on the Robert Sarvis for Governor campaign."

    John Vaught LaBeaume, with a name like that I think the chances of him being from the South are like 85%.

  • Trigger Hippie||

    How a Libertarian Can Win a Congressional Seat in Georgia-

    ...I dunno, defeat the Devil in a fiddling contest?

  • The Fusionist||

    Well, Lil Johnny *did* show a willingness to endanger his soul, so there could certainly be a future for him in politics.

  • Citizen X||

    The fact that he had a soul in the first place would seem to rule out a political career, however.

  • ||

    It isn't the presence of a soul that prevents a political career, it's beating the Devil that prevents it.

    What do you think the Devil does with those souls?

  • Trigger Hippie||

    I think he's got you there, Eddie.

  • The Fusionist||

    "There is little evidence that Libertarian social issue positions would be a hindrance in a general election in the 6th District. Rare for a Southern district, Price's predecessor was re-elected despite being avowedly pro-choice."

    He *is* aware that the LP once nominated a prolifer named Ron Paul, right?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    A strong, mainstream Libertarian candidate

    Woo hoo! Johnson+Weld 2017!

  • The Fusionist||

    Yeah, Johnson may have looked mainstream by the standards of the LP, but that really doesn't say much, does it?

  • Citizen X||

    Strong, mainstream, Libertarian. Pick two.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Pick two.

    Johnson+Weld!

  • Ted S.||

    I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else, so... Roy Innis dies at 82

    Of course, we'll always remember him for this.

  • The Fusionist||

    So the article calls him "polarizing"?

    Sometime maybe I'll look up how often they describe other, more left-wing civil rights leaders as "polarizing."

  • The Fusionist||

    So RIP

  • Robert||

    I not only liked him politically, he even worked in my field.

  • Rasilio||

    So , Neil Boortz for Congress?

    Maybe Royal Marshall?

  • The Fusionist||

    Someone's already mentioned Charlie Daniels.

    People say I'm no good
    And crazy as a loon
    'Cause I get stoned in the morning
    And get drunk in the afternoon...

    'Cause I ain't asking nobody for nothin'
    If I cant get it on my own
    If you don't like the way I'm livin'
    Just leave this long haired country boy alone...

  • Password: pode$ta||

    Neil Boortz, as much as I tend to like his views, is pretty abrasive. Last time I heard him fill in for someone (forget who it was), he spent about 5 minutes going on about how it's odd that POC is the chosen acronym for people of color because it also stands for "well, you know what I'm driving at" - 5 seconds of awkward, dead air - "it also stands for pieces of crap." I was mildly shocked the producer didn't dump that segment.

  • american socialist||

    What's a scare point? Is that like when Leftists say that voters should vote according to their economic best interest? Nothing scary there, I say.

    Dear Reason eds.,

    OT, I know, but last night there were a bunch of douchy right-wing trolls telling Meryl Streep to shut up about Donald Trump. They couldn't stand anyone who said anything bad about their big government caudillo presidente. Is there something you can do? You're libertarian pal, AS.

  • DOOMco||

    You are not a libertarian, pal.

  • Citizen X||

    It's a griefer, DOOMco. Just ignore it.

  • ||

    You're libertarian pal...

    That's gold Jerry, pure gold!

  • kbolino||

    The only thing I remember about that thread is all your lies and Obama-fellating. Maybe you can grace us all with some more of that deep thought.

  • american socialist||

    Nah, I couldn't get anyone to provide me statistics on Obama's drawdown of troops in the two wars that were started by his predecessor. All those right-wingers wanted to do was social signal to each other about uppity SJW like Meryl Streep. It was a shit show, as I've alluded to above.

  • John Titor||

    Actually it was more like people offered up sound arguments to show how you're being a dishonest, ignorant jackass and you plugged your fingers in your ears and shouted "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU I'M STILL RIGHT."

  • kbolino||

    Yes, we'll just ignore the goalpost shifting from he ended the wars to he just drew down the troops and that you're for peace except for all the necessary dead bodies.

  • IBEW47||

    that may be one of the dumbest things I have ever read - hence why you got 3.7% of the vote when you ran in D.C. -

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Step 1. Don't get mentioned by Reason.
    Step 2. Victory.

  • Robert||

    There's so much wrong w that analysis, it's hard to know where to criticize.

  • timeconsumer||

    Running on a small government, budget minded ticket isn't likely to get you very far. The vote to increase the sales tax to fund the MARTA/Beltline expansion passed by a significant margin. The vote to increase taxes for improvements to sidewalks and parks and such passed as well. I think the only fiscally conservative position you can easily take is by campaigning against things like the wildly unpopular new Braves stadium being moved to Cobb county and being publicly funded through debt.

  • John Galt II||

    a libertarian candidate in this race would need that capital "L" to reinforce his or her brand,

    That alone would kill him or her. The label is toxic, a marketing term for the outcome of the Cato/Zogby survey.

    Self-labeled libertarians are about 5.8% of the electorate. Now add the immense number of anit-Hillary votes, and Johnson/Weld 's less than 4% was a humiliating failure for anti-gummint libertarianism (run on "ideas" never any policy solutions) … especially when at least 30% trusted NEITHER major candidate.

    That same Cato survey found 59% of Americans would self-identify with the libertarian ethos -- fiscally conservative and socially liberal ---but a staggering 91% of them reject libertarian political ideology.

    "In our Zogby survey we found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way." -David Boaz and David Kirby

    Dead at the ballot box. but what about "libertarian ideas?" Who is causing the spread of (allegedly) libertarian ideas.
    1) 54% of the electorate, 40,000-50,000 in elected local office (national average), plus 150,000-250,000 activists, all involved in their communities?
    2) 6% of the electorate. which ignores them, chasing much smaller factions … like independents (at least 30% collectivist)

    And whoever runs in Georgia will do no better than Johnson/Weld if he or she also runs on slogans.

  • JosiahS||

    "Some Dude" is a good description of the candidates I had in my state this election cycle.

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