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Toss-Up Senate Races Abandoned by Koch Network Feature Unusually Strong Libertarian Party Contenders

Neck-and-neck races in Indiana and Nevada could determine the balance of the Senate. Both feature Libertarians who have previously cracked 5% yet aren't being polled.

Because everyone enjoys a good catfight, and journalists in particular like it when two of their biggest bogeymen go at each other's throats, today's big political news is obviously the Trump-Koch feud.

There's a significantly underreported aspect to the Koch donor network's growing objection to the Trumpian GOP's anti-libertarian actions on trade, spending, and immigration. Two of the three Senate races in which the network is reportedly declining to back Republicans—Nevada and Indiana—are not just widely considered by prognosticators to be "toss-ups"; each features Libertarian Party candidates who have previously cracked the 5 percent mark in elections.

Tim Hagan ||| Tim HaganTim HaganNevada's Tim Hagan, an engineer and longtime Libertarian activist, has on three occasions trounced the point spread in a swing-district state Senate election, earning 5.1 percent of the vote in 2016 (the Democrat won 47.9 percent to 47.0), 4.8 percent in 2008 (46.5–45.8), and 7.6 percent in 2006 (47.6–44.8). Hagan has never dipped below 3 percent in any of the nine elections he has run in, hitting a high of 23.7 percent in a 2014 race for Clark County assessor (in which no Republican ran).

And yet in this crucial swing-state race between vulnerable Republican incumbent Dean Heller and Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen, who the Real Clear Politics polling average separates by less than a percentage point, Hagan is nowhere to be found in six of the seven publicly available polls that have been conducted since he secured the L.P. nomination in early March. Only a Suffolk University survey of 500 likely voters last week included Hagan's name, showing him with 2.4 percent. (Heller edged Rosen in the poll, 41–40, while 8.6 percent were undecided and 5.4 percent went for none of the above.)

To reiterate a point I made a month ago about the New York gubernatorial race, not listing Hagan as an option constitutes journalistic malpractice. The last time Heller ran for re-election, winning by 1.1 percentage points, an Independent American Party candidate named David Lory VanDerBeek pulled down 4.9 percent of the vote. Gary Johnson won 3.3 percent in the Silver State two years ago, more than Hillary Clinton's 2.4-point margin over Donald Trump.

Nevada is a swing state, Heller-Rosen is neck-and-neck, and Republican control over the Senate rests on a 51–49 knife's edge in a possible Democratic wave year. If you want to know what's going to happen in (and to) this country, you need to put the damn Libertarian in your poll.

Lucy Brenton ||| Lucy BrentonLucy BrentonIndiana is arguably even more interesting as a disaffected-Republican thought experiment, since A) the Libertarian candidate in question is pro-life (though she doesn't think the federal government has any role in abortion policy), and B) she's going to be in the televised debates.

Lucy Brenton, who like Hagan has been active in Libertarian politics since the early 1990s, is a real estate entrepreneur and mother of 10 who in 2016 got 5.5 percent of the vote in the U.S. Senate race won by Republican Todd Young. Brenton this time is facing Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly and Republican Mike Braun for a seat that in 2012 drew 5.7 percent of the vote for Libertarian Andy Horning (who was accused, innumerately, of spoiling the election for losing Republican Richard Mourdock).

Indiana has one of the country's strongest Libertarian Party chapters. Four times in the past 12 years, L.P. senatorial candidates there have drawn more than 5 percent of the vote, twice as many as the next best state. So how many polls has Brenton appeared in since securing her party's nomination in May?

Zero. In fairness, there has been only one public survey since then. (The lack of good state-level data on Senate races is shocking, given the stakes involved.) Whenever you hear conjecture about the Indiana race, know that it's only that—until we start getting more and better polls that include the letter L.

Matt Waters ||| Matt WatersMatt WatersThe broader fact remains that there are alternatives on the ballot plausible to Republican voters who are weary of President Trump's illibertarian words and deeds. Matt Waters, the L.P. Senate candidate in Virginia, is very consciously providing a conservative-friendly option to the super-Trumpy GOP nominee Corey Stewart (drawing calls from the likes of Larry Sabato to have Waters included in polls).

I wouldn't bet on the Koch network flowing any money in a Libertarian direction—when you're into two-party politics, you're into two-party politics, which helps explain why CEO Emily Seidel of the political Koch group Americans for Prosperity is saying stuff like, "If you are a Democrat and stand up to Elizabeth Warren to corral enough votes for financial reform that breaks barriers for community banks and families, you're darn right we will work with you."

But as Nick Gillespie observed this morning, both major parties are shrinking by the day, rallying hardest around populist-nationalism on the right and populist-socialism on the left. Even David Brooks is yearning for a "third-party option" that stresses constitutionalism and decentralization, even if he can't quite bring himself to name the only national political party that does just that.

The 2018 midterms might end up being not just a referendum on Donald Trump, but an early indicator of whether the country's only other 50-state party is ready to meaningfully grow from its current position in a distant third place.

David Koch has long been a member of the Reason Foundation's Board of Trustees.

Photo Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

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  • John||

    What is the point of being a spoiler if you never use the leverage it gives you? The LP should be offering to pull out of these races in return for specific concessions on whatever issues are important to them. Instead, they will just play spoiler and accomplish nothing. If they tip the race one way or the other, neither side is going to pay any attention to them. The winning side will have no reason to since they won without them. The losing side will just blame the LP and dislike them even more.

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    What indication have you seen that there are candidates who can or would follow through on those specific concessions? I have seen none.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Haha, BUCS got his sock accounts mixed up.

  • Just Say'n||

    No this is shitty BUCS. The one that is super concerned about people besmirching the word "socialism" while labeling everyone who disagrees with his centrist Republican message as being "alt-right".

  • John||

    They will never know until they try, will they? If the party pledges something and then renigs when they win the election, how are you any worse off than you were? That just means you support the guy's opponent next time and make him pay for double-crossing you. Meanwhile, if one of them does follow through, you just accomplished something. That sounds better than nothing, which is what the LP is accomplishing now.

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    Can you provide me an example of a concession that one could ask for that the other party could deliver?

  • John||

    What do you want it to be? What issues are most important to you. The point is unless until Libertarians set a price for their votes, they are never going to get anything. Like I said below, why should either party care what Libertarians think if there is no way that Libertarians are going to vote for them? What exactly do Libertarians want from either party to get their votes? If you can't answer that question or the answer is "everything", then you can't expect the major parties to give a shit or be influenced by your ideas.

  • Just Say'n||

    The Democratic-Farmer Labor Party in Minnesota was an example of a major party merging and adopting the issues of a minor party

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    My Answer: Cut Spending. When I see the GOP get serious on this I may give them a chance but no the LP should not concede any ground until Ryan takes an ax to the budget, Mitch passes and Trump signs it. Until that happens , I say screw them they already lie to their base on the subject so why should I believe their hollow words.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    ^This a thousand times over

  • Robert||

    Howard Stern claimed after the fact to have done so, brokered via d'Amato.

  • ||

    It will never happen because nobody to the left of McCain, Pence, and Romney will touch them and people like Welch and Gillespie will just chuck them in the 'libertarian-leaning-R' bin.

  • ||

    What is the point of being a spoiler if you never use the leverage it gives you?

    You don't need to - mainstream politicians flock to adopting the spoiler's views (at least superficially, but superficial advocacy in politics can then be used to hold said-advocate's feet to the fire).

    I've pointed this out to Tony many times - Al Gore was in no way an environmentalist until after he lost in 2000 with the Greens as the perceived "spoilers."

  • John||

    You don't need to - mainstream politicians flock to adopting the spoiler's views (at least superficially, but superficial advocacy in politics can then be used to hold said-advocate's feet to the fire).

    Except that they don't and never have. Name one example where this has happened? I can't think of one. I don't think either party has changed one bit to capture the libertarian vote. Why should they? Libertarians make it clear that they are not going to vote for them. Why would either party alienate people who actually do vote for them to obtain the goodwill of people who won't?

    If the LP would ever endorse major party candidates and libertarians actually vote for them, then the major parties would have a reason to cater to Libertarians. But they do not, so why should either of them care what Libertarians think?

  • creech||

    Libertarian candidates who did well have been approached after the election to join and run in the GOP "if interested." One, I believe, was Gail Norton, big time Colorado LP activist who subsequently had a nice career in the GOP, including serving in Bush I's cabinet.

  • ||

    It's a mixed bag, for sure, as I'm not sure that the current brand of "Environmentalism" that's running through the political left is that helpful or meaningful, but I don't think it's deniable that it was Nader in 2000 who made the two major parties stand up and start taking the environmental movement seriously instead of treating it as fringe-whackjobs to be ignored.

    It's also undeniably gotten more common in recent years to see libertarianism take on the role of "morally in the right if not necessarily practical" that environmentalism had a couple of decades ago, with the statist wings of both parties increasingly seeing libertarianism as "dangerous" rather than as "irrelevant."

    There's that old saying about "first they laugh at you. . . "

  • Nardz||

    "I've pointed this out to Tony many times - Al Gore was in no way an environmentalist until after he lost in 2000 with the Greens as the perceived "spoilers."

    Al Gore has made a boatload of money off environmentalism. I don't think it's that he was forced to change, more that he saw the way to make a fortune through the legal scam that is environmentalism

  • ||

    I don't think it's that he was forced to change, more that he saw the way to make a fortune through the legal scam that is environmentalism

    Oh, no doubt. I'm not saying I think Al Gore actually became an environmentalist. It's pretty well documented that if you compare Al's lifestyle with GWB's, GWB was the "better" environmentalist.

    I also think Al Gore has probably done more damage to the actual "environmental movement" than any other single living human just by poisoning the brand.

    I would characterize what I'm saying as more that if there's anything effective to be done, it's in being a spoiler, not in giving your vote to either dominant party, because a vote for either dominant party will simply be interpreted as a mandate for whatever they feel like declaring it a mandate for, even where their margin of victory is razor-thin and the votes in their favor were begrudgingly cast.

    Even non-votes tend to get counted as "okay enough with the status quo to not be bothered to go vote."

    The only kind of vote that sends any message at all is a third-party "spoiler" vote.

  • Nardz||

    You make a good case, but so does John.
    Something to ponder.
    I'll point out though, that the influence the greens had on Gore was purely, it seems, an individual influence. Gore never ran for office again.
    If the Ds adopted environmental positions, a) they've been there since at least the 90s (And are really just a modification of the anti nuke power impetus), and b) saw the profit and power provided by such positions.
    I'm not sure the greens "won" any concessions that weren't inevitable and opportunistic... And as they all involved growing government, I don't think their example is one that can be replicated by libertarians.
    Considering the above, I have to lean in Johns direction here and advocate for extracting concessions prior to inevitably losing.
    Not to mention, there is no greater threat to liberty than progressivism, which must be stopped at all costs

  • Nardz||

    Oh, and you can ignore that part about "purely individual influence", as I pretty immediately contradicted myself there.
    Went a little stream of consciousness up in this b

  • Happy Chandler||

    Support voting reform! Third parties can never advance far enough with first past the post voting, well they can but incredibly rarely, like Civil War level issues. Now that the parties are aligned racially and ideologically, the spoiler issue puts a limit on third parties.

    The Constitution developed a revolutionary voting system that changed the world incredibly. However, we have learned much since then and can improve on it.

  • John||

    Countries that have proportional representation systems function even worse than the US. All such systems do is give fringe parties disproportionate influence as tiebreakers.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    All such systems do is give fringe parties disproportionate influence as tiebreakers.

    Well, John, if you look at the last election, the Libertarians and the Greens *are* the tiebreakers. Why shouldn't they have that role in terms of formal legislative power?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Greens shouldn't. Bunch of communist idiots.

  • JFree||

    Third parties do just fine in every other first-past-the-post country.

    What makes us uniquely crappy is overly large districts that require big donors for mass advertising. So politics is no longer really local/regional.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I agree. The biggest reform that we could push for is for smaller districts. But the R's will never go for it because they know they have power largely because of large rural districts having the same weight as small urban districts. The moment you propose to make the rural districts smaller (including some suburban elements) and IN ADDITION making more urban districts, the R's will lose.

  • MJBinAL||

    Jeff, this is not how it works. Districts are formed with similar numbers of voters. Rural districts are physically larger in order to make districts with the same number of voters as the physically smaller urban districts.

    Districts ARE gerrymandered, especially in urban/suburban areas, but some of that is actually required to make sure there are districts that are majority-minority. It is after all necessary to make sure that there are districts that elect minority representatives ... after all it is impossible for a non-minority to represent minority interests. It IS however possible for a minority representative to represent non-minority interersts! LOL

    Not to say that the major parties don't gerrymander for advantage, but it is worthwhile to remember that some of the most notable examples are actually in response to the actions of the courts.

    In any case, none of this has anything to do with the physical size of districts which are REQUIRED to be equal in number of residents (not citizens or registered voters) as captured by the census.

    You might note that legal and illegal residents that are picked up the census are counted in forming these districts. This means that even if they don't vote, they end up being "represented" in those minority districts. Oddly, this actually means that the voter to representative ratio in those urban districts is lower than the voter to representative ratio in the rural one. Exactly the opposite of what you assumed.

  • MJBinAL||

    I have an error in my first paragraph.

    Districts are formed with similar numbers of RESIDENTS. Rural districts are physically larger in order to make districts with the same number of RESIDENTS as the physically smaller urban districts.

  • DesigNate||

    I'm pretty sure the constitution set it up so that congressional districts would represent a certain amount of people, leading to an increase in representatives every census or so as we expanded.

    Then, somewhere along the way, they decided "We should cap the number of representatives in the House." So when you cap the number of reps but the population booms from 32Million to 320Million, you're going to get some fucked up congressional districts.

    Of course, if we kept the apportionment to 1/100,000 residents congress would bloat to 3,200.

  • JFree||

    Of course, if we kept the apportionment to 1/100,000 residents congress would bloat to 3,200.

    Bloat to 3200 elected and thus accountable to voters.

    The House currently has:
    435 elected critters
    3000 unelected/unaccountable staffers working/living in overly large districts
    3500 unelected/unaccountable staffers working in DC for individual members
    1300 unelected/unaccountable staffers working in DC for committees
    250 unelected/unaccountable staffers working in DC for the party leadership
    1000 unelected/unaccountable staffers working in DC for other misc congressional officers

    I rather like the idea of 3000+ elected critters - since besides being more representative for citizens, it would make congress itself function more accountably

  • ThomasD||

    Amen. And in this day and age there is no reason we need to limit the size of the House. So what if the existing building can't handle them, let them work from their office/home districts and do everything by video and computers.

  • turco||

    Then LP should raise money nationally and support only 2 or 3 US congress candidates heavily.

  • Just Say'n||

    Violating federalism in order to pretend like you believe in small government

  • JFree||

    The LP should be offering to pull out of these races in return for specific concessions on whatever issues are important to them. Instead, they will just play spoiler and accomplish nothing.

    You're dead wrong there even on a tactical level. The ONLY time the big 2 will ever pay attention is AFTER they lose. Before the election, only one of those two will view them as a spoiler - the other will encourage them to play spoiler. And you don't get concessions when only one side makes them. After an election that has been spoiled, you can play both against the other. Or realistically promise to ramp it up even further next time and win.

    Even worse though is the effect on those who vote L. The last thing anyone who votes third-party wants is simply to be the playtoy of the big 2. The second the L's say "hey we're just a playtoy of the big 2 and we don't care about winning this thing" - say goodbye to 90% of the potentials who might vote L. And dropping out of a race also eliminates ballot access for future races - so it kills your present and future.

  • John||

    You're dead wrong there even on a tactical level. The ONLY time the big 2 will ever pay attention is AFTER they lose.

    No they don't. The Democrats are entirely out of power in this country. I don't see them paying any attention to Libertarians. The Republicans were out of power in 2016 and ran Trump, a guy that the Kochs and Reason ranted and raved about for months. That is just a complete myth. They losing parties don't try to win over Libertarian voters. They try to get more of their own voters to turn out or pick off voters from the other side.

    You are just kididng yourself here. If you were right, Libertarians would have significant influence in this country. And they have none.

  • Just Say'n||

    That's not entirely true. When Republicans were decimated after 2008 they started running a lot more candidates that were amenable to the libertarian message. Republicans even co-opted the Tea Party, which originally was more aligned with Paul supporters.

  • JFree||

    The Democrats are entirely out of power in this country. I don't see them paying any attention to Libertarians.

    And if R's believe that, then they will offer the L's nothing as well.

    They losing parties don't try to win over Libertarian voters. They try to get more of their own voters to turn out or pick off voters from the other side.

    You are right with both sentences. But what you are missing is the huge bloc here - those who are independent and those who don't vote. D/R's talk about those two groups - but with rare exceptions don't DO anything to get those two groups because getting those two groups comes at the direct expense of throwing red meat to their own base and turning off the other base. They require different sorts of campaigns - and the red meat that works for their base turns off those two groups.

    L's need to do a much better job of identifying a)why independents are actually independent (and it ain't cuz they're centrists who want the best of the two duops - that's just what the D/R's say about them) and b)why nonvoters are tuned out. And then focus like a laser on those elements of L that work for them. Until L's do that, they don't have much to 'offer' the D/R's. After the L's do that, the L's have an even better BATNA - Fuck the D's/R's. We can win this thing.

  • JFree||

    I think I'm gonna use duops more often as a term for the D's/R's.

    Fits the duopoly.
    And shama lama ding dong boopboop sh boop bla bla bla doo wop is pretty much all you can expect from them.

  • Dizzle||

    What's truly sad in all this is the amongst all this disenfranchisement in the big 2 parties the lp is barely growing. There's plenty of voters to be poached, but where is the national campaign? Where are the bilbosrds, the talking heads?

    The libertarian parties biggest problem is its too focused on its ideology to ever play politics. It's like fucking philosopher football...all theory no action until some dillweed like Gary Johnson decides to make a run on goal.

  • JFree||

    I think I agree except that i'd phrase it differently.

    I'd argue that libertarian philosophy itself is far too focused on big picture and top-down crap (like foreign policy or any DC-based domestic ideas).

    There are only two kinds of third parties around the world:

    Shallow and broad - Consistent level of support everywhere
    Deep and narrow - Enough support to compete/win elections in some places and near nothing elsewhere

    LP is the first type. The 2nd are the only type that can succeed/grow.

  • MJBinAL||

    You interpret the nomination of Trump wrong. Trump won lots of "Reagan Democrats", and needed them to replace the establishment Republicans that either stayed home or voted for Hillary. This was more notable in certain states with open primaries, but was a factor all over. Lots of those voters had given up voting in the assumption that it didn't matter anyway.

    Trump is, and was, a desperation vote for what is really the conservative base of the country. They were repeatedly conned into voting for Republicans saying they were going to stop illegal immigration (not all immigration), cut taxes, reduce regulation, and it never happened. Trump was the "God Damn it, we are tired of being nice" response that said "fix it, or break it". Trump has actually attempted to do most of the things he promised to do ... unlike pretty much every Republican in 30 years.

    Trump is doing some very libertarian things... reducing regulation and reducing taxes for example. He is also doing some things that some libertarians, and all the libertarians-anarchists don't like .... border security and tariffs (although based on the EU negotiations it looks like much of this is a stick to use in negotiations).

    All in all, I would suggest that Trump is more libertarian that any President in recent memory. Not all we would want and certainly not libertarian across the board, but better. Examined rationally I would suggest that Trump is an improvement.

  • turco||

    "All in all, I would suggest that Trump is more libertarian that any President in recent memory"

    Considering how illibertarian he sounds, this shows how far the country had fallen from the ideals of the Founding generation. Sad.

  • esteve7||

    oh they accomplish plenty, getting the democrats elected. No one seriously believes that the LP draws more from the democrats than Republicans, just like no one seriously believes Ralph Nader had an equal impact on Bush and Gore supporters.

  • NoVaNick||

    Actually, Rob Sarvis, the LP candidate for Virginia governor in 2013, drew more dem support than GOP. zhe election was supposed to be a slam dunk for the dems, yet their candidate only won by 5000 or so votes, while Sarvis got 7% of the vote. Presumably, this was because more Millennials voted for the LP candidate, and the dems thought they owned that group's vote.

  • MJBinAL||

    And every once in a while you see a black swan. That does not mean that swan's are generally black.

  • turco||

    I dont know. In 2016 Gary Johnson was attacked more by leftist media than right wing writers.

  • June Genis||

    The reason is to build support for changing our electoral system. Only when the Ds and Rs believe that "spoilers" are costing them a win will they support changing our first past the post system to one which uses Ranked Choice Voting. While RCV may not be enough to get Libertarians elected at first it will give a much better indication of how much real support for there is for Libertarian candidates since voters will know they can pick the Libertarian as their first choice and a give lower ranking to whichever D or R they consider the lesser evil.

    As people begin to realize that they can vote their conscience without helping their least favorite candidate win, they will become more willing to do that. Eventually they will also realize that doing so could actually allow their first choice to win. RCV will also lead to more civil contests with less mudslinging and more coalition building as all candidates realize that they will need the second choice rankings of their opponents voters to ultimately win.

  • kcuch||

    One should always consider how your opponents will use a power you want for yourself.

    Proponents of RCV and other methods are certain it will be their tribe with the ability to swing legislation. There are more voters who are authortarian/redistributionist for THEIR tribe/issue than there are limited government types.

    RCV will produce (otherwise necesary) legislation with targeted largess/punishment riders that will only increase government and decrease liberties. Added pork specifically for special-issue groups added to every bit of legislation.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Pressuring pollsters to stop listing Libertarian candidates in polls was, as I recall, one of the Uniparty's first moves to suppress us.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The broader fact remains that there are alternatives on the ballot plausible to Republican voters who are weary of President Trump's illibertarian words and deeds. "

    I'm sure the Dems will invite you to all the cool cocktail parties now!

    "But as Nick Gillespie observed this morning, both major parties are shrinking by the day, rallying hardest around populist-nationalism on the right and populist-socialism on the left."

    The people are getting tired of the Globalists. Trump took the Republican Party, and Bernie probably takes the Democratic Party but for Democratic corruption.

    Reason can join up with Hillary and Bill Kristol to fight for corporate power and the Deep State against the people.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yeah we know. Libertarians should join up with the Populists, because we all know what a great job the mob does with preserving individual liberty. Right?

    Oh wait, you don't give a shit about individual liberty, only "owning the libs". So forgive me if I don't take your concern seriously.

  • Nardz||

    There's a good boy.
    Keep shilling for the progressives.
    Maybe they'll give you a treat

  • JFree||

    I'm not sure why being in the polls is important.

    Is there an actual bandwagon effect where non-sampled voters say I had no idea who to vote for but might as well vote for the third-place candidate now. If L's want to create a bandwagon effect or viral impact; then find a way to do that directly. That is exactly where having a ground game as a party helps - because those folks at the neighborhood level know who the local social influencers are.

    The sample group is, statistically, not where the L's should even be trying to get votes since any valid sample is going to be composed of previous voters who have previously voted duop. Who cares about that hostile group. Fish in different waters.

    If 'being in the debates' is important because of the Prez stuff, that's just getting stuck on stupid. The duops ain't gonna let a third party in. That's why they created the CPD. Their rules don't matter since they'll change them if they have to. If you want to point to Perot as the one example then you gotta understand exactly what he gave up to get that invite. My guess is it involved the usual dirty deeds that the duops do.

  • NewbGingrich||

    Honestly libertarians just need to meme harder. MSN gives a disproportionate amount of coverage to social media trends. Trump supporters crushed Clinton on social media influence and I'm not sure exactly what the impact of that was on the election but I don't believe for a second it was inconsequential. It also is the most efficient way to reach millenials whom are more receptive of anti duopoly messaging. For all intents ane purposes we must seize the memes of production.

  • Paul Hager||

    Why do libertarians not understand that without a change to the voting system that will eliminate split vote and other perverse effects the LP will remain a threat to its own goals? Here in Indiana, Democratic Senator Mark Stoops has proposed "Rank Choice Voting" - it's the same Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) adopted by Maine. While a ranked choice system would be ideal in eliminating split vote and allowing voters to register their true choices without fear of electing their least favorite candidate, IRV is NOT that system. The correct ranked voting system is Condorcet. On 19 July I spoke to the Monroe Co. Election Board about Condorcet Voting and Senator Stoops' IRV proposal. The link to that talk is here: http://catstv.net/government.p.....ategory-M. (Click on the "View" button beside "Monroe County Election Board 7/19 - I come it at around the 28 minute mark.)

    I think there is a chance that Indiana might adopt a new voting system. I'm working to see that it is the right one - one that would eliminate the barriers that prevent the LP and other parties from competing on an event footing with the two majors. In fact, I expect that with Condorcet, the party system would evolve away from the current two party setup.

  • JFree||

    Gawdalmighty. Obsessing about changing voting systems is guaranteed to produce losers.

    Voters vote about roads - schools - crime - jobs/money - 'illegals' - war - healthcare - etc. THOSE are the things that LP candidates need to be able to talk about - and when they can, they'll get invited to different groups of voters/media/etc to talk about those ideas and listen to voters other concerns. That's how a candidate can win. And once they are in office - and trusted - then maybe they can broach ideas about changing voting systems

    It's good that you are talking to Election Boards and County Clerks and such for whom voting systems are the sort of wonkish things they like to talk about. But honestly that ain't a solution for any third-party. The duops will MAKE SURE that that sort of consequence doesn't happen.

  • tlapp||

    We need a libertarian candidate with real charisma. To be an effective leader you need to have the gift of communicating and connecting with a broad spectrum of people. I liked Gary Johnson, seemed like the ultimate nice guy but non charisma. Ron Paul came off like a curmudgeon to many. Rand has a far better demeanor as does Mike Lee as libertarian minded republicans.
    Unfortunately Bill Weld has some charisma but he is establishment politics in a libertarian disguise.

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