Monday, July 14, 2008

Libertarians in nationwide polling: looking beyond the Presidential race

The most amazing thing about political polling is that it is now also principally a tool of the Demopublicans and the Mainstream Media, which means it has a defined interest in keeping the two-party narrative alive everywhere except the Presidential race.

That's presumably why, even though there are numerous Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Congressional, and State races across the country where the Other category is garnering as high as 6-9% (I counted nearly sixty such races in a brief run through the DC Political Report), there are only six that actually have named Libertarian candidates attached, even though Libertarians are running in dozens of those races.

(The same can be said, on a slightly lesser scale, about the Greens.)

These races are:

Indiana House District 9: Eric Schansberg--4%

Montana Senate: Stan Jones--3%

North Carolina Governor: Michael Munger--8%

North Carolina Senate: Chris Cole--1%

North Carolina State Senate District 36: Thomas Hill--7%

Utah Governor: Dell Schanz--1%

Note that three of the six races--50%--are from North Carolina, a fact attributable to the existence there of Public Policy Polling, which actually places third-party candidates in its questions.

This is an interesting form of self-fulfilling prophecy: if you don't include the names of any other candidates in the poll questions besides the Demopublican contenders, then you insure that those third-party candidates get absolutely no traction whatsoever.

There is tremendous reason to think, for example, that Libertarian Senate candidate Allen Buckley in Georgia is polling somewhere around 4-6% right now (he has received 69-75,000 votes in his last two elections), but with the polls unanimously excluding him, he can't use this showing for credibility purposes.

Question: what needs to happen to get the major polling interests to actually use the names of the ballot-qualified candidates in their surveys?


Brian Shields said...

Hasn't Munger's poll numbers doubled since the initial polling? I seem to remember him at 4%

Arthur Torrey said...

First option is a chicken / egg problem - have candidates that consistently get significant results - i.e. in the double digit %ages, not just margin of difference values. An LP candidate needs to be predictably getting enough numbers to make the two party number meaningless without allowing for the LP candidate. Challenge is to figure out how to do it.

Second option is to PAY for more of the polling outfits to include our candidates - pollsters don't work for free, they get paid for every question - they will start asking about LP candidates when someone PAYS them to do so - either the MSM, or the candidate's campaign. Since we can't rely on the MSM, our candidates need to come up with the money themselves.