Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And for 26 of his electoral votes, Barack Obama needs to thank ... Bob Barr

Despite his disappointing overall showing, Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Bob Barr managed to garner sufficient votes in both North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Indiana (11 electoral votes) to deprive Senator John McCain of what might have been the slenderest of majorities--assuming that all those who voted for Barr would have still come out, and would have voted for McCain en mass. OK, it would have been a tiny mass, but it was critical.

I haven't checked to see if there was a similar Nader effect anywhere yet.

Third Parties do make a difference--whether or not it is always the difference they are looking for.


paulie said...

Unlikely that the LP vote would have broken that decisively for McCain if Barr had not been in the race.

It appears that Barr swung zero states.

The only state Nader could have possibly swung might be Missouri, but his percentage there was almost exactly that of Barr plus Baldwin. Also, it is a huge mistake to think all Barr and Baldwin votes would otherwise go to McCain (or that all Nader votes would otherwise go to Obama). Thus Missouri appears to have been a wash as well.

The last state where this claim has been made is Montana. Looks like McCain got it by more than the combined Barr/Paul total.

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated that you think a Libertarian is automatically a Republican.

Secondly, it's my vote. I am not controlled by the GOP.

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I voted for Bob Barr because he was the only fiscal conservative on the ballot. I know he doesn't pass your Libertarian purity test on legalizing drugs, but as an outside observer it looks like you guys let the perfect be the enemy of the very good.

Anonymous said...

This is a difference yet, but it's not the kind of different that gains third parties support. If people look at them as only taking away votes from the mainstream candidates, how does that really help their cause?

And I have to second anonymous's comment on the assumption about Libertarians being more inclined to vote Republican. I can honestly see a Libertarian going either way if they choose to vote for one of the major parties. It depends on which issues are more important to them. A Libertarian who cares more about civil liberties is more likely to vote Democrat, while one who thinks economic issues and the size of government are more important is more likely to go Republican.

By the way, I am a libertarian-leaning unaffiliated first time voter who chose Bob Barr.