Brian Irving at Liberty Point:
Mike Beitler may not have received as many votes as the polls indicated he would, but he said he’s pleased with the election results because of the campaign staff and organization he’s built.
“I am ready to turn this all over to Mike Munger,” Beitler said, referring to the party’s last gubernatorial candidate. Many state Libertarians expect Munger, a Duke University professor, will run again in 2012. Munger got nearly three percent of the vote for governor in 2008, which allowed the state Libertarian Party to remain ballot qualified.
Beitler said it’s time for the Libertarians to get past the idea of just staying on the ballot and start building an organization that runs and wins elections. He said he entered the race in order to “ask the hard questions” of the two establishment candidates.
“The establishment parties will continue to drive our country off the cliff until the American people wake up to the reality that both establishment parties will continue to serve their lobbyist corporate masters to the detriment of the American people,” Beitler said in a thank you message on his campaign blog.
“My goal was to let the voters know that there is an alternative in North Carolina to this bloated, outdated two-party system, and if what you desire is real change, then you need to do something different.”
Beitler’s vote total of 55,201, representing 2.1 percent of the vote, is the second highest for a Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate. Chris Cole garnered the Libertarian highest vote totals, 133,430 votes (3.1 percent) in the historical 2008 presidential election year. But voter turnout that year was a record-shattering 70 percent. In most elections, especially off-year elections, voter turnout in this state hovers around 43 percent.
The North Carolina Libertarian Party has fielded a candidate in every U.S. Senate race since 1996.
Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate votes
* 2010: Mike Beitler, 55,201votes (2.1%)
* 2008: Chris Cole, 133,430 votes (3.1%)
* 2004: Tom Bailey, 47,743 votes (1.4%)
* 2002: Sean Haugh, 33,807 votes (1.5%)
* 1998: Barbara Howe, 36,963 votes (1.9%)
* 1996: Ray Ubinger, 23,296 votes (1%)