These numbers have now been slightly revised. See below.
The Libertarian Party won more votes in top-of-ticket races in the November 2014 election than any alternative party in the United States in the last 100 years and the second-highest in the nation’s history.
Top-of-ballot office is defined to mean Governor. If a state didn’t have a gubernatorial election, it is U.S. Senate. For the five states that had neither office up, it is the office actually at the top of the ballot: U.S. House in North Dakota and Washington, Attorney General for Utah, Secretary of State for Indiana, Auditor for Missouri. The calculation also includes the Mayoral vote for Washington, D.C.
Republican: 40,934,236, down 5.9% from the party’s 2010 total of 43,507,666.
Democratic: 36,887,850, down 10.1% from the party’s 2010 total of 41,043,721.
Libertarian: 1,471,101, up 44.9% from the party’s 2010 total of 1,015,009.
Green: 416,303, down 18.1% from the party’s 2010 total of 508,041.
The 2014 Libertarian total is the second highest number of votes ever for a non-Democratic, non-Republican party, for a midterm year top-of-the-ballot races. The highest was the 1914 Progressive Party’s total of 1,489,151. The third highest is now the Reform Party’s 1998 total, which was 1,407,005.
The chief reason the Green total declined between 2010 and 2014 is that in 2010, the Green Party was on the ballot for Governor of California, and it polled 129,231 votes. In 2014 the California top-two system kept all alternative party candidates off the ballot for Governor.
In 2010 the Libertarian Party also had a candidate on the ballot for Governor of California, who polled 150,895 votes. So despite the fact that California’s top-two system kept the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Governor off the ballot in 2014, costing the LP a comparable number of votes this year, the Libertarian Party’s overall nationwide vote total still increased sharply rather than declined.
IPR note: See also: