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Bob Barr’s $30 million strategy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s May 28 piece on Bob Barr offers some insight into the campaign’s electoral strategy.

Barr and his campaign manager, Russell Verney, said they’re developing a plan to raise $30 million before Nov. 4, and a plan to target certain states that Barr said are “top priority in terms of meeting the goals, both the vote goals and the electoral vote goals.”

Although Barr says he plans to “travel the width and breadth of this great land,” it seems the campaign will be pursuing a variation of the “winnable state” strategy examined earlier by IPR.

“There are certain states that are a one-party state,” said [campaign manager Russ] Verney, a veteran of independent Ross Perot’s 1992 campaign, when the Texas billionaire got more than 19 percent of the vote. “Republicans write off certain states, Democrats write off certain states. We will devote more resources to certain states.”

Which states might be “winnable”? The AJC article quotes Cato’s David Boaz:

“The best opportunities would be New Hampshire, which is arguably the most Libertarian state in the country and where, in 2006, the Republicans just got wiped out,” Boaz said.

From there, Barr should look west.

“Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona,” Boaz said, adding Colorado and Alaska.

New Mexico could be a possibility, also, he said.

Boaz and Cato, it’s important to note, were accused by many of sensationalizing Ron Paul’s “newsletter scandal.”

To date, Bob Barr has raised just under $190,000.


  1. Jerry S. Jerry S. June 2, 2008

    Did you see the youtube of Ron’s arrival at the Colbert show last June? Colbert even did a piece on it a couple of night’s later, claiming credit for all the rabid support-lol.

    We will see how many people Barr can get on the NYC side walk in June holding homemade Bob Barr signs. Anyone care to make a prediction?

  2. aynrkey aynrkey June 2, 2008

    I’m waiting for the part of the Barr electoral strategy where he actually goes out on the campaign trail and starts visiting crowds of potential supporters in various cities around the USA.

  3. hogarth hogarth June 2, 2008

    It is 200k per day… but if he pulls off a couple of those multi-million dollar money bomb days… even if they’re only $1 or $2 million each… that would help a whole lot.

    That’s a mighty big ‘if’. In order to do that, Barr would have to have an inspiring message. He doesn’t.

  4. Steven R Linnabary Steven R Linnabary June 2, 2008

    Is that $30 million before or after Vigurie (sp) gets his cut?



  5. MattSwartz MattSwartz June 2, 2008

    Jared // Jun 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Any chance Baldwin will campaign hard in Montana with Rick Jore?

    I’m not a CP expert like some people here, but I don’t expect it to happen. The Montana CP has disaffiliated from the national party and, for that reason, is independent.

    I don’t know whether they’ll let Baldwin use their ballot line, whether Baldwin will be able to get on the ballot without their help, or if he’ll be left off entirely, but I doubt he’ll concentrate his efforts there.

  6. Deran Deran June 2, 2008

    I believe Nader raised abt $15 mil in ’00? Maybe that’s too high, but it didn’t seem commiserate with his 2.8 mil votes?

  7. Austin Cassidy Austin Cassidy June 1, 2008

    It is 200k per day… but if he pulls off a couple of those multi-million dollar money bomb days… even if they’re only $1 or $2 million each… that would help a whole lot.

    Even $10 million or $15 million as a total would give him the resources to mount a pretty serious campaign.

  8. hogarth hogarth June 1, 2008

    30M is over 200K per day. I don’t see that as particularly likely.

  9. Steven R Linnabary Steven R Linnabary June 1, 2008

    I have to agree with Dylan, above. 15 million would be a record-breaker for any Libertarian campaign.

    But that is still too little to mount a statewide campaign, except perhaps in very small western states, such as Wyoming.

    But in ’76, McBride concentrated his campaign and money in Alaska. In the years after, Alaska became a hotbed of libertarian activity. It can happen again.


  10. Dylan Waco Dylan Waco June 1, 2008

    If Barr raises 15 million I would be pleasantly surprised.

  11. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 1, 2008

    How has Barr not come out firmly against both the Drug War and interventionism? One article tells the story quite well:

    Unfortunately, the article has been removed. Or maybe that’s FORTUNATELY. Maybe Barr has changed his tune, or at the very least, he realizes how unlibertarian his position is and won’t be emphasizing it.

    Here’s a link to the cached page:

  12. Andy Craig Andy Craig June 1, 2008

    $30 million between now and November would be significantly less than Paul would be capable of. It’s a reasonable estimate if Barr gets around half of Paul’s support/enthusiasm/fundraising- which is itself I think slightly pessimistic.

    I don’t doubt that Barr won’t get the messiah obsession Paul had (that Paul’s supporters had, anyway. Not Paul himself), but at the same time it’s equally absurd to say Barr won’t get a big chunk of the Paul movement’s support.

    As for the drug war and interventionism- how has he not come out firmly against both? Kubby says to look for a position paper out soon on drugs, which will hopefully clarify whatever doubts remain. Barr has said he’s against all Federal drug laws- which is the same position Paul had. His rhetoric has been milder, which is probably smart, but on foreign policy I see from him more or less the same substantive message as Paul had.

  13. G.E. G.E. Post author | June 1, 2008

    Andy – People trusted Ron Paul. They had a 30-year record to look back on. Ron Paul was against the drug war and interventionism in no uncertain terms. And he was very popular among the anti-Fed underground.

    Bob Barr cannot raise $30 million. At least not the way Paul did.

  14. Andy Craig Andy Craig June 1, 2008

    I hope he listens to the obvious, smart suggestion from Boaz about where to focus on. Focusing on Georgia and the Deep South, like many have suggested, is insanity.

    $30 million is perfectly plausible if he gets Paul’s fundraising lists.

  15. Jared Jared June 1, 2008

    Any chance Baldwin will campaign hard in Montana with Rick Jore?

  16. Dylan Waco Dylan Waco June 1, 2008

    No way, they raise that kind of money, but the winnable state strategy is a smart one.

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