Libertarian David Nolan: ‘Arizona’s U.S. Senate Race Offers a Unique Opportunity’

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Perhaps more than any other contest this year, the battle for the seat currently held by John McCain offers an opportunity to contrast the ideas of liberty with the big-government philosophy that now dominates the GOP.

Arizona held its primary election on August 24, and the results are interesting, to say the least. On the Republican side, incumbent U.S. Senator John McCain overcame two challengers to win with 56% of the vote. At first glance, this may appear decent, but it was actually a pathetic showing.

McCain spent about $21 million to get 326,000 votes. That works out to about $64/vote. His main challenger, J.D. Hayworth, spent about one-sixth as much to get 32% of the vote. The third contender, Jim Deakin, spent less than $100,000 to get 12%.

McCain is his party’s most recent Presidential candidate, and has near-universal name recognition. He outspent his opponents by six to one. And yet he received less than 60% of the vote in a Republican primary!

On the Democratic side there were four contenders. The victor, Rodney Glassman, received only 34% of the votes cast, after outspending his three rivals combined. Most of his funding came from his family’s extensive fortune. He’s virtually unknown outside of Tucson, the state’s second-largest city, where he served for a time on the city council. Many Democrats dislike Glassman, and thus nearly 2/3 of those who voted in the primary scorned him.

If ever there was a situation where a strong Libertarian candidate can make serious inroads in an election with national visibility, this is it. And I am that candidate. As one of the founders of the Libertarian Party, I have a relatively high profile in the libertarian movement, and if I start polling more than 5%, the national media will pay attention!

A showing of 5%, 10% or even 15% is not outside the realm of possibility. Many Tea Party activists who supported Hayworth and Deakin have already told me they plan to support me in the general election; they really, really loathe John McCain! And with a weak Democratic opponent, many independents are up for grabs. This can be the Libertarian Party’s “breakthrough” race this year if things go well!

35 thoughts on “Libertarian David Nolan: ‘Arizona’s U.S. Senate Race Offers a Unique Opportunity’

  1. AroundtheblockAFT

    Nolan needs to visit Mr. Glassman and agree to literally dozens of debates, with the McCain chair glaringly vacant if he doesn’t show up.
    More publicity for Nolan means more exposure for mainstream libertarian ideas and Glassman’s reward is that he constantly will be pulling GOP voters from McCain. At some point, Nolan goes so far as to boldly ask the timid and tired old guy to withdraw from the race so that the Arizona senate seat can stay out of Democratic hands.

  2. kevin knedler

    I think that Mr. Nolan could exceed minimum expectations! People are tired of biting into the same old apple– too many worms. Go David.

  3. Robert Milnes

    Come on Nolan. You aren’t going anywhere. The Tea Party movement is counterrevolutionary. They are not going to vote for you. They will hold their nose vote for McCain.
    Now the progressives might vote for you. If you ran a PLAS campaign.

  4. Robert Milnes

    The Tea Partiers don’t care about your libertarian creds.
    But the progressives might. If you explain that with their vote you just might win, they would consider voting for you rather than holding their nose & voting for the democrat.

  5. paulie Post author

    Now the progressives might vote for you

    No, they’ll vote for the Democrat (mostly), except a few that will vote for the Green.

  6. paulie Post author

    The Tea Partiers don’t care about your libertarian creds.
    But the progressives might. If you explain that with their vote you just might win,

    They would laugh their ass off and still vote Democratic.

  7. Robert Milnes

    What’s it all about, paulie?
    Is it just for the moment we live?
    What’s it all about, when you sort it out
    paulie?
    Are we meant to take more than we give?

  8. NewFederalist

    Bob- rather than disparage Dave Nolan why not point out the historical facts… the progressive vote in Arizona. 42.62% in 1912 (TR and Debs combined), 23.27% in 1924 (LaFollette) and 1.94% in 1948 (Wallace and Teichert combined). When you add the much heralded Cato libertarian voter percentage you love to point out, Nolan either wins with well over 55% of the vote or makes a record showing with no less than 15% of the vote. Right?

  9. JT

    I’d love to see David Nolan get a double-digit percentage of the vote. I’m wary about it though. Over the last decade I’ve heard other LP candidates for state and federal offices say exactly what Nolan is saying now: the old party challenger is weak and the old party incumbent is widely disliked. Yet I can recall none of those LP candidates who achieved 10 percent of the vote or more in their election. I don’t think it’s wrong to ask for more support on that basis, but Libertarians should be skeptical about the possibility and not get their hopes up.

  10. Robert Capozzi

    dfn: McCain spent about $21 million to get 326,000 votes. That works out to about $64/vote. His main challenger, J.D. Hayworth, spent about one-sixth as much to get 32% of the vote

    me: I suggest losing this metric. McCain spent $21MM because he had it, and he needed to spend it to insure against a serious challenger. The ratio tells us virtually nothing. If he spent half as much, and his percentage of the vote fell, say, 3 points, what would be the conclusion?

  11. paulie Post author

    From 2007. Some links outdated, but many still work:

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/05/18/mccain-the-manchurian-candidate-2/

    With all the attention we have been paying to Republican Presidential candidates Adolf Giuliani and Ron Paul lately, I thought it would be only fair to say a word or two about creepy warmonger
    John McCain.

    Here he is singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” and laughing about it.

    What did the Iranians ever do? Never mind, war criminal McCain has never met a war he didn’t like.

    McCain can’t help but remind me of the
    Manchurian Candidate.

    This illustrious member of the Keating Five Savings and Loan scandal Senators and noted gigolo is also well known for the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act.

    Somewhat less well known is that he also co-sponsored the McCain/Lieberman gun show bill, which would have given the federal government the administrative power to prohibit all gun shows, and to register everyone who attends a gun show. According to wikipedia, “Since 2004, McCain has gained the unique distinction of receiving an F- rating from Gun Owners of America; and further unlike any other 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate has a dedicated section/compendium within the GOA web site, which contains numerous pages relating to John McCain’s very own anti-Second Amendment initiatives while in the Senate”.

    Wikipedia also points out that he hired a board member of the Project for the New American Century, Randy Scheunemann, as his foreign-policy aide and is considering Billion Dollar Bob Riley for veep.

    Oh, and his anti-torture provision? Not all it’s cracked up to be.

    To sum it all up, I have to give McCain the maximum number of flushes.

  12. Robert Milnes

    I see that there is a Green in the race, Jerry Joslyn. PLAS advocates need to convince him to withdraw & endorse Nolan at a press conference. Start calling a press conference at every opportunity. & Nolan & Joslyn should campaign together explaining PLAS vote coordination.
    & reminding voters of Teddy Roosevelt’s amazing 42%(including Debs) couldn’t hurt.

  13. David F. Nolan

    I am in contact with Jerry Joslyn, the Green candidate. We disagree on a number of issues, but he’s a good guy. The first Rasmussen poll taken after the 8/24 primary election showed 10% of AZ voters prefer “another candidate.” I’d guess that 70% of that 10% favor me, but I don’t know if Rasmussen included all candidates’ names in their survey. Jerry and I may pay for a poll that lists all 4 candidates, to get a better idea of how AZ voters actually feel.

  14. Robert Milnes

    The Nolan, did you read @15 above?
    Very good, you need baseline polling asap. Esp. if you are going to try PLAS.
    Next discuss PLAS with Jerry. You should decide which should withdraw endorsing the other. I’d suggest Jerry. This would be at a joint press conference. You two should also campaign together & campaign for/with other Green & Lib candidates.
    I have many more such suggestions to conduct a PLAS campaign. Do you want to try to win with my help?

  15. NewFederalist

    Bob- Why do you believe the percentage of the vote Theodore Roosevelt and Eugene V. Debs polled for presidential electors frrom Arizona in 1912 is still a valid baseline nearly 100 years later? On what are your assumptions based? Also, the 13% libertarian vote identified by Cato has never presented itself to any LP nominee that I am aware of. Why do you think that is?

  16. superPLAStastic!

    Why not just convince the Democratic and Republican parties to endorse PLAS and have them withdraw. The the Greens, Libertarians and others could run against each other.

    And even better, for President, have everyone withdraw except Milness … and we would finally have a perfect election with zero votes cast for any candidate for POTUS.

  17. Robert Milnes

    NF, not so fast. I believe that LP candidates routinely poll single digits, low double digits-at the beginning of the election cycle. & as the cycle wears on & E-Day approaches, polling approches 1%.

  18. Robert Milnes

    & the days of Debs & any socialist getting or even polling anywhere near 1% are long gone. But those votes still exist. They mostly go to the dem or Green. They could be picked up by a PLAS Green or passed on to a PLAS Libertarian.

  19. Robert Milnes

    We must assume we are dealing with a generational phenomenon. Otherwise the whole system makes no sense.
    Reactionaries must comprise about 60% of the population, generation after generation. Progressives about 40%. Radicals are a small percentage of that 40% which is why a radical revolution cannot be voted in & is difficult to accomplish via street skirmishes & demonstratrions,.

  20. JT

    David: “The first Rasmussen poll taken after the 8/24 primary election showed 10% of AZ voters prefer “another candidate.””

    That’s encouraging, to be sure. I have my doubts that 10% of Ariz. voters will actually vote for “another candidate” on election day though. It will probably be closer to 5% than 10%, as right before the election many of them will be infected with “wasted vote syndrome.”

    Of course, that factor may be mitigated if the projected difference in vote percentage between the two old party candidates is at least, say, 25%.

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