Tim Cavanaugh: John and Ken didn’t help Libertarian Dale Ogden much in run for Governor of California

Tim Cavanaugh at Reason Hit and Run (excerpt):

My erstwhile colleagues at the L.A. Times frequently lament the influence of John and Ken, rightwing radio talkers on local station KFI who have been described to me as “The most powerful people in California.” So I was mildly hopeful that Ken and John’s endorsement of the Libertarian might boost Ogden’s performance.

It didn’t. Ogden’s performance was less than one-fifth-of-one-percent better than LP candidate Art Olivier’s full-party-membership-plus-12,379-votes performance in the 2006 race, and his 11,600 total vote advantage over Olivier tracks, in percentage-growth terms, almost exactly with the growth of registered Libertarians from 2006 to 2010. At most, John and Ken brought 3,000 votes — which is impressive by radio standards but a rounding error in a 7.3-million-ballot election. An endorsement is still the equivalent of peeing in a dark suit. You feel warm for a second and nobody else notices.

8 thoughts on “Tim Cavanaugh: John and Ken didn’t help Libertarian Dale Ogden much in run for Governor of California

  1. Gene Trosper

    Given that this election was extremely polarized, this does not surprise me. I listen to the John and ken Show everyday on my drive home from work everyday and they sounded almsot giddy over Dale. It’s nice Dale made inroads with that show though. maybe it will pay off in the future with other media appearances, especially if he takes on a special project targeting the Sacramento gang.

  2. NewFederalist

    I hate to say it but just what chance does a Libertarian have in the People’s Republic of California? Any state that would put a retread like Governor Moonbeam back in office is too far gone to even think about saving.

  3. Gene Berkman

    Mr Cavanaugh apparently is not aware that Ken & John backed Art Olivier, Libertarian candidate for Governor, in 2006. So whatever benefit comes from this endorsement is included in Art Olivier’s vote totals.

    This year’s election featured a $150 million binge by Meg Whitman, and tens of millions spent against Whitman and for Jerry Brown by union groups. The limited free publicity available to Libertarian candidates was lost in the midst of all the paid advertising.

  4. Sebastian Knowlton

    I’m not surprised.

    Given the aforementioned polarization of the times and the beast of the politics itself, the LP will never be able to get serious until we get into some debates and start advertising. Basically our only shot at a large office would be a billionaire candidate or somebody who’s already known i.e. Jesse Ventura.

  5. Gene Berkman

    New Federalist – actually Jerry Brown is one of the better of the bipartisan politicians in America. He is more fiscally conservative than most Democrats or even most Republicans. As Governor in 1975 he signed a marijuana decriminalization measure.

    He has opposed many big government proposals, and says California must live within its means. And in his earlier term, he appointed a registered Libertarian as a Judge. So don’t assume Jerry Brown is a typical progressive or Democrat politico. We in California are lucky he got the Democrat nomination instead of any of the other potential Democrat nominees.

  6. NewFederalist

    #5- Thanks for the comment on Gov. Moonbeam. I lived in CA from 1973 until 1979 and I guess I didn’t remember anything good about him other than porking Linda Ronstadt!

  7. Gains

    Sebastian @4

    Winning elections takes a base of voters. Even a billionaire would not likely win a third party vote. It seems to me that we would do well to widen our nets to attract more voters in general.

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