Brian Holtz: 2012 Convention Election Predictions

Posted originally by Brian Holtz on his blog, Libertarian Intelligence and submitted to IPR. Brian writes for IPR also, but per our rules he is not posting it here because he is the author of this opinion. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with his picks by reposting it for him here, and IPR as a group/site is not taking any positions. Readers are welcome to make their own predictions and comment on Brian’s or on any replies in the comments.
-paulie


Gary Johnson will win the presidential nomination on the first ballot, with about 55% of the votes. If the rumors are true that Jim Gray is Johnson’s running mate, then he will win the vice-presidential nomination. I’m guessing Lee Wrights will selflessly agree to run against Gray for the hopes of his supporters to balance the ticket, even though it would be an uphill struggle.

I’m not sure whether Mark Hinkle or Mark Rutherford will be elected Chair. Hinkle as the incumbent will have the inside track, but the election could very well be tipped by how deftly he handles the gavel during parliamentary conflicts over registration fees and credentialing Oregonians. Wes Wagner will win less than 20% of the votes.

Bill Redpath may end up unopposed for Vice Chair, but if the 2nd-place Chair candidate runs against him then it’s a toss-up. My guess is that the 2nd-place Chair candidate would just run for LNC and not risk losing both Chair and Vice-Chair.

Alicia Mattson will easily win re-election as Secretary.

Starr vs. Phillies for Treasurer will be close. Phillies will do much better than the 8-10% he’s recently received in Chair and POTUS races, but will not do nearly as well as the 70% that his slate-mate James Oaksun received against Starr in the 2010 Treasurer race. Starr will emphasize that he’s done the job well in the past, and that Oaksun joined a series of non-Starr Treasurers who had difficulty completing even one term. I’m guessing Starr wins.

The race for LNC At-Large representatives (top 5 elected) will probably finish in an order like this:

Hinkle or Rutherford
Wayne Root
Lee Wrights
Mary Ruwart
Kevin Knedler
Rebecca Sink-Burris

47 thoughts on “Brian Holtz: 2012 Convention Election Predictions

  1. paulie Post author

    BH) Gary Johnson will win the presidential nomination on the first ballot, with about 55% of the votes. If the rumors are true that Jim Gray is Johnson’s running mate, then he will win the vice-presidential nomination. I’m guessing Lee Wrights will selflessly agree to run against Gray for the hopes of his supporters to balance the ticket, even though it would be an uphill struggle.

    p] Agreed on all counts.

    BH) I’m not sure whether Mark Hinkle or Mark Rutherford will be elected Chair. Hinkle as the incumbent will have the inside track, but the election could very well be tipped by how deftly he handles the gavel during parliamentary conflicts over registration fees and credentialing Oregonians. Wes Wagner will win less than 20% of the votes.

    p] Mostly agreed but I think Rutherford has more of an advantage going in.

    BH) Bill Redpath may end up unopposed for Vice Chair, but if the 2nd-place Chair candidate runs against him then it’s a toss-up. My guess is that the 2nd-place Chair candidate would just run for LNC and not risk losing both Chair and Vice-Chair.

    p] You mean LNC At Large I take it? I understand that there is a move to recruit a couple of other well known names to run against Bill (not sure if I am allowed to say who they are). I honestly don’t think Hinkle would run against Redpath; Rutherford might, maybe.

    You are probably right that either one would take the safe route and run for At Large though.

    BH) Alicia Mattson will easily win re-election as Secretary.

    p] Yep.

    BH) Starr vs. Phillies for Treasurer will be close. Phillies will do much better than the 8-10% he’s recently received in Chair and POTUS races, but will not do nearly as well as the 70% that his slate-mate James Oaksun received against Starr in the 2010 Treasurer race. Starr will emphasize that he’s done the job well in the past, and that Oaksun joined a series of non-Starr Treasurers who had difficulty completing even one term. I’m guessing Starr wins.

    p] Agreed again. Given that many people dislike both George and Aaron, some of these being the same people, might a third candidate emerge at the convention? Or is everyone too scared of the responsibility?

    BH) The race for LNC At-Large representatives (top 5 elected) will probably finish in an order like this:

    Hinkle or Rutherford
    Wayne Root
    Lee Wrights
    Mary Ruwart
    Kevin Knedler
    Rebecca Sink-Burris

    p] Ruwart is not running (from what I have been told), so you should adjust your prediction on that basis.

  2. Jeremy C. Young

    My only disagreement with Brian is that I think Lee Wrights will be a formidable candidate in whatever race he lands in. So what happens if he runs for, say, party chair or treasurer? I don’t think either of those options can be ruled out, and they’d make for pretty interesting races in either case.

  3. Brian Holtz

    Wrights would have very little chance of beating both Hinkle and Rutherford for Chair (or beating Redpath for Vice Chair). He won’t run for Treasurer because it’s a specialized tar-baby job that has no more LNC voting power than at-large rep. If Wrights agrees to run against Gray, then by running for Treasurer he’d face the very real prospect of three straight losses in one day. Why do that, when he can coast to an LNC at-large seat?

  4. Seebeck

    Believe me, Lee is not going to run for Chair or Treasurer. He’s already on the JudCom and would have to resign from that if he won.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    I haven’t discussed it with him, but I doubt that Lee will run for an officer position (even assuming that he’s not on the presidential ticket in one slot or the other).

    First of all, he’s been there / done that, and has nothing to prove.

    Secondly, these days an officer position is not necessarily much more influential or any more of a bully pulpit than an at-large or regional rep position, and their actual votes carry the same weight. I can think of at least two current at-large LNC members who can write/speak and be paid more attention within the party than the chair or vice chair get.

  6. paulie Post author

    We can rule chair out as Wagner is running, and probably treasurer as Phillies is running for that. VP is the only possibility and I concur he is much more likely to run for At Large.

  7. John Jay Myers

    I can’t bet on the whole kit and kaboodle (spelling) but, I will bet that Arvin Vohra gets one of the spots, and we should hope he does.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie,

    “We can rule chair out as Wagner is running”

    I’m not sure I see the connection. Are you suggesting that Wagner crowds the field / splits the vote he’s after, or that they are specifically politically allied? FWIW, I’ve seen no evidence of the latter.

    “and probably treasurer as Phillies is running for that”

    One good reason of several, and something I’ve been meaning to bring up.

    I always supported Dr. Phillies for chair when he ran, and one common refrain from a large subset of those who didn’t was “he should run for something besides the top slot.”

    Well, now he is doing so, and in addition to this being another chance for his supporters to support him, it’s a chance for his opponents, if they’re not specifically fond of Aaron Starr either and if they think Phillies will hang himself, to put him in a spot where he has lots of rope.

  9. paulie Post author

    I’m not sure I see the connection. Are you suggesting that Wagner crowds the field / splits the vote he’s after, or that they are specifically politically allied? FWIW, I’ve seen no evidence of the latter.

    Wagner is a Wrights donor. Wrights took the Wagner side in the Oregon matter. Phillies is backing both, and I would be surprised if either of them isn’t backing Phillies.
    Their circle of friends and supporters isn’t going to support Rutherford, and they think Hinkle’s been weak and ineffective (and on the wrong side in Oregon from their POV) so I expect Wrights would back Wagner for Chair. Of course, Wrights may also decide he is more electable than Wagner. So maybe he would, but I really doubt it.

  10. John Jay Myers

    Phillies is where he should be, everyone hates Aaron, I think Phillies has that. Not that he is Mr. Popularity but Aaron is at almost hated status, and since it’s a one on one race, I will put money on Phillies who has only ever tried to do good.
    (he’s just sometimes bothersome)

    I am trying to encourage Arvin to run for a regional rep position, because those are pretty easy to get, I don’t know what region he is in.

    I haven’t made up my mind on what I am doing, I really want to run a really cool interesting outside the box Senate campaign, and just want to get these conventions behind us.

    However I can’t afford to sit idly by and let the LNC get populated with the 48 Laws of Power gang, and feel good about it.

    Vice Chair is a thought, at large is another thought, regional would be easy pickens, it might be smarter for me to go for that.

    But as long as someone I like goes for that position, it might me better to shoot for something higher and hope for a win, thus securing two spots instead of one.

  11. paulie Post author

    I won’t put down any big money but I will bet a drink that if Phillies wins it will not be by more than 10%.

  12. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Phillies usually has one of the better-stocked hospitality suites. For that reason alone, he’s a welcome addition to any LP convention.

  13. Eric Sundwall

    Until Sloan is truly eliminated, let’s not count out the inevitable law suit, Burns will force the POTUS ballot into a third round cliff hangar.

    A dark horse will step out of the platform room and stalk the chair race.

    Badnarik will hitch a ride to Red Rock and take the VP slot.

    Crickets around the land as a couple in Toledo watches C-SPAN wondering what a Libertarian is.

    Drooling over the inevitable Glenn Beck interview for the nominee.

  14. paulie Post author

    Phillies usually has one of the better-stocked hospitality suites. For that reason alone, he’s a welcome addition to any LP convention.

    Absolutely.

  15. paulie Post author

    Vice Chair is a thought, at large is another thought, regional would be easy pickens, it might be smarter for me to go for that.

    But as long as someone I like goes for that position, it might me better to shoot for something higher and hope for a win, thus securing two spots instead of one.

    If I’m not mistaken you can run for vice chair, then run for either At Large or Region if you lose the first race. It would probably help your name recognition as there will be a lot of first time delegates and other people who have not followed national level LP and you won’t have time to meet all of them, much less have much of a conversation and have them remember your name.

  16. LibertarianGirl

    I think Aaron has the advantage because Phillies picked the new slate and Oaksun failed…..however since Aaron is veiwed as Dr evil George could do good…this will be a race of voting against who you dont like more than who you do like…

    Rutherford will have to shake the Root-Rutherford perception….Wayne is target # 1 and i think many will vote against M.R because of assuming he’s a puppet for Root. I dont think that personally its just an observation…

    as far as gavel handling too bad Mark H couldnt pull a Silvestri and just let Alicia chair the meeting…lol

    Bill Redpath will be hard to beat , he’s got mad respect and with his passion for ballot access makes him a good choice….

    what about Jim Lark , Pat Dixon, Chuck Moulton , Tony Ryan , etc are any of them running…

    advice to all running , be careful who you pick to give your nominating speech….theres only 1 qualifier that makes me vote against someone for sure….wanna guess..?

  17. Nicholas Sarwark

    @15: Vohra should run for at-large, since he is presently in the same region as Jim Lark. Lark is very popular and has never lost for regional rep. It would also be better for the party to have both of them on the LNC.

  18. Volvoice

    Jim Burns made it thru Tennessee recently and spoke at our monthly meeting. He was dressed in colonial clothes and gave us Patrick Henry’s Liberty or death speech. It was pretty cool IMHO. Jim is a nice guy that has been an LP member since its inception. The way some of our national officers act in their little exclusion games to keep guys like Jim from speaking or participating in the presidential debate makes me sad. That issue alone is one of the things that is wrong with our party. We cry about ballot access on one hand and how we are excluded by the STATE….then turn around and allow factions within our party to do the very things we supposedly despise

  19. LibertarianGirl

    Jim Burns changed his middle name to Libertarian when we had no ballot access jst so the word would appear on the ballot….and if i hear 1 more person say he’s a convicted criminal ill know they aint libertarian …TAX EVASION IS NOT A CRIME IN OUR BOOKS…

  20. paulie Post author

    I’m thinking I may well vote for Burns in the pre-debate poll. I don’t think Johnson and Wrights will have a hard time getting 10% to get in the debate or getting nominated, but Burns might need my help.

  21. Volvoice

    If you are a presidential candidate and stiff the government you are considered a criminal by some…but if you are a presidential candidate and you stiff your ghost writer you are forgiven. The way our members fawn over guys like Wayne, Bob, and Gary is, at times, laughable.

  22. Roger Roots

    The one prediction I cannot agree with is that Gary Johnson will win on the first ballot. No one I know personally is supporting GJ (but then I haven’t circulated that much among delegates). Most Libertarians I associate with view the Party’s recent trajectory (toward nominating watered-down neo-cons as our “libertarian” standard bearers) as self-destructive.

    Going into the convention, I myself am not committed. I have been thus far unimpressed with GJ, although I have an open mind.

  23. paulie Post author

    I’m not running for the LNC this term so I can focus on chairing the Virginia LP.

    Good news for VA; bad news for national.

  24. paulie Post author

    No one I know personally is supporting GJ

    That may have to do with who your friends are. I talk to all sides and I see first ballot as a definite possibility.

  25. Stuart Simms

    Nicholas Sarwark @27:
    Vohra should run for at-large…

    SS: Arvin is running for at-large. Arvin is young, energetic and intelligent and would be a welcome addition to the LNC, IMHO. Dr. Lark will most likely remain as regional rep. Typically Maryland is in Dr. Lark’s region and I am contemplating running as an alternate for regional rep.

    Paulie @ 30
    I’m thinking I may well vote for Burns in the pre-debate poll. I don’t think Johnson and Wrights will have a hard time getting 10% to get in the debate or getting nominated, but Burns might need my help.

    SS: I am thinking the same thing.

  26. ATBAFT

    With so many of the old fossils present who grew the Party from 0 to 30,000+, they might take a look around at the state of today’s Party and decide, in a smoke filled room, to take back the Party!

  27. Alan Pyeatt

    CM @ 31: “I’m not running for the LNC this term so I can focus on chairing the Virginia LP.”

    I am very sorry to hear this. And John Jay, I hope you run. Our party needs good leadership!

  28. LP Observer

    Interesting list of the potential winners for At-Large. Many are long time LP members. Only Root and Knedler are relative newcomers. Root’s big mouth, showmanship, and running for National Chair got him the most votes for At-Large in St. Louis. Is he that strong this time?

    And Knedler is the other mystery. Why is he on this list? He did get 5th in St. Louis and knocked out some sitting members of the LNC. But, what’s he got that gives credibility that he can finish in the top 5 again? I think he is active as a state chair from Ohio, but what else? What’s he done on the LNC that is noteworthy?

  29. Carol Moore

    I’ve heard even Rutherford supporters are getting fed up with Root, especially after he said there was no choice but to vote for Romney. So maybe we WILL Boot Root from the LNC – hopefully after that it will be easy to boot him from LNCC where he hasn’t done much anyway. WHERE ARE THE MILLIONS, WAYNE???

  30. Thomas L. Knapp

    I wouldn’t put much weight on the inaccuracy of Holtz’s predictions in this instance as far as “past performance/future results” goes.

    The chair race shenanigans last night brought the delegates back this morning with pitchforks and torches, and Holtz had no way of predicting those shenanigans.

  31. Carol Moore

    The last four years of crappy leadership is what got people going with pitchforks and torches. I may have blamed it all on Root, since you have to go after the defacto leader, but there were a bunch of them that had to go and a lot of people like me took time out from other things to make sure those guys got booted and we did something to attract some of those young Ron Paulites. Only Gary Johnson saved Root’s ass – the one person on the at large list Brian got right.

    By the way, Brian, did you ever figure out WHO had the right to see/use delegates email list? Still waiting for an answer….

  32. wes wagner

    I packed pitchforks and torches in my suitcase. It was predictable. 🙂

  33. Brian Holtz

    a little bit off

    I was right about first-ballot wins for Johnson and for Gray, that Hinkle vs. Rutherford would be a dead heat, that Wagner had no hope in the Chair race, and that Mattson was under no threat from Wagner’s slate-mate Weston.

    The rest of my predictions were mostly confounded by the Chinese-fire-drill nature of this weekend’s officer elections, in which the strongest candidates were people nobody suspected would run at the time of my predictions above. Similarly, Wrights and Ruwart ended up not running for at-large.

    This afternoon on the elections thread I called 4 of the 7 JudCom winners, and of the 20 at-large candidates, all 5 winners were in my top 9.

    Despite the above successes and my successful forecast of the platform results, I remain shaken by my mis-call of the NOTA result against Rutherford. I predicted 30-35% and bet $1 against somebody that it would be below 40%, so I was stunned when it was around 49%.

    I also wasn’t very precise in predicting that Wagner would win “less than 20%” for Chair, when he ended up collecting only 9 votes.

    Handicapping convention results is fun, and I wish more people were interested in trying to build a track record at it.

  34. Brian Holtz

    Carol @46, you’re the one who apparently was leaked delegate email addresses, not me, so I should be asking you about where the leak originated. Been there, done that — you’re clearly unwilling to say whether my wife’s email address was on any delegate list you got, and (if so) where you got that list.

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