The Blaze reports that Mitt Romney is having a difficult time getting supporters of former presidential candidate Ron Paul and libertarians in general on his side.
Those who identify with libertarian ideas represent a sizable part of the voter base in America. In a 2006 Zogby International poll, 59 percent of respondents said “yes” to whether they would describe themselves as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” The poll was commissioned by David Boaz and David Kirby of the Cato Institute – a think tank dedicated to advancing principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace — who have conducted several studies together on the libertarian-leaning voter beginning with a 2006 paper where they determined through admittedly strict calculations that 13 to 15 percent of the electorate could be defined as libertarian. In a 2010 paper, Boaz and Kirby noted that Gallup polling on the issue consistently finds about 20 percent of respondents to be libertarian.
Former spokesman for the Democratic National Committee from 1983 to 1987, Terry Michael has written commentary extensively for publications like Reason, TheStreet, and The Washington Times from the viewpoint of a self-described “libertarian Democrat,” and tells TheBlaze that Romney and the GOP have not presented an argument respecting both fiscal responsibility and civil liberties to convince him that they will win the libertaran-leaning vote 2012.
“People want more economic choice along with social choice,” Michael tells TheBlaze while discussing the 2012 presidential race and libertarian vote. “That’s where the center of the electorate is going, whoever seizes that will win.”
In 2008, Michael argued “The Libertarian Case for Obama,”and endorsed the Illinois Democratic Senator. Michael has since abandoned Obama for his continued support of the War in Afghanistan and War on Drugs, in addition to having “rammed through a taxpayer and deficit-funded corporate welfare program for drug and insurance companies, in the guise of health care reform.” Michael is supporting Gary Johnson in 2012, but tells TheBlaze he still believes that many in the Democratic base have views likely closer to libertarianism than those of elected Democrats in Washington and their support of the AFL-CIO and “military-industrial-congressional-media complex.”
Additionally challenging for Republicans trying to retain the support of libertarian-leaning voters in the 2012 presidential election is the growing demographic of younger libertarians, alienated by much of the GOP policy over the last twelve years.
Reason’s Matt Welch commented to TheBlaze that he has observed an incredible growth and influence of libertarianism coming from college campuses in recent years, and sees it unlikely that young libertarians that are especially passionate about ending the drug war and supporting gay rights, would support Mitt Romney or the GOP.
Read the whole article at The Blaze: $100 MILLION QUESTION’ FOR ROMNEY: WILL HE DO WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN OVER LIBERTARIANS IN 2012?