There was much discussion before yesterday’s election in the media and here on IPR about Robert Sarvis acting as a spoiler in the Virginia race for governor.
Today, the day after the election, at least two articles help to dispel that possibility.
Posted to Time
Stop Scapegoating Third Party Candidates for Election Results
By Nick Gillespie
November 6, 2013
Even before yesterday’s election, Republicans were ready to blame Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s looming defeat to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis. “A Vote for Sarvis is a Vote for McAuliffe” argued one Cuccinelli supporter.
With the final count in, expect Republican anger at the Libertarian “spoiler” to grow exponentially. McAuliffe, who had enjoyed a double-digit lead at various points in during campaign, won with just 48 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli’s 46 percent. The Libertarian Sarvis ended up pulling almost 7 percent, far more than enough to tip the election the other way.
But to blame a major-party loss on third-party candidates is fundamentally mistaken. First off, it ignores data that the Libertarian pulled more votes from the Democratic candidate than he did from the Republican one—an exit poll of Sarvis voters showed that they would have voted for McAuliffe by a two-to-one margin over Cucinelli. Second, and far more important, it presumes that all potential votes somehow really “belong” to either Democrats or Republicans. That’s simply wrong and it does a real disservice to American politics.
Trevor Lymon of
A lot of commenters (with unknown intentions) on The Liberty Crier and around the web have been calling Robert Sarvis (Libertarian) a spoiler in the recent Virginia Gubernatorial elections. They cite that a Democratic group donated to Sarvis in an attempt to take votes away from the Republican candidate.
It turns out that Sarvis took twice as many votes from the Democrats than from the Republicans. His election results are colored beige in the graph below:
The rest of Mr. Lymon’s article can be read here , along with updated election returns.
There is another excellent article on the topic by Nick Gillespie of Reason : Read This If You Believe Your Candidate Lost Due To Third-Party Voters .