IPR’s Third 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll Results: Johnson & Petersen Tie Amid Voting Anomalies

This article was lost during the server switch.  It is re-posted below, as it was, with the original comments included below the article.

Third poll

IPR conducted a poll with SurveyMonkey from May 20–23 asking readers to select their preferences for the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential and vice presidential nominations.  303 individuals participated in the poll.


For President, participants were asked to select from the Libertarian Party presidential candidates who finished in the top six places in IPR’s Second 2016 Libertarian Party presidential preference poll and NOTA (none of the above).  Overall, Johnson and Petersen tied for first with 33.66%.  Among the 83 Libertarian National Convention Delegates who participated, Johnson led Petersen 31.33% to 30.12%.  Voting anomalies appear to have contributed to Petersen’s rise from the 12.14% overall (and 8.51% among delegates) he received in last week’s IPR poll.

First 100 Respondents

Results from the first 100 respondents (shown below) were largely consistent with the results from last week’s poll.  43% of the first 100 had previously commented at IPR, compared to the 41.62% from last week’s poll.  Johnson finished first with 49% overall, but fell to 30.77% among delegates with John McAfee and Darryl Perry close behind.

Candidate Overall votes Overall % Delegate votes Delegate %
Gary Johnson 49 49.00% 8 30.77%
John McAfee 14 14.00% 6 23.08%
Darryl Perry 14 14.00% 5 19.23%
Austin Petersen 13 13.00% 3 11.54%
NOTA 5 5.00% 2 7.69%
Kevin McCormick 3 3.00% 1 3.85%
Marc Feldman 2 2.00% 1 3.85%

Next 100 Respondents

The next 100 respondents (shown below) had significantly different results.  Only 5% had previously commented at IPR.  Petersen received 72% overall and 65.52% of the delegates.  Nobody else came close.

Candidate Overall votes Overall % Delegate votes Delegate %
Austin Petersen 72 72.00% 19 65.52%
Gary Johnson 20 20.00% 7 24.14%
John McAfee 4 4.00% 2 6.90%
Darryl Perry 2 2.00% 1 3.45%
Marc Feldman 1 1.00% 0 0%
Kevin McCormick 1 1.00% 0 0%
NOTA 0 0% 0 0%

Last 103 Respondents

After seeing what was going on, I notified all of the campaigns and encouraged them to inform their supporters about the poll.  As a result, in the last 103 results (shown below) the anomalies appeared to dissipate, even though only 8.74% of voters had previously commented at IPR.  Gary Johnson placed first at 32.04%.  Among delegates, Johnson led with 39.29%, over Darryl Perry’s 28.57%.

Candidate Overall votes Overall % Delegate votes Delegate %
Gary Johnson 33 32.04% 11 39.29%
Darryl Perry 19 18.45% 8 28.57%
Austin Petersen 17 16.50% 3 10.71%
John McAfee 15 14.56% 3 10.71%
Kevin McCormick 15 14.56% 1 3.57%
Marc Feldman 3 2.91% 1 3.57%
NOTA 1 0.97% 1 3.57%

Overall results

Candidate Overall votes Overall % Delegate votes Delegate %
Gary Johnson 102 33.66% 26 31.33%
Austin Petersen 102 33.66% 25 30.12%
Darryl Perry 35 11.55% 14 16.87%
John McAfee 33 10.89% 11 13.25%
Kevin McCormick 19 6.27% 2 2.41%
Marc Feldman 6 1.98% 2 2.41%
NOTA 6 1.98% 3 3.61%

Delegate runoff

First ballot
Johnson – 26 (31.33%)
Petersen – 25 (30.12%)
Perry – 14 (16.87%)
McAfee – 11 (13.25%)
NOTA – 3 (3.61%)
McCormick – 2 (2.41%) (eliminated)
Feldman – 2 (2.41%) (eliminated)

Second ballot
Johnson – 26 (31.33%)
Petersen – 26 (31.33%)
Perry – 16 (19.28%)
McAfee – 12 (14.46%) (eliminated)
NOTA – 3 (3.61%)

Third ballot
Petersen – 31 (37.35%)
Johnson – 28 (33.73%)
Perry – 21 (25.30%) (eliminated)
NOTA – 3 (3.61%)

Fourth ballot
Petersen – 33 (39.76%)
Johnson – 32 (38.55%) (eliminated)
NOTA – 18 (21.69%)

Fifth ballot
Petersen – 50 (60.24%) (winner)
NOTA – 33 (39.76%)

According to the results of IPR’s Third Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll, Austin Petersen wins the 2016 Libertarian Party presidential nomination on the Fifth ballot.

Vice President

Third poll VP

For Vice President, respondents were asked to select among NOTA, the top four finishers from last week’s IPR poll, plus former Massachusetts governor William Weld, who was recently announced as Gary Johnson’s pick for the vice presidential nomination.

Overall results

Overall, voters favored Weld at 23.43% with NOTA a close second at 22.77%.  However, delegates favored activist Will Coley at 27.71% with attorney Alicia Dearn trailing at 24.10%.

Candidate Overall votes Overall % Delegate votes Delegate %
William Weld 71 23.43% 19 22.89%
NOTA 69 22.77% 13 15.66%
Alicia Dearn 63 20.79% 20 24.10%
Will Coley 50 16.50% 23 27.71%
Judd Weiss 34 11.22% 7 8.43%
Kerry Bentivolio 16 5.28% 1 1.20%

Delegate runoff

First ballot
Coley – 23 (27.71%)
Dearn – 20 (24.10%)
Weld – 19 (22.89%)
NOTA – 13 (15.66%)
Weiss – 7 (8.43%)
Bentivolio – 1 (1.20%) (eliminated)

Second ballot
Coley – 24 (28.92%)
Dearn – 20 (24.10%)
Weld – 19 (22.89%)
NOTA – 13 (15.66%)
Weiss – 7 (8.43%) (eliminated)

Third ballot
Coley – 25 (30.12%)
Dearn – 24 (28.92%)
Weld – 20 (24.10%) (eliminated)
NOTA – 14 (16.87%)

Fourth ballot
Dearn – 38 (45.78%)
Coley – 27 (32.53%) (eliminated)
NOTA – 18 (21.69%)

Fifth ballot
Dearn – 57 (68.67%) (winner)
NOTA – 26 (31.33%)

According to the results of IPR’s Third Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll, Alicia Dearn wins the 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nomination on the Fifth ballot.


Shivany Lane
Could you have found a worse picture for John? This clearly shows a teensy bit of bias

Interesting how quickly the stuffers showed up and who they supported.

Very well-conducted and informative, although it does still suffer to some degree from the methodology problems and vulnerabilities of Internet-based polling.

Stewart Flood
According to what the author wrote, he did not like the results so he contacted campaigns to encourage their supporters to vote. The only “voting anomolies” are the ones caused by the interference by the “polster” himself!
Whether you like or dislike the outcome (I do not dislike it), this is a statistically inaccurate poll. You had less than 100 delegates voting, which is not a large enough sample.
It may line up with what the actual results will be, but if so it will only be by accident.

Caryn Ann Harlos
I have boycotted all IPR polls… the online polls have been stuffed and manipulated, and I believe this has happened by nearly every campaign.

Stewart Flood
The only accurate way to poll is to contact a randomly selected portion of the target demographic (in this case LP delegates), and ask them directly.

“You had less than 100 delegates voting, which is not a large enough sample.”
If 10% of the maximum delegate pool is an insufficient sample, what percentage would be large enough to extract useful information from? This is a serious question — I’m not an expert on statistics or polling.
“According to what the author wrote, he did not like the results so he contacted campaigns to encourage their supporters to vote.”
Well, that’s one way of putting it, I guess. A more accurate way of putting it would be “according to what the author wrote, he noticed that at some point supporters of one candidate had begun gaming the poll, so he let the other campaigns know it was now open season — and then broke out the data from before the gaming started for a separate analysis to at least TRY to get some plausibly accurate information.”

Ron Madison
Will IPR be doing any non-internet polling at the convention?

Mayall B. Free
For a scientific poll of L.P. members and delegates:

That was a valiant attempt at a scientific poll. Unfortunately, It ended up not operating by its stated methodology.
The methodology was that delegates were emailed and invited to participate.
The actuality was that 1) some delegates (including me) received no invitation to participate and 2) a link to the survey got out via Facebook and so forth, allowing anyone to participate.
Also, while I did not participate multiple times, I verified that it was seemingly POSSIBLE to do so by changing IP and clearing cookies.
I really wish that we could have had a good, firm scientific poll on the presidential, vice-presidential and chair races and am grateful to HoT for trying to fill that need. But it looks like the first one we’re going to get will be this weekend when the actual delegates actually vote.

Whether you nominate “Garijuana” or A. Petersen, in four years, you’re going to be the pro-life party, because Austin Petersen has invited in the social conservative pro-lifers, who outnumber Libertarians by like 100x.
They may not be delegates this year, but they’ll outnumber your zz-top anarchists and anti-taxers and Ayn Rand disciples until they control the party.
Petersen found the steroids and is addicted.
Or you can nominate a centrist like me who can bring in the overwhelming majority of Americans who are frustrated with the two-party system and who are Libertarian-minded but not radicals. There are 100 million Americans who want to cast a vote against the two-party system.
Either way, the party’s over.

Where was Larry Sharpe for VP?

Great job editorializing the headline for your own poll. At least type honestly next time. “The latest polling done by myself didn’t yield results I liked so I’m mildly suggesting it’s wrong before you view it.”

@Nora, He was removed because of the results from the last race. I do think he should have been included as he is gaining steam and would have been a better reflection. Many Dearn/Weld supporters could go for him too which could have affected the out comes of this poll.

“Could you have found a worse picture for John (McAfee)?” – Shivany Lane
Nope. Not possible. BUT… Feldman doesn’t look so good, either!

Actually, the methodology was that national Libertarian Party members were emailed to participate. Of those members, those who indicated they were delegates were given Chair and President questions. So still scientific, but there may be some skew to the sample.

My understanding is that there were safeguards in place to prevent multiple entries.
The poll wasn’t perfect, but it was scientific.

Tony From Long Island
Thankfully this is not how the actual convention voting will turn out.
Johnson / Weld 2016

Tony From Long Island
Additionally, why does the LP have separate votes for Pres and VP? A POTUS should be able to pick who he runs with. You could and up with an Adams / Jefferson situation where the two do not get along and can not work together.

I fear that you may be right and that the LP may throw yet another presidential election opportunity in the trash. But it ain’t over yet. Some of us will fight for the party’s future this weekend.
Perry/Coley 2016

The major parties nominate their presidential and vice-presidential candidates separately, too. These days that is MOSTLY a formality because (for example) the Democrats set a high bar for putting anyone but the presidential nominee’s choice up for consideration. But in 2004, some Democrats tried to get over that bar to force Howard Dean in as Kerry’s running mate.
The Adams/Jefferson situation was due to the way the actual election was held before the Constitution was amended — the second-place vote-getter became vice president. Jefferson and Burr didn’t like each other very much either.
If a POTUS candidate has a problem with his party, instead of him, choosing its nominees, maybe he should find a different party.

Tony From Long Island
Thomas: I am fully aware of why Adams / Jefferson happened and that the major parties do have separate votes for POTUS and VP. But those votes are a mere formality (regardless of the 2004 Dem example). They do not have officially declared candidates for VP. We do and that should not happen. Our delegates should ALWAYS let the POTUS candidate choose their VP and let the vote be a formality.

It’s the POTUS candidate’s job to represent the party, not the party’s job to give the POTUS candidate anything and everything he might happen to desire.
In 2008, the party would have been more united and energized if a libertarian had been selected for VP, instead of Republicans getting both slots. The same will likely be true this year. If we’re just going to continue to be the GOP’s dumping ground for its failed has-beens for the third time in a row, there’s not really any point to the whole thing.

Tony From Long Island
Look, if someone leaves their former party and joins the LP , they are no longer a Republican, Democrat, Green, Blue or Purple. Very very few people can say they have ONLY been an LP member. I have been a registered Dem since my 18th birthday, but I was a dues paying member of the LP for 20 years (you couldn’t register as a Lib in NY then or now). I consider myself a Democrat with libertarian leanings (yes, that is possible). I think it’s safe to say that most LP members are former republicans. My Nolan quiz scores are 70 and 70.
If Johnson was an interloper, he would have left the LP like Barr. It was clear from the get go that Bob Barr was a fraud. Gary Johnson is not Bob Barr. Even Ron Paul left the LP after his POTUS run. Gary Johnson didn’t and I don’t see it happening after this election either. There is no way the party could have been energized in 2008 because Bob Barr was a joke. Our nominee should always have the VP of his choosing – even a joke like Bob Barr

6 thoughts on “IPR’s Third 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Preference Poll Results: Johnson & Petersen Tie Amid Voting Anomalies

  1. William Saturn Post author

    My responses to the comments posted earlier:

    Shivany: “Could you have found a worse picture for John? This clearly shows a teensy bit of bias”

    I used the photo from his Wikipedia page. I actually had to track down the photo and secure it with a free license several months ago. Otherwise, McAfee would not even have a Wikipedia photo.

    Stewart Flood: “According to what the author wrote, he did not like the results so he contacted campaigns to encourage their supporters to vote. The only “voting anomolies” are the ones caused by the interference by the “polster” himself!”

    If you don’t see a 72% result over 100 answers, compared to 16.5% and 13% in similar stretches, as an anomaly, then you are simply denying reality. It is ideal when no candidates “flood” a poll. But when it becomes evident that one candidate is flooding the results, the only fair resolution is to allow all candidates to “flood” results.

    Fauver: “Great job editorializing the headline for your own poll.”

    I’m not sure how stating the fact that there were voting anomalies constitutes “editorializing.” It is not an opinion, it is a fact.

  2. Stewart Flood

    Let’s say that, for the sake of discussion, this poll is an accurate prediction. Five rounds for each office.

    And how do we do this in the ONE HOUR in the agenda for each election? A single hour, less time than they have for awards and “entertainment”.

    Think about it.

    Doesn’t this indicate that whoever drafted the agenda believes Johnson will win on the first round? Are they that confident, or is the fix in?

  3. Jim F

    Thankfullly, the longer the LP is around the more of us can say we’ve only been Libertarians. While I’ve never voted straight ticket, I’ve been a dues paying member since I was 18 and have never voted for a top ticket candidate who was not the Libertarian nominee. Similarly many of the more active members, at least in my current state of Michigan, are now second generation Libertarians. Their parents turned them on to the LP since very young.

    We’re a movment. Its been over 40 years, and they haven’t killed us. Guess what, they won’t.

  4. Dylan Robnett

    Why is Kerry Bentivolio not more popular? I don’t know who we should nominate but I know that Bill Weld shouldn’t even be considered & Bentivolio certainly should be considered. After receiving a bunch of medals for his heroism in the military, he went to Congress along with Justin Amash and Thomas Massie to add to the constitutionalist faction led by Ron Paul. In his two-year term, Bentivolio has sponsored 13 libertarian bills including a 6-month grace period for businesses facing penalties, a bill blocking the transfer of weapons to Egypt, a resolution to require the public release of every law before it is passed, a 15% pay cut for congress in the event of a budget deficit, a bill prohibiting the U.S Armed Forces from detaining citizens and lawful residents without charge, and a tax allowance for the expenses of attending a private school.

    He looks the part of a vice president and he has a way with words. So, am I missing something that makes Kerry Bentivolio unappealing to Libertarians?

  5. Stephen VanDyke

    I conducted Hammer of Truth’s poll of Libertarian membership and we actually had scientific methodology to screen out possible spiking as is evident here. Even so, our poll had its own limitations (I would have preferred PIN restricted entry and understanding the demographics in advance in order to set quotas). I can tell you absolutely the most scientific method would be to randomly dial registered Libertarians across the country and harass all of you by phone.

    Unfortunately that would be incredibly expensive and I don’t think any polling firm would do that without major funding from a news organization or institution, which brings back the question of bias.

    I stand by my results as indicative of current dues-paying members and how they felt AT THAT TIME, which for Libertarians always turns out to be a purity test at the convention with floor speeches. What makes this election different is that Johnson has passed this test before, and it appears he will pass it again.

    Personally, I’m a registered Republican looking for another option than Trump this year and was just curious who the LP’s nominee will be. I have the tools to find out and I am lucky enough to have worked for a major polling firm for the past 3 years (I have actual experience necessary to do this). The questions were asked without leading and we did our best to ensure the sample was as representative. I can’t say the same about most of these other openly accessible internet polls, so please don’t try to compare apples and oranges.

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