Johnson Reaches 9 Percent, All Time High in Real Clear Politics Poll Average

11 SEPT 2016 UPDATE: Now at 9.3 percent in the RCP average.  Latest poll average is HERE.

7sept16poll

Image source: Realclearpolitics.com  (edited to show only the Libertarian and Green Parties from 1 June 2016 to 7 September 2016).

After falling from his previous high of 8.9 percent (August 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24) to a low of 7.6 (August 31), Gary Johnson reached an all time high of 9.0 percent as reported in the Real Clear Politics average of polls earlier today.

While not quite the high of Mt. Everest or any of the other peaks summited by Gov. Johnson, and while perhaps too little and/or too late to impact the Commission on Presidential Debates, and while not yet reflecting the impact of today’s “Where is Waldo Aleppo,” gaffe, breaking 9 percent with an apparent upward trend toward 10 is an almost certain significant sliver of good news for those supporting the Libertarian nominee.

69 thoughts on “Johnson Reaches 9 Percent, All Time High in Real Clear Politics Poll Average

  1. dL

    statistical noise…TeamGov has been trending within the margin of error of the RCP average since July. Roughly speaking, the avg needs to go above 10 or below 5 for there to be a statistically significant trend movement, either way. July was when TeamGov first recorded a real upward post convention trend uptick.

  2. T Rex

    I am hardly a diehard Johnson defender but..

    The Aleppo b.s. won’t hurt Johnson one bit and might even help him. It gave him a bunch of free media coverage and your average American doesn’t know or care where that dung-hole is, anyway. They will just notice that he’s human and admitted his mistake. And then go back to watching football (which, frankly, is far more important).

    He is, after all, running for President of the United States, not President of Syria.

    Sometimes f**king up has unexpected benefits.

  3. JamesT

    Well I hope they can keep it at 5 by election time so the LP can run a real libertarian in 2020 and not have to waste money on ballot access. I also hope Jill pulls up a bit and gets 5 so she can do the same.

  4. Shawn Levasseur

    The RCP averages can get weird, so much depends on WHICH polls are in the average at any given point. Especially since the two way, three way, and four way polling each have their own averages, and polling organizations have shifted around in which candidates are included in their polls from time to time.

  5. George Phillies

    “Well I hope they can keep it at 5 by election time so the LP can run a real libertarian in 2020 and not have to waste money on ballot access.”

    Sorry to read that you have been taken in by the lying front.

    Claims that ballot access will not cost money if Johnson gets 5% of the vote are false. It would be interesting to learn who is spreading these lies and for what purpose.

  6. JamesT

    George Phillies isn’t that the whole point? I thought 5% secured ballot access and major party status? Am I misinformed?

  7. Wes Wagner

    James T

    No, 5% only guarantees federal matching funds for the election – which means a swarm of vultures will descend on easily duped libertarians in New Orleans in 2018 and 2020 in wherever they pick, to pick the bones clean.

  8. George Phillies

    JT: I thought 5% secured ballot access and major party status?

    James: There is no such thing as national major party status, and no point at which the national vote does things. There are 50 states, each with their own ballot access rules and definitions of major party. The definitions of major party, and the consequences for the Libertarians who become a major party in a given state, vary widely from state to state.

    For example, in my state, if Johnson carries the state unanimously, 4 million to zero, there are no legal consequences for putting someone on the ballot in 2020.

    As a practical matter, the phrase “ballot access” is meaningless. It has a meaning to each person, but the meanings are different. When you hear the LNC talk about ballot access, they are only talking about Presidential ballot line acquisition.

    In my state, you can register Libertarian, registrants are counted, and if you run for partisan office, you can be identified as a Libertarian on the ballot, but we are what other places call a minor party. The Presidential vote will not change this.

  9. Wes Wagner

    I have also heard through the grapevine that the Johnson staff are already strategically preparing to be those vultures.

  10. James

    Thank you for the clarification. I apologize for me ignorance. Well I could care less how Johnson does now at this point.

  11. Andy

    Ballot access law vary from state to state. If Johnson/Weld get 5% of the vote in every state plus DC, it would get the LP ballot access in only some of the states, and even in some of those states, that ballot access would only be good for 2018, not for 2020 (in these places, it would have to be followed up by candidates in 2018 hitting a vote test).

    There is no path by which the LP would not have to do any ballot access drives in Johnson/Weld get 5% of the vote, or even 10% of the vote.

    It is amazing how much misinformation there is floating around in LP circles.

  12. Joseph Buchman Post author

    I do think it is fair to say that should J/W gain 5 percent or above, the (what? $5 million or so in Federal Funds that would go to the 2020 presidential campaign? or does it go to the national party office???) — anyway whoever gets whatever, would more than cover a platinum-level of ballot access payments wherever they are needed for 2020.

    Less than 5 percent means no pot of gold at the end of the LP rainbow for the 2020 POTUS field.

    I wonder which would be best for the Party/actually advancing LIBERTY. Wes is correct; a pile of cash in the LPs hands for the 2020 candidate will bring out even more morally compromised candidates, even more delegate stuffing (which J/W did through Wyoming with Weld as delegate chair moving Wyoming delegate alternates into other states.) Without that some in the campaign were at one time claiming that Feldman would have been the likely compromise nominee.

    So this gets interesting. Lots of money available, means there will be people willing to pay for delegates to be there to get them, perhaps not so much the nomination as, the cash.

  13. Andy

    Lots of money coming in from any non-libertarian source, which in this case would be in the form of a welfare check from Uncle Sam, will be a bad thing for the party. Why? Because it will attract even more con-artists than the LP already gets, and given that this money will not be coming from principled activists, there will not be as many people to stave off all of the con-artists who will be looking to fleece the LP for money, and to use the LP’s ballot line for their non-libertarian agendas.

  14. Richard Winger

    If Johnson gets 5% of the vote, his campaign would be eligible for millions of dollars in December 2016. This money is not “matching funds”. “Matching funds” only relates to primary season. The best term for the general election federal money is just “general election public funding.”

    John Anderson in 1980 went way into debt, hoping like made that he would get 5% of the vote in November 1980. His bankers thought he was likely to do that, and loaned him money. And he got 6.7% in the election, so he did get millions of dollars and was able to repay his debts.

    The general election funding millions would also be available to the 2020 Libertarian presidential nominee.

    If Johnson gets 3% of the vote in Massachusetts, that would make the Libertarian Party a ballot-qualified party in Massachusetts for 2018. The Libertarian choice would be restored to the voter registration form as a checkbox. But we would then have the problem that it is very difficult for a small ballot-qualified party in Massachusetts to get candidates on its own primary ballot. But as a ballot-qualified party, we would have standing to challenge that in court, just as the Arizona Libertarian Party and the South Dakota Libertarian Party are now doing.

  15. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . No, 5% only guarantees federal matching funds for the election – which means a swarm of vultures will descend on easily duped libertarians in New Orleans in 2018 and 2020 in wherever they pick, to pick the bones clean. . . . . ” ” . . . I have also heard through the grapevine that the Johnson staff are already strategically preparing to be those vultures. . . . ”

    Ah…the bogey man of matching funds . . . It’s been the (fake) fear of some LP members since the beginning. . . those who want to remain at .05% of the vote . . .

    Matching funds helps PAY for ballot access. . . it helps outreach . . it helps advertising . . it helps name recognition . . .

    But all the phobic worry about it interlopers . . that already happens WITHOUT matching funds.

  16. Anthony Dlugos

    Lots of money coming in…will…attract…the competent and drive out the incompetent and the malcontents.

    Fixed It For Ya.

  17. Andy

    Lots of money coming in from a non-libertarian source, which in this case would be the federal government, will lead to more incompetents mismanaging/squandering the money, because there will be no Libertarian activist donors to answer to for how the funds are being used since the “donor” will be Uncle Sam.

  18. dL

    “Lots of money coming in…will…attract…the competent and drive out the incompetent and the malcontents.

    Fixed It For Ya.”

    Dumbest, most benighted thing i’ve read quite a long time. And that’s saying something.

  19. George Phillies

    Richard Winger notwithstanding, you can run in Massachusetts right now as a Libertarian.
    You can register Libertarian. The number of registrants is counted.

    Massachusetts Libertarians with any brains, if we happen to have “political party’ status in 2018, will realize that they should adjust their voter registration and run as “Liberty” while putting “Libertarian” on their literature. The press will, experiment has proven, report that they are Libertarians.

  20. Anthony Dlugos

    ooo…benighted! Big word.

    Don’t worry, dL. The wheels on this bus were set in motion the day the party was created. The Fussy Caucus is just not cut out for the process.

  21. Richard Winger

    George says people can register Libertarian in Massachusetts now. That is correct. But they must write it in. If we gain qualified status in November 2016 by receiving 3% for president, the state will reprint the forms and list the Libertarian Party with its own checkbox, which will cause our registration to skyrocket. Libertarian registration in Massachusetts in October 2010 was 15,857, the fifth highest total for Libertarian registration in any state. But we lost our qualified party status in November 2010 and were removed from the registration form. So in February 2016 Libertarian registration in Massachusetts had slumped to 8,352, the 12th highest state LP registration total.

    George says we can petition to be on the November ballot even when we don’t have qualified status. But that is true in every state. The Gary Johnson petition in Massachusetts this year cost $45,000.

  22. dL

    “ooo…benighted! Big word.”

    pitiful ignorance..accurate in this instance. The again, it could be a matter of you simply looking to get a cut of the bus fare. That would only make you a con man. The idiots then would be the paying customers.

  23. dL

    “It’s incredible. IPR is now getting posts from parallel universes where the laws of nature are not the same as ours.”

    yeah…however, I would use the term “laws of political economy.” Public choice as an alternative description would suffice as well. They are as firm and reliable as the law of gravity.

  24. George Phillies

    You can register Libertarian, and must write it in.

    That’s right. You actually have to write it in. That means that there is a slight chance that a new registrant is actually interested in joining our party and is worth contacting.

    Winger is monomaniacally focused on running a Presidential candidate.

    Perhaps Winger would care to cover the additional costs his imbecilic plans would impose on all our other candidates. I tend to doubt it. Instead, he will suggest that someone should sue, ignoring that “sue” and “win” are not synonyms. Fortunately, my state committee has a real attorney, not our attorney but an attorney, on it.

    On the bright side, it is almost trivial to become ballot–qualified party i Massachusetts–even the Pizza Party did so– so if his ideas came to pass the serious Libertarians could simply reorganize under a slightly different name, and take other needed precautions to keep their party from being wrecked again by California characters.

    Several of our actual serious candidates have contacted the registered libertarians in their district looking for support. There is nothing there. The politest word used for them was “deadwood”. Having registered libertarians is a DISadvantage here, California characters notwithtanding.

  25. Anthony Dlugos

    re: Laws of Nature/Laws of Public Economy/Public Choice Theroy.

    Just out of curiosity, for low-minded fools like me, what do those complicated Losertarian Caucus theories say about who I should have cast my vote for in Orlando? The doctor with zero elective office experience? The anarchist with zero elective office experience, who apparently doesn’t even have a bachelor’s degree let alone an M.D.? The asshat 35-year old blogger? The murder suspect with zero political office experience who faked a heart attack to avoid deportation?

    I mean, I know we have a party of philosophers savants, but for practical matters that concern my dull thought process, who should I have supported? I mean, I plan on being at the 2020 Convention so someone has to tell me what to do.

  26. George Dance

    Back in the 90’s, when I was leading the LP of Canad, the Chretien government banned corporate and union donations to parties, and brought in a system of public financing. We never qualified, but the question came up: what if we did? Would we take the money or not?
    My view at the time was that we could do so legitimately, only if we spent that money only on areas where the federal government required us to spend money; in effect, that would be the government financing its own mandates. (Sure, some would kvetch that we were ‘subsidized’, but at least we’d have an answer to that).
    The two areas we’d identifed were ballot access, and annual reporting. I bring it up now as a supplement (not a rebuttal) to what Mr. Phillies said about the 5% rule not guaranteeing ballot access. He’s right, of course; but if that funding could be segregated in a designated ballot access fund, by Bylaws amendment, it would solve a great deal of the problem in the future.
    As a bonus, it would at least alleviate the problem of people contesting the 2020 campaign just to get their hands on that money.
    Just wanted to toss the idea out for discussion, and in the hope someone takes the ball and runs with it.

  27. Richard Winger

    George Phillies says the Pizza Party is ballot-qualified in Massachusetts. That is not true. The Pizza Party is a “political designation” which is a group that has asked the Secretary of State to keep track of how many registered voters it has. There are other states in which groups that are not qualified parties are entitled to have the government keep track of its registrations: Alaska, California, Delaware, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

  28. Be Rational

    GP is making excuses; anything to justify being too lazy to do the political work necessary to build a winning Libertarian Party in Massachusetts. He should get out of the way.

  29. Anthony Dlugos

    That is correct, Be Rational. He is perfectly content for the LP to be a small pond as long as he is the big fish.

  30. itdoesntmatter

    “Feldman would have been the likely compromise nominee.”

    Now THAT would have brought out some vultures.

  31. George Phillies

    Richard Winger says our Commonwealth’s Pirate Party is not ballot-qualified.
    Winger is full of it.

    I quote our Secretary of the Commonwealth’s web pages for the 2014 elections, first the candidates and then the results:

    TWENTY-SEVENTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT
    DENISE PROVOST, 20 Albion St., Somerville, DEMOCRATIC
    NOELANI KAMELAMELA, 56 A Cedar St., Somerville, PIRATE

    EIGHTH WORCESTER DISTRICT
    KEVIN J. KUROS, 18 Yankee’s Way, Uxbridge, REPUBLICAN
    JOSEPH M. HALL, 311 Caroline Dr., Bellingham, DEMOCRATIC
    JOSEPH F. GUERTIN, 126 Jeannine Rd., Bellingham, PIRATE

    Candidate Vote Count %
    Denise Provost Democratic 10,771 87.7%
    Noelani Kamelamela Pirate 1,454 11.8%

    Kevin J. Kuros Republican 8,331 60.4%
    Joseph M. Hall Democratic 4,862 35.2%
    Joseph F. Guertin Pirate 595 4.3%

    As is transparently evident, our Pirate Party not only *can* run candidates in partisan races as “Pirate”, THEY ACTUALLY DO.

    I urge readers to ignore Winger rantings.

  32. George Phillies

    Be Ridiculous should go back to shilling for his obsolescent twentieth-century technology, and his strategy of throwing money away in the direction of his friends.

    With respect to his claim that the major parties do not contest every state, it’s not a lack of cash, it’s a bit of common sense. Republican Presidential campaigning in Massachusetts is not going anyplace, so they do not waste money on the effort. On the other hand Governor Dean’s 50 state plan worked wonders for his Democratic party.

    His accusations that I am too lazy to do the political work needed to build a major party are seriously deficient in truthiness, given the amount of work I do for our state organization; they are also seriously deficient in good sense, given that you can’t build a significant party with a one-man effort.

  33. Richard Winger

    Exactly half the states allow a candidate who uses the independent petition procedure to choose a party label, which can be printed on the November ballot next to that candidate’s name. Massachusetts is one of those states. The Pirate Party has never been a qualified party in Massachusetts. Its legislative candidates used the independent procedure and their candidates were allowed to use the word “Pirate” instead of “independent.”

    The political work in Massachusetts could take three forms: (1) lobbying the legislature, which has worked for the Libertarian Party in 30 states; (2) placing a initiative on the ballot to improve the ballot access laws, which was actually done in Massachusetts in 1990 and which was successful; (3) suing. George Phillies gives the appearance of not being interested in doing any of these 3 things. Ballot access lawsuits filed by minor party and independent candidates have won in 49 of the 50 states, during the last 50 years. New Hampshire is the only exception.

    As to the 1990 Massachusetts initiative, the hero of that was David Hudson, a Massachusetts Libertarian who paid for most of the professional petitioners by going into debt. Massachusetts has the easiest procedures for getting an initiative on the ballot of any state. We would have allies, including Evan Falchuk, founder of the United Independent Party. I believe Falchuk is wealthy and I know he is very angry with the Massachusetts laws on ballot access and he is also angry with Secretary of State Galvin. Political work would involve communicating with him, and with the Greens, to work together.

  34. George Dance

    Be Rational: “GP is making excuses; anything to justify being too lazy to do the political work necessary to build a winning Libertarian Party in Massachusetts. He should get out of the way.”

    GP will get out of the way as soon as a better chair comes around; not just someone with great ideas, but someone able to mount a successful campaign to replace him. (If someone can’t even mount a successful campaign inside the LP, why trust them to do so in a general election?)

    That’s what happened up here in Ontario; after 12 years ‘growing the base’, Sam Apelbaum (the leader) and I (the chairman) grew it to the point that there was a membership replaced us. Great; that’s how it works, and how it should work.

  35. Be Rational

    Yes, it will take someone who want to organize a bit in MA to replace GP. He likes sitting fat, lazy and complacent like on his little throne. It’s easy to do little while pretenting to work hard. It takes effort, vision, political and advertising acumen, organizational and managerial ability – all of which GP lacks.

    When confronted with the realities of what works and what needs to be done, GP attacks the facts like a climate denier attacks science. His head-in-the-sand commitment to ignorance allows him to remain tenaciously tethered to his tiny tuffet atop an organization that will forever remain an empty shell under his control. For were he to allow for any kind of growth, he would quickly be found out and could no longer rule over his empty box of sand.

  36. Matt Cholko

    It used to be funny when Phillies and Winger would go back and forth for a day on IPR threads. But, they’ve used the same material so many times that I just don’t find it entertaining anymore.

  37. George Phillies

    Be Ridiculous continues his lies. We have a statewide “Vote Libertarian” campaign that has generated thousands of contacts, because I organized it. We have reasonable cash reserves — that I do not get to decide how to spend — because I set up the fund drives that raised the money. We have candidates when people choose to run…that’s someone else’s decision. We have a new class of membership, which by itself as added 25% to the size of the state organization, because I proposed it and wrote the bylaws for it. We have new local groups, in considerable part because I persuaded people to organize most of them.

    Of course, for most of the past decade someone else was state chair. I was newsletter editor…the newsletter always came out on time. I was treasurer…the Federal and State reports, the latter being more picky..were all submitted on time. I was membership secretary…the records were accurate and up to date.

  38. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Wow, the personal attacks. I am not in MA, but every experience I have had with George is that he is a hard and attentive worker. He is one of the few members that takes his responsibility to keep an eye on the LNC to make sure they are serving the Party’s best interests seriously.

  39. Joseph Buchman Post author

    If Johnson breaks 10 percent tomorrow or Tuesday, I’ll put up a new article about that so we can argue about Massachusetts in that thread too!!

    🙂

  40. Jim

    As eye popping as the 65% loss in registered voters is, that isn’t the only objective way to measure success, growth, or contraction of the LP in Massachusetts.

    You could look at the trend in average annual vote percentage for libertarian candidates running for state representative from, say 1990 – 2014. There should be enough state representative candidates to do that. There probably won’t be enough candidates for some other offices, like Governor to really show a trend.

    Or you could look at the number of donors each year, and the average donation amount.

    Or you could look at the number of candidates running for office each year.

    Some people have a knack for inspiring others to run while others don’t. Some people are good at inspiring donations, while others aren’t. Some people are effective at selling the message to the public and gaining votes for the party, while others aren’t.

    It’s fine if you’re not the total package and are just focusing on one thing. But any good leader ought to have some way of measuring success.

  41. Simon Saez

    “Johnson Reaches 9 Percent, All Time High in Real Clear Politics Poll Average”

    The Democratic and Republican establishment response: “Whew, that was a close one.”

  42. George Phillies

    Recent State Rep candidates have often though not always done quite well. One explanation is being tested this year.

    Statewide candidates often have odd situations. there was, for example, the year the Republicans State Committee sued to knock one of their top statewide candidates off the ballot. They failed.

  43. George Phillies

    Dlugos: “He is perfectly content for the LP to be a small pond as long as he is the big fish.” An unusually ignorant remark, even from a pre-nomination Johnson supporter, especially considering that Dlugos has no rational basis for the claim.

  44. George Phillies

    Dance; “GP will get out of the way as soon as a better chair comes around; not just someone with great ideas, but someone able to mount a successful campaign to replace him. ”

    Of course, a minor detail you would have had to work a lot to find out. Massachusetts elects its state committee; the state committee elects its officers, some of whom do not have to be state committee members. That’s not a disagreement but an amplification.

    Another alternative, having been state chair for two years, is that I choose not to run for my Association’s State Committee, in which case someone else gets to figure out how to fill the vacuum. It appears to me that my state committee is going to have very considerable turnover this year, not because I did anything to make this happen.

  45. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . No, 5% only guarantees federal matching funds for the election – which means a swarm of vultures will descend on easily duped libertarians in New Orleans in 2018 and 2020 in wherever they pick, to pick the bones clean. . . . . ” ” . . . I have also heard through the grapevine that the Johnson staff are already strategically preparing to be those vultures. . . . ”

    Ah…the bogey man of matching funds . . . It’s been the (fake) fear of some LP members since the beginning. . . those who want to remain at .05% of the vote . . .

    Matching funds helps PAY for ballot access. . . it helps outreach . . it helps advertising . . it helps name recognition . . .

    Indeed. I find it rather confusing that people would see this as a problem; more money means you can mount a better campaign. People sometimes try to bring up the Reform Party and claim matching funds ruined it, but that party was going to fall off with or without matching funds; when you’re Ross Perot: The Party, guess what, it turns out your party doesn’t have much of an identity once Ross Perot loses interest. The same thing happened with Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Party about a century ago.

    And even if matching funds is a problem… what’s the solution? To *never* reach or exceed 5%? In that case, why bother with a presidential candidate to begin with, as it’s rather difficult to win an election if you WANT to remain at less than 5% of the vote?

  46. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . The Gary Johnson petition in Massachusetts this year cost $45,000. . . . . ”

    But we still don’t want those matching funds. . . that would be bad!

  47. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . People sometimes try to bring up the Reform Party and claim matching funds ruined it, but that party was going to fall off with or without matching funds; when you’re Ross Perot: The Party, guess what, it turns out your party doesn’t have much of an identity once Ross Perot loses interest. . . . . ”

    The problem was (is) when all you want to do is “reform:” but have no clue what you want to reform TO or when you are done reforming, you have no focus, no principle, no party.

    The reform party – matching fun argument is ridiculous on its face.

  48. Richard Winger

    General election public funding is not “matching.” “Matching” means the amount of money from the government is matched to the amount raised privately. “Matching” is the right term for primary season public funding. It is the wrong term for general election public funding.

    The amount of money for the general election is a percentage of the candidate’s popular vote, divided by the average of the Democratic and Republican candidates’s percentages of the popular vote.

    That is why it is difficult to estimate how much money is involved this year for general election public funding. No one can know the amount until the votes are tallied. Ironically, the vote for Gary Johnson is only one variable. The other variable is the number of votes received by Trump and Clinton. So if Johnson gets 5%, to a slight extent, Jill Stein, Evan McMullin, Darrell Castle, Rocky De La Fuente, vote totals also figure into the calculation indirectly. Those four candidates obviously will get votes that otherwise would have gone to Trump or Clinton, so the existence of Stein, McMullin, Castle, De La Fuente, slightly boost the amount of Libertarian general election funding, assume the LP does get 5%.

  49. Simon Saez

    To all who are talking about the matching funds issue–I totally agree that the LP needs to accept any public election funds that it can expect to receive. While I do agree that matching funds may technically run counter to libertarianism, the current US electoral system runs amok of libertarian ideals in many ways. Whether the party is the Libertarian Party or not, a natural instinct of a political party is a desire to garner additional support.

    Claiming that the LP should not receive matching funds due to its beliefs would be like saying that the party should not receive funds from any corporation that does not have fully libertarian ideals, which would basically be just about every large corporation in existence today.

  50. dL

    “While I do agree that matching funds may technically run counter to libertarianism, the current US electoral system runs amok of libertarian ideals in many ways.”

    “Technically…”? These violations are not mere encroachments against “a theoretical ideal,” they are public choice problems that have real consequences. Has anyone on this forum ever read a freakin political science textbook?

    “Claiming that the LP should not receive matching funds due to its beliefs would be like saying that the party should not receive funds from any corporation that does not have fully libertarian ideals, which would basically be just about every large corporation in existence today.”

    Bad analogy..for starters, one in essence is an involuntary handout while the other is a voluntary contribution. The essence of your argument: since the govt is corrupt, the LP can be corrupt, too.

  51. Richard Winger

    No taxpayer is forced to pay into the federal public financing programs. The form 1040 asks taxpayers if they wish $5 of their taxes to go to that fund. People are free to say “no.”

    Similarly, 10 states have income tax forms that ask taxpayers if they wish to check a box that sends a small amount of money to the political party of the taxpayer’s choice. No state Libertarian Party has ever refused those funds, not even the Arizona Libertarian Party, ever, even when it was controlled by the hard-liners in 2000 who nominated L. Neil Smith for president.

  52. Andy

    Richard, I have heard that those state check off boxes list the ballot qualified parties, and ask people if they want the money for which they are checking off to go to a particular political party, correct?

    Does the federal form contain suck choice with their check off boxes, or does the money simply go to a fund, and then the parties and/or candidates have to apply for the money, which means that a Libertarian who checks the box could inadvertently end up sending money to Democrats or Republicans, and so on and so forth?

  53. Simon Saez

    dL,

    My analogy may not be the best, but I believe it certainly holds water if any of the corporations donating to the LP have received even a dime in federal funding, which includes “tax subsidies.”

    And I don’t think public financing of the LP is the anathema to libertarianism that you claim. We don’t have instant runoff voting, which would most certainly help the LP’s cause. Maybe the LP just needs some outside assistance that can help IRV become a reality.

    Also, many US citizens are not even allowed to vote, and I have no doubt that many of the people who are currently unable to vote would vote for the LP if given the chance.

    Maybe the LP can say no to public financing in the future (presumably after it gains additional support), but to reject it at this time amounts to political suicide. A desire to expand the popular support of the Libertarian Party IS a libertarian ideal–right now, sadly, the means of doing so are quite limited in the US one-party state.

  54. Caryn Ann Harlos

    From my understanding it is not the Party that decides, it is the candidates themselves. The Party decides whether to take the state welfare check for its conventions. And if that kind of decision comes up while I am on the LNC, I will vote against (though I am always open to persuasion – I don’t pretend it is a “clean” issue-we are already, in my anarchist view, using a bad a process… voting…. because that is the peaceful means available). But the bulk of it is not a Party decision but a candidate decision.

    If the LP gains its goal of elimination of the income tax, that check box will be gone.

    It isn’t the money itself that is the issue to me (it is already stolen, and at least the benevolent state let people check off that their stolen money could go “here” rather than “there”) but that the money will, in fact, inevitably cause corrupting influences to our principles where we end up no better than the old bosses.

  55. Richard Winger

    Congress repealed the part of the public funding law a few years ago that subsidized national presidential conventions.

    The 1040 form doesn’t ask taxpayers to choose where they want the money to go. But nowadays, a large share of the federal primary season matching funds goes to minor parties. This year the only people who applied for and received primary season matching funds were Martin O’Malley and Jill Stein.

  56. Richard Winger

    This year, as of August 2, Martin O’Malley had received $1,088,929 and Jill Stein had received $456,035.

  57. ATBAFT

    Mr. Winger would know this: In the early years of the Federal check-off was it possible to designate the party to whom you wanted the funds given? I seem to recall Nolan being very pissed (to the point of considering a lawsuit) when the LP received nothing, even though many party members had designed it.

  58. dL

    “Also, many US citizens are not even allowed to vote, and I have no doubt that many of the people who are currently unable to vote would vote for the LP if given the chance.”

    Agree…

    “My analogy may not be the best, but I believe it certainly holds water if any of the corporations donating to the LP have received even a dime in federal funding, which includes “tax subsidies.
    And I don’t think public financing of the LP is the anathema to libertarianism that you claim. We don’t have instant runoff voting, which would most certainly help the LP’s cause. Maybe the LP just needs some outside assistance that can help IRV become a reality.”

    Your argument would be more convincing if we already had ranked-choice voting in place. 3rd party federal funds for a minor party in plurality voting, winner-takes-all system with single member districts–i.e, political duopoly–would simply pull the LP into a public choice con game. Scientifically(political science) inevitable. We are already seeing it now. It would be worse with the carrot of federal funds.

    We have had federal funds being dispensed for some time now and it has done absolutely nothing to advance the cause of alternative voting. Dispensing funds to the LP or LP candidates will not change that fact. Instead, what it would advance vis a vis the LP would be a new slew of ulterior motives. That’s the reality science of politics as a rent-seeking game. Wishful thinking isn’t going to change it.

    Besides overturning the current voting system/electoral college would take a widespread grassroots movement. If such a movement were to take hold, there wouldn’t be any need of any federal funds. It would more or less be capable of financing itself.

  59. Joseph Buchman Post author

    It appears that Real Clear Politics revised their 9.3 for Johnson downwards. The high they show now is 9.1 percent. Unfortunately I didn’t get a screen capture of the 9.3 that was (at least briefly) there.

  60. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . .Besides overturning the current voting system/electoral college would take a widespread grassroots movement. . . . ”

    It would take a Constitutional Amendment. Seeing that there have only been 17 of them (other than the Bill or Rights) I wouldn’t hold my breath, though I am strongly in favor of instant runoff voting.

  61. Richard Winger

    States are free to use Instant Runoff Voting to choose presidential electors if they wish. Article II says states can choose presidential electors any way they wish.

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