A Zogby International poll released Aug. 22 showed Libertarian Bob Barr is drawing support from 8 percent of the Ohio's voters. (The poll placed Barack Obama at 41 percent and John McCain at 36 percent, Ralph Nader at 1 percent and "Not Sure/Other" at 13 percent.)
It's just one poll, but members of the Ohio Libertarian Party are pleased and hope the poll numbers show they can become a player in state politics.
The party's chairman, Kevin Knedler, told me party members have come up with an answer for people who say voting for Barr will "waste" their vote. If Barr can get 5 percent of the vote on Nov. 4, "he will give us ballot access for the first time in the history of this party through the ballot box," Knedler said.
Libertarians generally want to sharply cut taxes and the size of government, withdraw from Iraq as quickly as possible, oppose the Patriot Act, want to end the War on Drugs, oppose restrictions on gun ownership and want to end the federal government's role in education.
Barr will be in Columbus at 6 p.m. Saturday to greet supporters; details here.
He'll likely return to Ohio, Knedler said.
"They are keenly aware that other than New Hampshire, he is polling higher in Ohio than any other state in the north," Knedler said.