Why Bob Barr could matter

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

 

The Ohio Libertarian Party has won — and that might have an effect on Ohio’s presidential election.

A federal judge has ordered Ohio to put the Libertarian Party’s candidates on the ballot this fall, and to list them as Libertarians. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner decided to accept the ruling rather than appeal it. It will be the first time in Ohio since 2000 that any party other than Democrats or Republicans are listed on the presidential ballot.

So, if you are among the 99 percent of the voters who aren’t Libertarians, why should you care?

As I noted Tuesday, the latest poll shows John McCain with a modest lead over Barack Obama in Ohio. (As a critic of mine in the reader comments section pointed out, earlier polls showed Obama with a slight lead.) At this point, the fight for who wins Ohio’s Electoral College votes appears to be close.

 It’s been suggested that if the race is close, and if the Libertarians run a good campaign, the Libertarians could have an effect on the presidential election, in Ohio and in other states. Those are big ifs, but the Libertarian presidential candidate this year, a former Republican congressman named Bob Barr, is an experienced politician. He’s running a more professional campaign than past Libertarian nominees.

Conventional wisdom holds that a successful Barr campaign would draw most of its votes away from McCain. Libertarians, of course, say they are running on their own merits.

Comments

Anonymous

Its amazing to me that billions in American paychecks go towards establishing free and open elections halfway around the planet, yet it is seems to be a brand new idea right here in America.

Anonymous

With no significant difference between the Republicrats and the Demublicans, I'm glad to see Ohioans now have a choice in November. Bob Barr 2008.

Anonymous (not ...

Glad to see it.

I've voted Libertarian since 1992. I’ve written 'em in even when they weren't on the ballot.

Too bad the powers that be won't allow Mr. Barr into the national presidential debates. He'd ask Dumb and Dumber the REAL TOUGH QUESTIONS.

One of the best two time Libertarian presidential candidates was the late Harry Browne. He was knowledgeable, an author and a real gentleman.

Anonymous

I cannot for the life of me understand this "herd thinking" of many common people who either don't vote or vote "Republicrat" simply because they think only these candidates have a chance to win.

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican or an independent I urge you to try something new this year...

Ask yourself if you are happy with the two major party candidates. Then ask yourself if you are for big government in your life or small government. If both answers are "no" then vote for Bob Barr.

You will have made a very strong statement for once with your vote!

Anonymous

Ohioans might not have this problem if the bipartisan War Party stopped cheating the voters out of fair elections and adopted ranked-choice voting to eliminate the so-called "spoiler problem."

The Republicans and Democrats shouldn't be rewarded for rigging the vote ... so vote your conscience and encourage the politicos to play it straighter next time.

www.fairvote.org

Anonymous (not ...

Years ago, on a radio talk show, the late Libertarian Party candidate Harry Browne, gave me, a history student, an interesting perspective that I had never heard even in my college history classes or my other readings.

Mr. Browne said that if the U.S. had not entered WW1 that the odds were favorable that WW2 (at least in Europe) would not have occurred.

Because the U.S. entered ‘The Great War,’ we upset the balance of power, which in turn helped to set up the dynamics for the next war.

President Washington in his Farewell Address warned his nascent country about ‘entangling alliances.’ Isolationism was an acceptable policy of this country for decades. Perhaps it’s way past time to revisit it.

Anonymous

Thanks for this story.
[Editorial item: The writer or editor should change "an affect" to "an effect" in both the first and fifth paragraphs.]

Anonymous

spellchecker = blog rat!! Good job dolt.

Anonymous

Berferd is correct, and the mistake has been fixed in the copy. Reader comments do have the effect of affecting what we do...

Anonymous

Much better article today Mr. Jackson. Apologies if I wasn't as tactful as I should have been regarding the polling story, although I don't consider myself a critic. I just didn't think that mentioning the Rasmussen poll without the Public Policy poll was complete (a dueling Ohio polls story would have been more interesting anyway). Enough of that though, it will be interesting to see how vigorous a campaign Bob Barr will run, and what, if any, impact it will have on the race in Ohio and elsewhere.