Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bringing "libertarians" to the Libertarian Party



In their intriguing study, The Libertarian Vote, David Boaz and David Kirby use existing polling data to demonstrate something no self-respecting mainstream political journalist would ever admit -- that there is more to politics than liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, blue state and red state. They conclude that in the 2004 election approximately 13 percent of the electorate could only be characterized as small "l" libertarian, i.e., socially tolerant and economically conservative. Interestingly, they found that these libertarians are true "swing" voters, with very little loyalty to the older parties, and thus exercised a disproportionate effect on elections because they might switch their votes from one old party to the other.

What does this mean for the Libertarian Party? That our candidates can target not only single issue Libertarian voters, like gun rights activists, medical marijuana proponents and supporters of family rights, but also this large group of libertarians who support not just one, but a variety of Libertarian positions on the issues. In future posts, I plan to address ideas for identifying, approaching, welcoming, and involving these libertarian idealogues into the Libertarian Party.

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