Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Libertarian Party Poised To Hand 2016 Presidential Election To Democrats?

The Wall Street Journal had an article up-which reached this conclusion:

"The de Blasio-Warren agenda won't travel. Colorado is the real political harbinger."

Here is the full segment from LINK

"Cowan and Kessler: Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats

On the same day that Bill de Blasio won in New York City, a referendum to raise taxes on high-income Coloradans to fund public education and universal pre-K failed in a landslide. This is the type of state that Democrats captured in 2008 to realign the national electoral map, and they did so through offering a vision of pragmatic progressive government, not fantasy-based blue-state populism. Before Democrats follow Sen. Warren and Mayor-elect de Blasio over the populist cliff, they should consider Colorado as the true 2013 Election Day harbinger of American liberalism."

The authors premise is, that recent and current political events, which included the recall defeat of two Democrat state representatives, and the resignation of a third after the gun lobby took them on in Colorado, signify the return of that state to its pre-Obama presidential voting pattern when it was for the most part reliably in the GOP's column.

Unfortunately for  the GOP that premise, and as the 2016 Electoral College map below shows, the return of Colorado is, by itself, not enough to ensure the success of the 2016 candidate;

The map above builds on Romney's state wins by adding Iowa, Ohio, Florida and Colorado which leaves the GOP two Electoral College votes short of the 270 required for victory. Of course it can by no means be taken for granted that the three states preceding Colorado are in the bag. Florida was lost by less than 1% Ohio was close but Iowa (and Colorado) were lost by significant margins.

However there would be confidence that the normal pendulum swing, and perhaps the Obama factor being missing might deliver all four into the GOP's column-where to go next then for the remaining votes?

Nevada is an obvious choice but that state, and New Mexico have a substantial Hispanic population, and
given the large margins they went to Obama by they would appear stony ground to plough. Clearly, given the above scenario, the election will be won and lost in Virginia. As this map shows if the GOP wins in Virginia it can do without either Iowa or Colorado

So what are the Republicans chances in Virginia in 2016? A glance at recent Electoral history shows they would appear to be not all that bright. The shift in population of liberals into Northern Virginia combined with a massive turnout of Black voters gave President Obama two comfortable wins.

2008;Obama 52.63  McCain  46.33  Barr (Libertarian) 0.31
2012:Obama 51.16 Romney 47.28  Johnson (Lib)      0.81
Thus Obama won by successively 6.8 and 3.88 points with the 2012 result giving cause for optimism.

However, the recent election for Governor of Virginia brought some possibly disastrous news for the GOP-apart from their candidate Cucinnelli losing by 2.52%. This is the final Virginia result:

McCauliffe D 47.75%  Cucinnelli R 45.23% Sardis L 6.52%

Clearly there were local factors at play with Cucinnelli considered by some not have run the best of campaigns. Further the election came just after the government shutdown which the Dem's, of course, attacked the Tea Party Republicans for causing disruption to life and especially the paychecks of the multitude of government workers in Northern Virginia.

Thus it is possible that disaffected Republicans voted for the Libertarian Sardis-polls showed that he took "a plague on both your houses" votes from both McCauliffe and Cucinnelli, but slightly more from the Republican.

It is a truism that most often third party candidates poll much higher in pre-election polls than they do on the actual election day, but in this case the Sardis polls held up. There is of course no way of knowing what the political landscape will look like in November 2016, or who the candidates will be. It may be that President Obama leaves the Dem's in the same sorry shape that G.W. Bush left the Republicans in 2008, in which case the GOP probably wouldn't need to worry if Hillary was the opposing candidate or how the Libertarian would fare.

If however President Obama leaves office with the economy in relatively good shape, and Hillary is the candidate, and his 96% Black voter support transfers to her, then the Libertarian vote could be decisive.

Clearly if the 2016 Libertarian candidate held even  half of the 2013 Governorship vote it received and the half it lost was split evenly between the Dem and Republican the GOP candidate would lose based on the 2012 result.

It may be that as well as appealing to its own base with the right conservative candidate the Republicans may need to look at what they can offer the Libertarian voter. It may be a look at cannabis reform, or civil liberties issues, but that appeal, rather than an appeal to the Black community which seems concreted into the Dem's, may be the best path to victory for without Virginia there appears no chance.
Postscript: In a case of great minds think alike I found, as I was putting the finishing research touches on this article that the concept has also be mined today by
Dean Garrison at "Freedom Outpost" LINK. Whilst there are similarities that is of course by the nature of the subject matter. 

However I believe there are enough differences in approach, particularly with the illustrations in this post for both articles to stand alone and be complementary and, hopefully in the case of mine, add some further value to the reader in there being two approaches rather than one. 

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