Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why Libertarians can win this year.

No two elections are alike. Even when the candidates are the same in a given race, new issues emerge, new voters are registered, and old voters die off or move away.

Last year I got 4% in a in a year when the big issues were the toll road lease and the war in Iraq. State representatives have no control over the latter, and I happened to agree with Phil GiaQuinta on the former. So I really did not have an issue to campaign on. People were very focused on whether or not Democrats would control Congress and the state legislature.

This year, people are more concerned about the issues than party affiliation. There have been a lot of cross party endorsements. So one challenge is to reach out to voters who agree with us on the issues. We have been working towards that goal by canvassing, attending candidate forums, and through this blog. We have been getting media coverage; much more than was possible when I was the only Libertarian candidate in NE Indiana. We have been raising money and spending it on advertising.

The other challenge is getting people past the idea that we can't win. This post is one step towards ending that cycle. Libertarians have won city council races in Indiana before. This is our first council race in Fort Wayne, this is our chance to show everyone what we can do.


Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...


I agree with you entirely. We have a public that is sick & tired of government waste and government intrusion into their lives.

We also have several added benefits this year just by running candidates.

#1) Our candidate Robert Fuller has been endorsed by two (2) local groups. While this must be kept in context what the naysayers overlook is the reality that the public gets to see a candidate w/ an (L) beside their name. This is great press.

#2) Jon Bartels, you, and I were interviewed on a major television news station by Nicole Pence. Heck, I just did a Google search of "fort wayne news pence" to make certain I spelled her name right and THREE (3) OF THE TOP (6) HITS were about Libertarians being interviewed by Nicole. This is rocking the boat.

#3) I am coming out w/ a small amount of HUGE yard signs. Only Dr. Crawford, Mr. Henry, and Mr. Kelty have any this size. I also have a number of smaller yard signs coming out. This will help us gain an air of respectability.

#4) We have kept our people dressed well at all of the meetings and maintained a high degree of professionalism. This has added to our credibility.

#5) At most of the public meetings I have attended I have NOT been the only Libertarian present. We have fielded as many candidates as the older parties. At the Right to Life meeting if you discount the mayoral candidates and the out of Fort Wayne candidates the Libertarian Party had the most candidates for City Council present to answer questions. We are NOT just one or two "token" candidates but rather a group of people well dressed and well spoken to carry our banner.

#6) Just to agree with you there are a LOT of people in Fort Wayne mad at several things they have seen happen. The folks who vote will be voting from an agitated point of view. This can only benefit those of us who have not caused them grief.

Another thing to consider is that in a three (3) way race you don't need 51% to win. In a nine (9) way race the percentages come down and we are favored even more.

I am under no illusions that we will win anywhere in a landslide. But I am also aware that more and more people are discontent with the status quo and they ARE being given a choice.

No matter what happens I am absolutely certain that at least one (1) candidate will loose their seat due to our presence. I will not be surprised if more than that is shoved out of power thanks to our slate of candidates.

It is now in the 2007 campaign year that we will build a strong foundation and a political machine that will gain the momentum to really win elections in years to come.


Doug Horner (L)
Candidate for City Council at Large

Phil Marx said...

Look at all the people who have made endorsements on the blogs so far. Hardly any of them are going straight ticket. I think you assess things correctly, Robert, when you say people are more likely to put issues above party this year.

Unfortunately, I think you (as a party and as individual candidates) just do not have the critical level of name recognition that is necessary to be contenders - this year. But any respectable showing (by any or all of the Libertarian candidates) will have a definite impact upon future elections. Anyone running as not only a Libertarian, but any other non-major party or as an independent, will be given more attention from the start.

The duopolistic system we are currently under is becoming so calcified that our entire political landscape is stagnating more each year. It would be nice to see someone throw a stone into the waters, just to stir things up.

If your lucky, you just might hit some of the frogs and knock them off their lilly pads.

Anonymous said...


Assuming a 6 Person at-large race, you STILL need atleast 50% of the people to cast at least one of their 3 votes for your. The percentage does not go down. The at-large race creates no better odds for the libertarians than the district races.

You guys have some decent candidates this time around, but you should be thrilled if you hit 5% in any of the races.

Robert Enders said...

Anonymous 8:01
You would be correct if it were a year in which there were 6 at large candidates. But there are 9 candidates running at large this year, so we only need a little over a third of voters to cast a vote for a Libertarian candidate.

Anonymous said...

Bob, thats not my point. Whether there be 9 or 6 or 12. My point is that you need as many people to support you in an at-large race as a district race. The fact that 3 people win does not reduce the number of people that must support you to win.

Horner's post makes it sound like only 20% of the people need to support you in an at-large race to win and thats not accurate.

Robert Enders said...

In a three-way district race, one can win with as little as 34% of the vote. I do not need a majority, I just need to get more votes than either of the other two candidates.

In a nine-way at Large race, it is impossible for any candidate to get a majority, unless there is a LOT of "bullet voting". The average candidate will get slightly more than 11% of the votes. He could win with 20% of the VOTE, not with 20% of VOTERS.

The at Large race should be really interesting in another way. While there will still be some who always vote straight ticket, there will be others who vote for their favorite Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian. There are a lot of non-Libertarians who still think that there needs to be at least one Libertarian on the city council.

Anonymous said...

Come on Bob, you are a Mensa member, in a 9 way at large race, the candidate still needs 34% of the voters to cast AT LEAST one of their 3 votes for the candidate in order to win. No different than a 3 way district race.

Robert Enders said...

Anon 9:37,
"...AT LEAST one of their 3 votes for the candidate..."
It is not possible to cast more than one vote for a candidate. You can cast three votes for three candidates, but not two or three votes for one candidate. (Insert your favorite Chicago joke here.)

I said "votes" not "voters" I agree that that 34% of voters is a good target number. However, since the Journal Gazette brought up the idea of "bullet voting", that really makes it hard to determine who is going to win. I will not make any predictions on this race. Mike and Sam made predictions in the primary, and they were both way off. Not even Andy Downs can call this race.

J Q Taxpayer said...

With an even spread of 9 people the vote percentage would be 11.11%. The three winners will not have close to 30% for anyone of them.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me while I go slit my wrists.

Robert Enders said...

Anonymous 1:44pm
I'd advise against that. We've previously established on this blog that suicide is not an effective form of protest. Besides, dead people cannot vote in this state.

J Q,
In order to get 11.11% of votes, you would need the support of 33.33% of voters. Each voter gets 3 votes for the at large race.

Anonymous said...

I think you all will have a great shot at winning a seat on Council! If one of you wins, I will cook ya' all some dinner!

Course One:
1. Dinner Rolls
2. Spinach Salad

Course Two:
FRESH Herbed Chicken (Yes, I will kill the chicken before roasting it!)
Red Potatoes
Italian Vegetables

Course Three:

Satek's Chardonay

D. - A real women, who knows how to kill her dinner before she eats it!

Dan said...

You've got me hungry now! What's for dessert?

Kill 'em and grill 'em!

Anonymous said...

Why Libertarians can win this year??



Anonymous said...

#4) We have kept our people dressed well at all of the meetings and maintained a high degree of professionalism. This has added to our credibility.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. At least you guys can dress right

J Q Taxpayer said...

A- Everyone DOES NOT vote for 3 at large spots. Some people decide to vote for one, or maybe two, but not all three. Look at other races people will vote for one office but not others. Strange to maybe some of us but it is a well known fact.

B- At large is a nine way race. People jump from one party to the other in voting for at-large seats. Past voting clearly results showing this when you study the numbers. In fact, there is no way to know just how many people voted in the at-large race!

C- In general, the further you go down a voting machine fewer people cast votes. This too, is a proven fact.

D- Like the race for Sheriff of Allen County. It seems to draw the most voters voting. From there on down the total for other races does not equal the number who voted in the sheriff race.

E- Each office race stands on its own as for the number of voters voting and who they vote for.

F- This year in the at-large race the top vote getter may get 25% of the total votes cast for at-large. That does not mean 25% of the people voting cast a vote for them. Percentages are reported based on total number of votes cast for that race.

Anonymous said...

JQ, I would venture to say that 90% or more of voters cast all three votes in an at-large race.

I will be surprised if anybody gets 20% of the votes which would amount to a landslide level of support.

J Q Taxpayer said...

Well, Anon I hate to tell you that your thought process is wrong. For various reasons I have reviewed voting patterns and try to develop an understanding the message voters sent in elections. The one thing that came was the voting pattern in at-large races is highly complex based on a number of issues.

Here is an example. Crawford is spending more money then any other person who is running for at-large. He is the vetern who the public knows well. He should lead the at-large vote getter. Based on those two items.

We will have to see what the public says. There could be a number of messages sent by the voters. All the way from his leading all the vote getters to being turned out of office. One has to look at what happened to the other council members.

I will look at the numbers and try to provide maybe what voters said.

Anonymous said...


Nice analysis. I have reviewed the vote totals and anything could happen.

J Q Taxpayer said...

Voting Break Out. Like I stated before everyone voting does not vote for every office. Go to the Allen County Election Board site for the last City Election. Is shows what some of us talked about.

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