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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/20 (178 comments)

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  •  AZ law makes getting 3rd parties on ballot harder (6+ / 0-)

    Gov. Brewer just signed into law a move to dramatically increase the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot:

    Under existing law, candidates for each party have to gather signatures equal to one-half of 1 percent of the party's voter registration.

    Last election, for example, that meant Republicans wanting to run in the First Congressional District needed 568 signatures. Democrats needed 721 to get on the ballot. And Libertarians needed just 12.

    This legislation changes the percentage for all to one-sixth of 1 percent of the total voter registration, or 618.

    The law is aimed at keeping Libertarian Party candidates off the ballot to avoid them spoiling the GOP's chances.  There isn't any real subtly behind this: one Republican State Rep outright said this is being done to help his party.  The Libertarian nominees in AZ-01 and AZ-09 did pretty well last year and are often blamed for costing the GOP those seats.  Under this new law, that's a lot less likely to happen again.

    23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

    by Jeff Singer on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:13:11 AM PDT

    •  I doubt it really hurts us (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden, gabjoh

      I tend to think that Libertarian voters are unlikely to vote GOP in a 2-way, they're more likely to stay home or just undervote.  Yes they're politically closer to the GOP, but since they're already voting for someone they know won't win, they're probably committed enough to their minor party to diss the GOP no matter what.

      45, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:32:32 AM PDT

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      •  Also it would make it harder (4+ / 0-)

        for Green party candidates and other left wing spoilers to get on the ballot.

        37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:34:52 AM PDT

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      •  Libertarians (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, gabjoh, jncca

        I would guess that in a typical 2-way race, maybe a third of voters who would otherwise vote Libertarian would vote GOP, maybe a sixth would vote Dem, and half would leave it blank. I think a lot of the Libertarian vote is just a generic protest vote.

        SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 09:31:53 AM PDT

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        •  Yeah (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darth Jeff, sacman701, gabjoh, James Allen

          that's been about my guess as far as the Libertarian vote.  You can really only add about a net 1/6 of the Libertarian total to the GOP candidate (1/3 minus the 1/6 that would vote Dem instead).  People who like to vote third party often will vote other third party, write-in stupid names, or simply undervote if their favored candidate isn't running.  And hell, some of them might even vote Dem instead.  You can't just assume every Libertarian vote would go to the Republican instead, as the GOP seems to think.

          When it comes to 1992 and Ross Perot, everyone seems to forget that a ton of voters only came out because of Perot.  Turnout was insane that year.  It's no surprise to me that when Perot's coalition crumbled in 1996 (losing 10 million votes), Clinton's and Dole's combined numbers hardly increased from the two-party total in 1992.  And then in 2000, turnout dropped yet again as Perot wasn't even on the ballot.  These voters didn't go right back to the Republican.  A lot of them just stayed home.  I bet some even voted Nader that year, just being the types to like protest voting.

          Now, in extremely close races, like Florida 2000, the third-party candidate can make the difference.  But when you have a race like AZ-09, which went Sinema 48.5%, Parker 44.8%, Gammill 6.6%, there is just about no way that Sinema would have lost if Gammill wasn't on the ballot.  Same goes for AZ-01 at Kirkpatrick 48.8%, Paton 45.1%, Allen 6%.

          •  I'd say the move is a net plus for the GOP (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In both 2010 and 2012 Libertarians were usually on the ballot in competitive Congressional races while Greens weren't, so this move seems to do far more damage to the Libertarian Party than the Greens.  

            I think we all agree that if the Libertarians weren't on the ballot the GOP would net votes.  Maybe not a lot: I think it's fair that many wouldn't vote, and some would go Dem.  But if all this does is make it a bit harder for Libertarians to get on the ballot it should get the GOP some votes, so I don't see any real downside for them in this move.  

            23, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-01 (college).

            by Jeff Singer on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 11:09:08 AM PDT

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    •  I think this could backfire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Jeff, lordpet8

      Libertarians who do make it on the ballot will do so because they got signatures from more than just family members and close friends. They would do so because they actually worked and had organization. If they did make it to the ballot, they'd have the potential to do much more damage.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 01:48:32 PM PDT

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