Baldwin Set Presidential Percentage Records for Constitution Party in 27 States

The Constitution Party has run a presidential candidate in each of the last five presidential elections. In 2008, its presidential nominee, Chuck Baldwin, polled a higher percentage of the vote than any previous Constitution Party presidential candidate had ever polled in 27 states.

Those 27 states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Ironically, however, 2008 wasn’t the Constitution Party’s best presidential showing. Baldwin in 2008 polled .15% of the total vote, whereas in 1996 Howard Phillips had polled .19%. Phillips was on the ballot in 1996 in four populous states in which Baldwin wasn’t on (California, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania).

The Libertarian Party also hit new presidential percentage records in 2008, in two states, Indiana and North Carolina.

The only other minor parties that had a presidential candidate in 2008 as well as in previous years which hit new percentage records are the Working Families Party in New York, the Peace & Freedom Party of California, and the Natural Law Party of Michigan. The latter two parties nominated Ralph Nader in 2008.


Baldwin Set Presidential Percentage Records for Constitution Party in 27 States — 8 Comments

  1. So why did the Constitution Party do such a better job of ballot access in 1996 than it did in 2008, aside from the California mess?

  2. I’ll try to answer that:

    In ’96 there were large contributions from Buchanan supporters who believed that Pat might run on the (at the time) US Taxpayers Party ticket and these helped particulary in getting our ticket on the ballot in Texas. (By the way, we came within a hair of getting on ballot in Okalahoma that year).

    In New York, Howard Phillips was able to secure the Right to Life Party nomination in ’96. They are no longer ballot qualified.

    In total we were on 39 ballots in ’96, only two more than in ’08, where we were on 37 ballots.

    This year, aside from California, the campaign was temporarily out of money when most of the eastern states came up toward the end of July, which was not only the reason for not being on in New York this year, but also why we didn’t make it in Connecticut and Maine, where we normally are on the ballot. In Pennsylvania, we had always got on using in-state party financial and personnel resources. Unfortunately, aside from the paid petitioners we did very poorly with volunteers. Many who had before done great work on a volunteer basis reported, this year, that they were “burnt out” from supporting Ron Paul and discouraged that he did not win the Republican nomination (going to show how naive people can be). Due to these unforseen shortfalls we came up with about 23,000 signatures and we needed about 25,000. You can be sure that will never happen again.

    We did get on in Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Vermont and for the first time ever West Virginia in the East.

    We also did not have the financial resources this year to make a major effort with petitioners in Texas where they need something like 50,000 good signatures in 75 days (and none can be those who have voted in the primary).

    We also had a situation in Montana where the state party leadership tried to blackmail the national Constitution Party and the Baldwin Campaign into disavowing certain national committee votes taken in 2006. They ended up putting Ron Paul on the ballot because the CP was not pure enough, allegedly, on the abortion issue because we did not punish those who disagreed with the CP pro-life plank to their satisfaction. All love to Ron Paul, who asked to be removed from the ballot, but this is insane because Paul has a large number of pro-choice supporters. So why does guilt by association work in one case, but not the other?

    Anyway, that is a brief overview of the ballot access difference between ’96 and ’08 (with a brief editorial thrown in at the end)

  3. I think that Gary makes a good point in bringing to light, perhaps again, the amount of emotional energy, money, and time, that the Ron Paul campaign absorbed in late 2007 and early 2008. He made a great run to go from 0% in the October and November polls on to getting significant vote totals in the primaries. In 2012, although many on the right will send money to get Jindal to run, unless Mark Sanborn runs, I see the Constitution Party candidates benefitting from the $30 Million that went to the Paul campaign. Yes, he generated the enthusiasm to obtain all of those donations, but Lord willing the CST candidate will be able to duplicate or exceed those donations.

  4. Ron Paul got a lot of money from all parts of the political spectrum, because of his issues. Because of the CP’s inside the box issues would they get the same money? Gary mentions the pro-choice people that gave to Paul, but really most of those people are also pro-choice on guns, and education.

  5. Allen,

    You have to understand the past history concerning some internal issues of the CP to understand the context of my comments about Ron Paul having pro-choice supporters. My comment was not directed at those people, but at the hypocrisy of the leadership of the Montana CP who kept the CP ticket of their ballot because, allegedly, some CP members in some states don’t (in their opinion) toe the line on the abortion issue to their satisfaction. Yet, they didn’t seem at all disturbed that Ron Paul (who is definitely pro-life)attracted many pro-choice voters to his campaign. That was my point.

    You are right that Ron Paul received support from people from all across the political spectrum. Hopefully the issue of “freedom” and “Constitutional government” will continue to appeal to a broad spectrum of people.

  6. .15% of the vote is still pathetic no matter what records it almost set.

    If the CP and other third parties want to move out of clown mode they have start looking for ways to use the initiative and referendum process to change the voting methods in local and state jurisdictions to methods like PR and Range Voting . I & R allows
    voters to escape from the control of the D and R party hacks. Most voters are NOT hard-core D and R party loyalists.

    Under fairer voting systems (like PR and “range voting”) they would actually have a chance to get candidates elected instead of sending them out to wage futile protest campaigns.

    P.S. Google “Duverger’s Law”

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