Home General Libertarians Polled Over 1% for U.S. House in 2012 for the Fifth Time

Libertarians Polled Over 1% for U.S. House in 2012 for the Fifth Time

Published on December 24, 2012, by in General.

In November 2012, Libertarian nominees for U.S. House polled 1.14% of all the votes cast for U.S. House in the nation. This was the fifth time the Libertarian Party had met the 1% standard. The other times were 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2010.

The 2012 outcome is surprising, because no Libertarians appeared on the California ballot for U.S. House in California, which in the past had always been the state that contributed more votes for U.S. House to the Libertarian column than any other (except that in 2008 and 2010, Texas contributed more Libertarian votes). In November 2012, the California top-two law prevented any Californian from voting for any minor party members for Congress.

Other nationally-organized parties, besides the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, that polled at least 1% of the national U.S. House vote in the 20th century and this century are the Progressive Party in 1948; the Socialist Party 1902-1924 and also 1930-1932; the Farmer-Labor Party 1920-1924; the Progressive Party 1912-1914; the Prohibition Party 1900-1916; and the People’s Party 1900.

If the Libertarian Party had polled as much as 1% for President in 2012, it could say that it is the first third party since 1932 to have polled 1% for President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House, all in the same election. However, Gary Johnson polled .99%. He would have exceeded 1% if he had been on the ballot in either Oklahoma or Michigan.

For U.S. Senate in 2012, Libertarian nominees polled 1.06%.

The calculations relating to this blog post exclude scattering (miscellaneous) write-in votes, because it is generally impossible and also relatively meaningless to classify them into any political party’s column, or into the “independent candidate” column either. However, even if these write-ins were included in the total vote cast, that would scarcely affect the calculations.

14 Responses

  1. :-)


  2. Thomas Cares

    Libertarians polled at slightly over 1% for US Senate, but I’d think they feel Rand Paul, if not others too, represent then somewhat well (or does he have too much conservatism mixed in with his libertarianism?).

  3. Jed Siple

    I can’t speak for the party, but I’m a Libertarian who wants nothing to do with Rand Paul. In no way is Rand Paul a libertarian. Paleoconservative maybe.

  4. Thomas Cares

    In all fairness though, Libertarians polling at 1% doesn’t mean they only deserve representation from 1% of members, as they would probably poll higher, if there were no (well-justified) fear of wasting votes.

  5. George Whitfield

    Libertarians are consistent and persistent. I commend them for their efforts.

  6. :-)

    @3 absolutely Rand Paul is a neocon st@tist who sold out on his father’s libertarian values. I will never support him.

  7. johnO

    Rand Paul got Senators Levin, L. Graham, and McCain upset on the Senate floor recently over a military bill. I think Levin was really mad at him. Not sure if that has anything to do about him being libertarian or paleoconservative.

  8. Slam In A Y-Trap

    Doesn’t have much to do with anything, actually. He supported the NDAA to sneak in a provision which was supposed to modify its worst parts but didn’t (except he could have still supported the amendment and voted against the NDAA). Then the amendment got stripped out anyway.

  9. Arthur C. Barker

    I don’t know enough about Rand Paul’s political philosophy to really judge. And people sometimes change their minds on things. But he did endorse Mitt Romney for President, something even his father did not do. Furthermore, he seems to have been drawn into politics because of the Tea Party movement and that is a group that is almost equally composed of libertarians and social conservatives as a CATO Institute study has shown. On that basis, Senator Paul might not even match the sort of libertarian-paleoconservative positions of Representative Paul and therefore would be farther away from a more central libertarian outlook, like that of Governor Gary Johnson.

  10. Walter Ziobro

    Rand Paul appears to be a bit more of a political “player” than his father was. This may be good for him, but not necessarily for his philosophy. Time will tell.

  11. Demo Rep

    Liberty or STATISM (leftwing Donkey or rightwing Elephant versions) — take your pick.

    Circa a mere $ 20 TRILLION in all govts fixed debt at the moment.

    i.e. nonstop statist LOOTERS on the march since 1929 – Great Depression I.

    Statist spending now about 40 percent of the GDP – about 30 percent taxes/fees, 10 percent borrowing – more debt.
    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

  12. Slam In A Y-Trap

    Rand Paul is not a libertarian (big or small L). Ask him or ask Kentucky LP if you don’t believe me, both will tell you the same thing.

  13. Andy

    “Furthermore, he seems to have been drawn into politics because of the Tea Party movement and that is a group that is almost equally composed of libertarians and social conservatives as a CATO Institute study has shown.”

    The Tea Party Movement was started by libertarians, but it was quickly taken over by conservatives, mostly mainstream conservatives, and they greatly outnumber the libertarian element in the Tea Party Movement.

  14. Slam In A Y-Trap

    Rand Paul is more conservative than libertarian.

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