Saturday, July 12, 2014

LP could affect outcome in 10 U.S. Senate races

Meet Sean Haugh, the Libertarian pizza guy who may deliver a Senate seat in N.C. - The Washington Post - Karen Tumulty & Reid Wilson:

July 6, 2014 - "Most evenings, Sean Haugh is a pizza deliveryman.

"But every other week or so, the Libertarian Party’s Senate nominee in North Carolina opens a few craft beers ... and expresses his Everyman frustrations with the current political system into a video camera.

"So far, Haugh’s campaign barely exists anywhere but on YouTube. But it is doing surprisingly well in a high-stakes Senate contest in which candidates and outside groups have already spent more than $15 million.

"Four polls lately put his support somewhere between 8 and 11 percent — not enough to suggest a realistic possibility of winning, but conceivably enough to affect the outcome of the race. The same surveys show the margin between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and her GOP challenger, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, at six points or less....

"North Carolina is not the only state where Democrats and Republicans are starting to look over their shoulders and down the ballot.

"Libertarians are poised to draw votes in at least 10 other competitive Senate elections this fall — in Montana, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia and Alaska. The party is working to collect enough signatures to appear on ballots in Kentucky and New Hampshire and is attracting attention with gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Kansas

"How well any of them will do is hard to predict. Many pollsters have a policy of excluding from their surveys third-party candidates who lack celebrity or financial resources, on the theory that people who say they will vote for them rarely end up doing it, said Kenneth Fernandez, director of the Elon University Poll, which does not plan to add Haugh to its horse-race questions."

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