Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The GOP's limited ability to win Libertarian voters

The GOP's Limited Ability to Win Over Those Who Vote Libertarian | National Review Online - Jim Geraghty:

November 6, 2014 - "The 'Libertarians, without a candidate of their own, would otherwise vote for Republicans' theory is not so sound, and it’s not a factor Republicans should base a strategy on.

"Those willing to vote Libertarian — as opposed to those who describe themselves as libertarian or having some libertarian views — are usually deeply attached to policy positions that are still pretty unpopular to Republicans as a whole — oftentimes (though not always) a quasi-isolationist or outright isolationist foreign policy, drug legalization (often well beyond marijuana), and gay marriage. Many (but not all) Libertarians oppose restrictions on abortion, habitually offer long diatribes about the Federal Reserve and the Gold Standard....

"What’s more, a lot of self-identified Libertarians see their policy differences with Republicans as key to their political identity; otherwise, they would be Republicans. To many Libertarians, the difference with Republicans is the point.

"Nor is there much evidence that Libertarians fear that their vote will elect a Democrat. For all of of the alleged or potential flaws of voters who choose Libertarian-party candidates, they’re usually not stupid. They know their guy is in the single digits in the polls. They’re not voting in order to vote for a winner, and hearing Republicans complain that the Libertarian cost them the victory doesn’t make them feel guilty or a sense of regret. They may feel a bit of vindication in that result."

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