Friday, March 21, 2008

Richardson Endorsement Could Tip Libertarian Democrats to Obama

There are libertarians who want nothing to do with politics. There are libertarians who only vote for the Libertarian Party. There are even plenty of libertarians who align themselves with the Republicans. But there are also libertarian Democrats. And most of them lined up behind Bill Richardson this election cycle.

There is plenty about Richardson to recommend him to libertarians: He's anti-tax, pro-gun, liberal on social issues like drugs and the Cato Institute rated him as one of the top-10 fiscally responsible governors. I'm not the first to point it out, but it bears repeating: Whereas the roughly 13% of the American electorate that could be described as libertarian supported George W. Bush over Al Gore by 72% to 20% percent in 2000, by 2004, Bush’s margin among these voters had dropped to just 59% to 38% over Kerry.

Could it be that Bush's overspending, eavesdropping, torture and multiple wars might have soured a generation of libertarians on the Republican Party?

So while the press is making a big deal about how Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama today might help Obama among Hispanics or super delegates, maybe the most important thing about Richardson's endorsement is the help it will give Obama among libertarians.

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