Saturday, July 5, 2008

Libertarians Prefer Obama

That's according to polling firm Rasmussen Reports: "Libertarian voters make up 4% of the nation’s likely voters and they favor Barack Obama over John McCain by a 53% to 38% margin."

Full poll numbers here. HotAir's Allahpundit on the poll: "The silver lining: Maybe this means Bob Barr does more damage to Obama than to McCain."

I don't quite follow Allahpundit's reasoning. Because libertarians (loosely defined in this poll as people who are socially liberal and economically conservative) like Obama, they might be more likely to leave his camp and vote for someone else? That seems like a stretch. More likely, Barr will get 1 or 2 percent of the vote, almost all from libertarians (broadly defined), and Obama and McCain will split the rest 60/40 (not counting those who choose not to vote, of course). I don't think Chuck Baldwin, Ralph Nader, the Boston Tea Party or anyone else to get a significant number of libertarian votes.

The big question: how many libertarians are there? Rasmussen says 4%. The Cato Institute's David Boaz says 12%. The Libertarian Party trumpeted a survey in 1996 that claimed that 20% of Americans are generally libertarians. That seems a bit steep. But even if it's only 4%, Obama's libertarian vote total should be enough to put him over the top this year.


Jake Featherston said...

I don't understand how you can say Bob Barr is likely to get one or two percent of the vote in one sentence, and then a couple sentences later, say he's unlikely to get a significant percentage of the vote. One or two percent would have been HUGELY significant in the last two elections, and while its possible Obama may achieve a landslide over McInsane, its far more likely that this is going to be another close race. If Barack Obama becomes President, there is an excellent chance that Bob Barr will deserve much of the credit (irrespective of that other person's musings, I think its pretty clear that most of Bob Barr's support comes out of the typically Republican-voting segment of the populace).

That's why the Bob Barr candidacy is so important, not only because it will help ensure the election of the lesser of two evils (Obama), but also because it may force the GOP to take libertarian voters more seriously in the future, and to consider nominating candidates who appeal to them, in 2012 and beyond.

Mark said...

Jake: When I wrote "anyone else," I meant anyone other than Barr, Obama or McCain. Sorry if I was unclear. I agree with you - Barr will get the most significant vote total in LP history.

DJK said...

I'm ashamed to be lumped in with any Libertarian Obama supporters.

DJK said...

Obama is Anti Liberty....wake the fugg up.