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Kerry and the Libertarian Vote

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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:20 PM
Original message
Kerry and the Libertarian Vote
The Cato Institute has a report out showing that libertarians supported Bush over Gore by 72% to 20% but Bushs margin dropped to 59% to 38% when Bush faced John Kerry. Despite this jump in libertarian support for Democrats when Kerry ran, they totally miss Kerry's libertarian leanings on issues such as the war, civil liberties, and gay marriage, and falsely attribute the increase in Democratic votes from libertarians as purely being anti-Bush.

Libertarian voters, as well as attracting the votes of Starbucks Repubicans and South Park Refugees is the topic of a new post at Liberal Values. The post includes a correction of the misrepresentations of Kerry's positions in the Cato Institute's report.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Libertarians also liked that Kerry was for medical marijuana and
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 07:28 PM by blm
the decriminalization of marijuana users.
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Agree
While not taking the hard core libertarian position of legalizing all drugs, Kerry goes as far towards decriminalization as is likely among mainstream politicians.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:32 PM
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2. Matthew Yglesias has an excellent piece
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Dr Ron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I disagree with portions of his piece
"Meanwhile, I don't see any reason to believe it would be smart for a major political party to deliberately aim at the votes of some libertarian constituency. The reason is that, to a decent first approximation, about zero percent of the electorate is primarily motivated by a principled opposition to state coercion."

Yglesias misses the point here. If we are looking at hard core totally anti-government libertarians, he is almost right, but even then he underestimates (even assuming Cato over-estimates libertarian voters). However when we include other groups such as the so-called Starbucks Republicans, South Park Refugees, socially liberal suburbanites, and western voters there are many more potential votes.

This country was founded on the principles of supporting individual liberty, and support for these prinicples remain strong. While obviously Democrats could not win as an out-right pure libertarian party, their move in a libertarian direction has attracted many voters as Repubicans have lost support with their support for the religious right and the war.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yglesias' point is valid given
Edited on Thu Oct-12-06 08:01 PM by ProSense
the framing of Libertarian Democrat. He's basically stating that no one should confuse individual liberty with an organized libertarian group, giving the impression that there is a libertarian vote to be pursued. He also does a good job of explaining the dynamics in that part of the country.
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