Libertarian Lists Survey Results

LibertarianLists has conducted an online survey of libertarians. There were a total of 945 respondents for the week-long survey which concluded March 11, 2007. The margin of error for issues dealing with Libertarian Party members is approximately +/- 3.7% at a 95% level of confidence. Other results from the survey have a higher or lower margin of area and have been identified as such. The answers to most questions were presented to respondents in a random order.

More complete data are available here and here.

One thing which makes this survey unique is that quite a few of the questions have been broken down into several categories of respondents: “libertarians, anarchists and constitutionalists”, “libertarians”, “Ron Paul supporters”, “Libertarian Party members” and “Libertarian Convention delegates”.

For starters, on general presidential preference issues, when asked “If the general election was to be held today, for which presidential candidate would you be voting,” the following applies:

libertarians, anarchists and constitutionalists: Ron Paul: 60.26% Libertarian candidate: 25.87%


libertarians: Ron Paul: 57.34% Libertarian candidate: 28.39%


Ron Paul supporters: Ron Paul: 100% Libertarian candidate: 0%


LP members: Ron Paul: 59.82% Libertarian candidate: 30.72%


Libertarian convention delegates: Ron Paul: 41.84% Libertarian candidate: 52.04%

This is certainly a decrease since last July.

When asked about their presidential preference, 73.5 percent of the libertarians who participated in the online survey chose Dr. Paul as their presidential preference. This is an increase of 3.9 percentage points from the previous LibertarianLists survey.

Among the 501 self-identified members of the Libertarian Party, 76.4 percent chose Paul, an increase of 4.2 percentage points from the previous survey period.

It’s important to note that during this survey period, Ron Paul sent out another “downsizing” message. Mike Gravel said he might consider an LP presidential bid then endorsed a Green Party candidate during this same period of time. Mike Huckabee also dropped during this period of time.

In addition to presidential preference questions, we asked about name ID and favorability factors for major party and minor party candidates. We asked a lot of issue questions.

We’ve placed a lot of these responses side by side so it’s easy to compare movement libertarians to Ron Paul supporters to LP members (and even delegates) right here. The differences between these groups, as well as their common features, are indeed interesting.

We asked five questions pertaining to the Iraq War. An overwhelming percentage opposed US involvement in Iraq, once again dispelling rumors that Libertarians or libertarians could be considered hawks.

Those interested in Libertarian Party specific results, click here.

20 Responses to “Libertarian Lists Survey Results”

  1. Ross Says:

    MIKE GRAVEL IS STILL IN THE RACE, ON THE DEMOCRATIC TICKET FOR NOW!

  2. Wes Benedict Says:

    I enjoy these surveys. Great job Steve!

  3. Jerry S. Says:

    A clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsrgf2mdEno&feature=related including the 921,128 man himself. You can shake numbers anyway you wish. The bottom line World W.A.R. III ’s support is razor thin, if anyone of status gets in he’s toast (TGA)! And no matter how some may dislike it the nomination is Ron Paul’s if he wants it. He won’t be the next POTUS , but he sure can help to deny a mandate to his socialist opposition. May we always remember if you keep the winner under 50 % they have no mandate and you have won an important victory in the on going struggle, I included the clip of the”king”(lol) of LP POTUS candidates, because it’s time to breakthrough the 28 year old ceiling on our hopes and dreams and hopefully never look back again. VIVA LA R(3VOl)ution…

  4. Brian Holtz Says:

    Your Iraq question was “We were correct in sending US military forces to Iraq”. Using “correct” instead of “justified” swings votes from liberventionists who say that only hindsight about intelligence failures or the unpredicted Sunni-Shia civil war makes the invasion a “mistake”.

    http://knowinghumans.net/2007/02/iraq-cassandras-no-they-did-not-tell-us.html

  5. Shane Savoie Says:

    If it were not for the energy from the RP08 campaign, I might not have even paid attention this cycle. I’d wait till I got my ballot, voted for everyone with an “L” next to their name, and been done with it all.

    I’m finally seeing people pay attention and give a crap. Wayne Allyn Root might be an opportunist, but so am I. Let’s not worry about the LP’s reputation/public perception, because few outside the LP care while many inside the LP are willing to sacrifice a few ideological purists to move ourselves into big time politics.

  6. Paulie Says:

    only hindsight about intelligence failures or the unpredicted Sunni-Shia civil war makes the invasion a “mistake”.

    Funny, I was well aware that the “intelligence” was phony and that there would be a Sunni-Shia civil war in the buildup to the invasion. So was anyone who kept up with LewRockwell.com and Antiwar.com (among many other sources) at the time.

  7. Paulie Says:

    Duh. Poor sntence structure.

    I was aware during the buildup to the invasion that there would be such a war after the invasion…not that there would be such a war during the buildup to the invasion.

  8. Brian Holtz Says:

    Paulie, I searched Raimondo’s writings pretty thoroughly on this topic and found no prediction of a Sunni-Shia civil war. See the thread starting at
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/2058
    for details of my research. Again, what I’m looking for are documented predictions that 1) there would be a Sunni-Shia civil war or 2) Iraq would be found not to have any active nuclear WMD program. I searched pretty intensively for the former prediction from people later touted as Iraq Cassandras, and (as my earlier link documents) I found nothing interesting. I also did not come across any credible arguments that the latter prediction would prove true. Please let me know if you have a source that I missed.

  9. Paulie Says:

    Sorry, i don’t have time to go through Raimondo’s whole archive.

    Even if you are correct, there are many other writers at Antiwar.com and many more at LewRockwell.com, and I vividly recall reading many, many articles at those sites in particular - and other sites I don’t recall anymore - that made those points. But no, I will not be going through thousands of articles from that time to prove that I am telling the truth.

    I forwarded many of those articles to alabama-libertarian yahoogroup.

    Sign up for it and search the archives circa 2001-2-3 if you have the time and inclination.

    There were many more that I read but did not forward.

  10. massvocals Says:

    The libertarian party need to realize that 3 party its not That the race for president is control by foolish masses who have no ideal or idea what is going on in the united States of the America the federal reserved is making all into slaves and the government as to congress is allowing it
    all as to war and patriot act and many other attacks in the courts by unlawful judgments baseless to any law but only consider by such case law which was set forth by so judge , and the lack to afford more correct court action
    the founding fathers would not have set by while such restriction of evidence is allowed in the courts nor would they allow the federal reserved to be
    they would stand up and fight even die for freedom
    the government will not bend to change it will have to be made too correct its wrongs by way of charging those who are acting out side the constitution its high time we the people start charging those congressmen and women who have violated there oath and all you fools who did not vote for ron paul shame is on your family and you
    the system is falling and i can not wait
    the UNITED STATES corp must died and we the people must stand up to restore the truth meaning and freedom

    to day the state police are running there road blocks dress in black and
    its due to the green , they have no probable cause yet stop everyone
    they asked have you been drinking ? I would say nothing as that is a loaded question , I would roll my window even down needless to say
    I was ask to pull over and they tried to open my door which was lock
    I refuse to deal with them
    they came o bust my window and pull me out
    there search of my truck finding nothing
    they came to ask me
    why do you act this way
    I look at them and said
    you have violated my rights I advise you that every deed you do
    hence forth shall be an issue of assault upon my freedom
    I was freed then after they come my truck search by polce dog and
    I then drove and took out my next car and started the process again
    I am at war with those who agree with road blocks
    Massvocals

  11. Brian Holtz Says:

    Paulie, I’m not saying you don’t think you remember such predictions. I’m just saying that confirmation bias can play tricks on one’s memory, and that when I invested hours and hours looking for such predictions, I couldn’t find them. (Tom Knapp tried too; you can see the results in the thread I linked to above.) If there really were “many, many” articles that made those points, it shouldn’t be hard for you to find one. All I’m asking for is one.

  12. Hill Country Says:

    I agree with Wes in many facets regarding these polls. Great information and potentially a huge benefit, when done in a timely manner and early enough to set direction and focus for us all. There is an important characteristic of this party that is both its strength and weakness. We need unity! This is difficult to achieve when it may seem to many that we take two steps forward then two steps back. It can appear that we lack direction, focus, and strength. It’s not the best way to reach a goal, especially important ones. If we appear to change focus and direction it may aide our opponents in discrediting us and helps them demeaning our influence and potential power base by portraying us as a radical fringe group and hopelessly lost. We stand for what all America believes in, yet somehow we have not communicated that effectively. Our opponents have been successful in painting a negative picture of our views and that is not healthy for us or for America. Unity is difficult to achieve for those who are independent, strong, and believe in individual freedom. Why you ask? That doesn’t seem to make any sense, what could possibly be more unifying? Well, let me say this. We are all strong independent and willful. It great for a single person effort but not for a task that requires a team to succeed. Very few will find a person (candidate) that they are 100% in agreement. We will NEVER find perfection. Make a step in that direction with someone that has a chance, and back them and support them with everything you have. Once the ball is set in motion, don’t look back and reconsider, or whatever. Go for the win in unity. If necessary make another step towards perfection next time around but never fail because the ‘first step’ isn’t perfect. This is not a negative towards Ron in any way. I fully support and back this great man who has never betrayed his constituents’ or his words. Let me ask, how many times has America witnessed this in contemporary politics? To dig up an old overly used phrase; ‘actions speak louder that words’ - most certainly that is what really counts. Ron Paul has a track record of matching actions to words. Ron has placed both his career and personal financial welfare gain, behind his beliefs and loyalty to his constituents. Name another politician you can say that about and then ask yourself - why are we looking back now.

  13. Clint Says:

    Brian and Paulie:
    I recall hearing Richard Maybury on the Harry Browne Show years ago talk about how the civil wars within Iraq was inevitable. Harry’s radio archives are not complete, and some of Richard’s interviews are not on there. I do remember vividly though, that before we went to Iraq, Richard knew the civil wars would occur and I believe that he knew the war planners knew it too. Go to his website and read or subscribe to his newsletter. Extremely informative His analysis of that region of the world he considers “Chaostan” is mindblowing.
    http://www.richardmaybury.com/

    It is the perfect scenario for the U.S. to urge internal destruction of a country. It allows for optimum chaos and destruction. Why do all the work yourself (USA) if you can get people within a household (Iraq) to fight against itself! Also on this link: http://www.infowars.com/articles/iraq/basra_uk_special_forces_staged_terror.htm Is an explanation of British involvement promoting this violence. Also… order Alex Jones’s “Terrorstorm” which details government terror attacks. You can watch it free on Google Video.

  14. Brian Holtz Says:

    My research on Iraq cassandras is available at the links above. If Maybury can be quoted as predicting the Sunni-Shia civil war, feel free to do so. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the Pentagon did not foresee the civil war, so Maybury knowing otherwise doesn’t help his credibility.

  15. Paulie Says:

    Brian,

    Have you tried asking over at LeftLibertarian2 yahoogroup or writing Lew Rockwell for example?

    Try perhaps, Roderick Long, Charles W. Johnson and Robert Noval.

    For that matter, if you wish to debate your philosphical quaries at length, I highly recommend LL2, Johnson and Long.

    BTW Unless it was contained in his recent denunciation of the Dallas accord from an anarchist perspective, Charles has never come out against electoral politics as far as I know. He was the LP candidate for District 79 in Alabama in 2002 and endorsed Kerry as the lesser evil in 2004 in Michigan.

    Roderick Long has all along remained in the LP and has served as Auburn Area rep on the exec comm, and multiple terms as advisor to the Auburn University Libertarians (quite possibly to this day although I no longer know). I can’t remember if he has been one of our candidates, but I think he has.

    I think you’ll find him even intellectually stimulating than Starchild and Tom Knapp, and an excellent bouncing board for your agruments.

    If you have the ability to keep up with LeftLibertarian2, I encourage you to become an active participant and ask some of your questions there.

  16. Kevin Bjornson Says:

    WMD and WMD precursors were found in Iraq, in the form of sarin-filled artillery shells, 500 tons of uranium oxide, and dual-use precursors suitable for both pesticides and chemical WMD. For example, see:
    http://tinyurl.com/2w62yw

    The idea that this poll is representative of libertarians generally is unscientific. The sample group is self-selected, composed of hardcore LP activists, and not rank-and-file members or the much larger group of libertarian-leaning Objectvists who have never joined the LP or who have left because they’ve been made to feel unwelcome or who are disgusted. Gordon’s conclusion that one may not be libertarian and also hawkish on the basis of the small circle who pat each other on the band in smug self-congratulation is another indication of the depths to which the movement has plunged.

    The Ayn Rand Institute has many times the budget, following, and media exposure of the cultish LP. Why not do a poll that includes ARI donors? You would come to a diametrically opposite conclusion.

    Further, the idea that all hawks, much less all libertarian hawks, support Bush admnistration policies, or view Islamist civil war as a setback, is another indication of the intellectual retardation of the movement.

  17. Stephen Gordon Says:

    The idea that this poll is representative of libertarians generally is unscientific. The sample group is self-selected, composed of hardcore LP activists, and not rank-and-file members or the much larger group of libertarian-leaning Objectvists who have never joined the LP or who have left because they’ve been made to feel unwelcome or who are disgusted. Gordon’s conclusion that one may not be libertarian and also hawkish on the basis of the small circle who pat each other on the band in smug self-congratulation is another indication of the depths to which the movement has plunged.

    I posted the following:

    There were a total of 945 respondents for the week-long survey which concluded March 11, 2007. The margin of error for this survey is approximately +/- 3.7% at a 95% level of confidence with respect to LP members, although presenting a margin of error with respect to convention delegates is an impossibility until an approximate number of actual delegates is known. Considering the attendance at previous LP Conventions, it would be reasonably safe to assume a MOE range of 8%-9% at a 95% level of confidence.

    The MOE applies to LP members.

    The respondents are not primarily hardcore LP supporters, but (the last time I tested) were predominatly (around 75% then, would guess closer to .67% now) people who voted for Michael Badnarik in the last election cycle.

    However, your argument falls short in other areas, too. Consider that a good deal of the Cato crowd opposes the Iraq War, most of the Reason crowd, and probably all of the LRC crowd.

    I’ve certainly got friends in the Objectivist crowd—Ed Hudgins and I have given speeches at the same events and we often run into each other socially and politically. That doesn’t mean that Randites rule the libertarian movement.

  18. Kevin Bjornson Says:

    (SG) “We asked five questions pertaining to the Iraq War.
    An overwhelming percentage opposed US involvement in Iraq,
    once again dispelling rumors that Libertarians or libertarians
    could be considered hawks.”

    (K) Admirers of Ayn Rand certainly do not rule the libertarian movement, particularly in view of the fact that Rand disavowed the term and the LP
    in particular. She preferred to defer a Libertarian Party until Americans generally adopted a better philosophical foundation. Hudgins represents
    a minority view within the Objectivist movement, but even so, his foreign
    policy is distinctly hawkish. ARI is more hawkish in some areas, perhaps
    less in others.

    Most people consider Rand to be libertarian; and to exclude her admirers “a priori” is to skew the libertarian movement in a way
    not supported by the non-initiaton-of-force principle. The end result is,
    the LP objectively (pardon the pun) helps the GOP, by siphoning away
    dovish votes from the Democrats.

    (SG) “The respondents are not primarily hardcore LP supporters,
    but (the last time I tested) were predominatly (around 75% then,
    would guess closer to .67% now) people who voted for Michael
    Badnarik in the last election cycle.”

    (K) To read your statement above is to realize it’s self-evident
    contradiction. Badnarik voters are a tiny fraction of the American
    electorate, and so qualify as “hardcore LP supporters”. In fact,
    I wouldn’t be aware of this blog, if it hadn’t been promoted on
    the LP “blog” or by the idiot/savant Thomas Knapp. Convention-goers are not representative of LP members generally because of the expense/time involved; we should consider nominating candidates from an online poll.

    Nor is the LP representative of libertarians generally, because,
    for instance, the ARI has many times the budget and following
    of the LP. Particularly in view of the fact that they donate over
    1 million Rand books/year to high school teachers. The LP isn’t
    doing anything remotely approaching that level of outreach.

    I’ve found Reason and CATO to be the best sources of negative
    informaton about Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell. You admit, some there dissent from the LP political correctness on foreign policy, and that contradicts your “dispelling rumors that Libertarians or libertarians
    could be considered hawks.”

    CATO is funded mostly by corporations in order to influence congress toward the free market, not because of their foreign policy.

    Reason is composed of activists motivated by anti-government animus,
    and many libertarians have trouble understanding that threats can come
    from forces outside what are thought of as governments. Reason Foundation has a small fraction of the budget of ARI, which is funded
    by Rand admirers and receives nothing from the Ayn Rand Estate.
    Even so, Reason is relatively moderate on foreign policy, while the LP
    is stidently dovish.

    The LRC is not primarily libertarian, in view of the preponderence
    of authors who post there only on foreign policy and not because
    of a general libertarian philosophy. In fact, LRC has become a
    viper’s nest of holocaust-deniers, white supremists, and kooks
    on the far fringes of American politics—including some with
    neo-Nazi ties.

    I, too, oppose the Iraq and Afghanistan wars—the way they are being
    waged and the purposes for which they are fought. I would prefer to
    privatize the oil infrastructure, legalize poppy, and not try to introduce
    democracy to a region that is overwhelmingly hostile to the west.
    Unfortunately when I try to articulate an alternative libertarian hawk
    viewpoint, I lack the specialized knowledge to convince most lib-hawks.

    One way to unite the LP is to nominate Ruwart for prez, with Root as VP.
    Otherwise, Root supporters will bolt for McCain, and many have already
    done so. This would further the self-accelerating march of the LP away
    from reality.

  19. Kevin Bjornson Says:

    (K) Pardon the spacing on my above post. I will now manually
    re-format the paragraphs (you may delete my previous post
    as a duplicate).

    (SG) “We asked five questions pertaining to the Iraq War.
    An overwhelming percentage opposed US involvement in Iraq,
    once again dispelling rumors that Libertarians or libertarians
    could be considered hawks.”

    (K) Admirers of Ayn Rand certainly do not rule the libertarian movement,
    particularly in view of the fact that Rand disavowed the term and the LP
    in particular. She preferred to defer a Libertarian Party until Americans
    generally adopted a better philosophical foundation. Hudgins represents
    a minority view within the Objectivist movement, but even so, his foreign
    policy is distinctly hawkish. ARI is more hawkish in some areas, perhaps
    less in others.

    Most people consider Rand to be libertarian; and to exclude her
    admirers “a priori” is to skew the libertarian movement in a way
    not supported by the non-initiaton-of-force principle. The end result is,
    the LP objectively (pardon the pun) helps the GOP, by siphoning away
    dovish votes from the Democrats.

    (SG) “The respondents are not primarily hardcore LP supporters,
    but (the last time I tested) were predominatly (around 75% then,
    would guess closer to .67% now) people who voted for Michael
    Badnarik in the last election cycle.”

    (K) To read your statement above is to realize it’s self-evident
    contradiction. Badnarik voters are a tiny fraction of the American
    electorate, and so qualify as “hardcore LP supporters”. In fact,
    I wouldn’t be aware of this blog, if it hadn’t been promoted on
    the LP “blog” or by the idiot/savant Thomas Knapp. Convention-goers
    are not representative of LP members generally because of the
    expense/time involved; we should consider nominating candidates
    from an online poll.

    Nor is the LP representative of libertarians generally, because,
    for instance, the ARI has many times the budget and following
    of the LP. Particularly in view of the fact that they donate over
    1 million Rand books/year to high school teachers. The LP isn’t
    doing anything remotely approaching that level of outreach.

    I’ve found Reason and CATO to be the best sources of negative
    informaton about Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell. You admit, some there
    dissent from the LP political correctness on foreign policy, and that
    contradicts your “dispelling rumors that Libertarians or libertarians
    could be considered hawks.”

    CATO is funded mostly by corporations in order to influence congress
    toward the free market, not because of their foreign policy.

    Reason is composed of activists motivated by anti-government animus,
    and many libertarians have trouble understanding that threats can come
    from forces outside what are thought of as governments. Reason
    Foundation has a small fraction of the budget of ARI, which is funded
    by Rand admirers and receives nothing from the Ayn Rand Estate.
    Even so, Reason is relatively moderate on foreign policy, while the LP
    is stidently dovish.

    The LRC is not primarily libertarian, in view of the preponderence
    of authors who post there only on foreign policy and not because
    of a general libertarian philosophy. In fact, LRC has become a
    viper’s nest of holocaust-deniers, white supremists, and kooks
    on the far fringes of American politics—including some with
    neo-Nazi ties.

    I, too, oppose the Iraq and Afghanistan wars—the way they are being
    waged and the purposes for which they are fought. I would prefer to
    privatize the oil infrastructure, legalize poppy, and not try to introduce
    democracy to a region that is overwhelmingly hostile to the west.
    Unfortunately when I try to articulate an alternative libertarian hawk
    viewpoint, I lack the specialized knowledge to convince most lib-hawks.

    One way to unite the LP is to nominate Ruwart for prez, with Root as VP.
    Otherwise, Root supporters will bolt for McCain, and many have already
    done so. This would further the self-accelerating march of the LP away
    from reality.

  20. dann Says:

    to brian holtz… jacob hornberger of Future of Freedom Foundation was accurately predicting the results of an invasion of iraq months and months before the actual un-constitutionally stupid action taken by the potus.

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