Root ahead on Libertarian Lists survey

A sampling of 98 Libertarian National Convention delegates suggests that Wayne Allyn Root is currently the frontrunner with respect to the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. Of the 14 candidates tested, Root earned 22.45% of delegate votes. He was followed by Steve Kubby with 14.29% and George Phillies with 10.20%.

Several factors need to be considered, however. With less than a quarter of the delegates, it doesn’t look like (at this time) Root could win the first round of votes at the convention. In this case, second choice preferences become extremely important. A comparison of negatives between the various candidates shows that 18 delegates hold a “very negative” or “somewhat negative” view of Kubby. 35 delegates consider Phillies “very negative” or “somewhat negative.” 36 delegates consider Root “very negative” or “somewhat negative.” While Root may hold more first place votes, I’ll suggest that Kubby could easily win the nomination during a second or third round of voting at the Libertarian National Convention.

Another factor to consider is that we tested to see what would happen if Bob Barr, Mary Ruwart or Mike Gravel (when the survey started, he had provided some indications that he might be interested, but he endorsed a Green Party candidate in the middle of the survey period) jumped into the race. Both Barr and Ruwart beat all of the current LP contenders by significant margins. Of course, should Ron Paul decide to run for president on the LP ticket, he would easily win a first round victory.

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.

33 Responses to “Root ahead on Libertarian Lists survey”

  1. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Interesting—in the general polled population (as opposed to identified LP convention delegates), both Ruwart and Kubby have lower negatives than Barr, and Ruwart just about matches Barr’s positives as well (with Kubby a little further back).

    Of course, both could change quickly—and in either direction—if Barr or Ruwart actually enter the race and have to start landing (and taking) punches.

    Also interesting is that in the general LP population as opposed to the delegate population, Root and Kubby are within a percentage point or two of each other at ~9-11%, given no new entrants. Among both categories the undecideds are definitely still in charge.

  2. LPiberty Says:

    The dynamics were quite different in 2004. Was there any polling before that convention? How surprising were the results?
    It would be interesting to see the candidates present their cases in Denver.

  3. Ross Says:


  4. Trent Hill Says:

    Here’s hoping that Gordon will take me up on the CP-Survey idea.

  5. Wes Benedict Says:

    Steve, next time I think it’d be nice to see a series of one-on-one survey questions for the leading contenders. For example:

    If these were the final two contenders for the presidential nomination, which one would you support:

    1. a) Kubby, b) Root
    2. a) Kubby, b) Ruwart
    3. a) Kubby, b) Phillies
    4. a) Root, b) Ruwart
    5. a) Root, b) Phillies
    6. a) Phillies, b) Ruwart

    That depends on Ruwart entering the race. And, if Barr enters, you’d need to include him as well.

    I’d leave out the rest because they don’t have a reasonable chance against these leading contenders.

    Also, I’d leave out Paul because he’s unlikely to seek the nomination. And if he did, the results are predictable: Paul would easily win. So, no need to increase the length of the survey with Paul included.

  6. Stephen Gordon Says:


    Already taken care of. I started writing those when we talked on the phone—and they will be in the next survey. It’s easier now that I have a better idea of who the front runners are.

  7. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Trent—I don’t have a good CP list. I’d be willing to if we could work a deal on lists and such.

    If you will notice on the sidebar, I did just start a new TPW CP (and other parties) e-mail list.

  8. Arthur Torrey Says:

    Is there any indication of how the Natcom’s “Auction the nomination to the highest bidder” campain might be impacting the results? (This stunt is one of several things that convinced me to end any support I might have given to the LNC)

  9. Tom Reynolds Says:

    Just a question: What about Michael Bednaryk and Dr. Harry Browne? Do neither have any interest in carrying the Libertarian flag this year?

  10. Seth Cohn Says:

    Harry Browne is dead, so he’s unable to carry the LP flag, and many would say that his past actions were a prime cause of it’s current tattered state…

  11. BillTx Says:

    Tom Reynolds = FAIL

  12. Paulie Says:

    1. a) Kubby, b) Root


    2. a) Kubby, b) Ruwart

    This is a hard one. I’m inclined to go with B mostly because Ruwart is able to self-finance, which is very important right now.

    I don’t know Ruwart’s negatives yet. And I’m not ruling out Kubby lighting a belated fire, although this late in the game I am not optimistic.

    3. a) Kubby, b) Phillies


    4. a) Root, b) Ruwart


    5. a) Root, b) Phillies


    6. a) Phillies, b) Ruwart


    All but #2 being easy choices.

  13. Paulie Says:

    Badnarik has no such interest.

  14. Gene Berkman Says:

    If the Libertarian Party were to nominate any of the candidates currently seeking the nomination, it would tell the world that we have very low standards. Why would we want to embarrass the Libertarian Movement by running Wayne Root, Steve Kubby, George Phillies or any of these other candidates who lack the experience, credentials or resources to convince anyone outside our circle to vote for them?

    If not NOTA, when?

  15. Less Antman Says:

    A little more on Ruwart:


    (1) She is not only a rigorously consistent libertarian, but spent 5 years putting together her introduction to libertarianism, Healing Our World, during which time she developed an encyclopedic knowledge of libertarian arguments and examples from history. The book has been translated into several other languages and been promoted worldwide by the International Society for Individual Liberty.

    (2) She wrote Short Answers to Tough Questions and does a column on the same, also honing her skills at sound bites. She is a solid writer, speaker, and radio interviewee, and works well in time-restricted environments, which are bound to be the only ones we get with the media. She is currently putting together another book with short, medium, and long answers to libertarian questions. She not only knows her stuff, but how to present it.

    (3) Ron Paul nominated her to be an FDA Commissioner, and endorsed her libertarian introductory book, so the link to bring in some of the Ron Paul youth movement is there. It is not out of the question that, given their past associations, he might endorse her after the Republican convention if she is our nominee.

    (4) She has been in the LP for more than a quarter century, has writings all over the Internet (including a 1993 version of her Lib intro that is available for free), and has been active in several non-party libertarian movements (e.g., FIJA, ISIL, Advocates). Her name is known in all libertarian circles.

    (5) She is a positive, ad hominem-free individual who will likely unite the party if she is the nominee, appealing to those who think substance is most important and those who think style is most important. She also, as a matter of course, notes those positions she holds that aren’t universal among libertarians (for instance, she is pro-choice, but in abortion responses has always pointed out that some libertarians hold a different position).


    (1) She is short. If she gets into the TV debates, an empty, talking lectern might spook some people.

  16. Robert Milnes Says:

    Less Antman, Root is short. Doesn’t seem to be a problem for him. Ruwart would be a satisfactory vp to me if Kwiatkowski declines.

  17. Robert Milnes Says:

    Gene Berkman, I beg your pardon. I’d prefer ANY of the REAL libertarian candidates over Ron Paul=the anti-Teddy Roosevelt. (Imperato I believe is listed as Independent.)

  18. Bob Butts Says:

    I became disenchanted with the Libertarian party when it ignored a no-cost solution for most health problems. Even Iran has endorsed it. Here in the USA we don’t want any solutions to high profit problems and that is sick.

    View the TV news specials on

  19. Steve LaBianca Says:

    The head to head A vs B is good, but for my 2 cents, this is how it shakes out:

    First Choice-Mary Ruwart (BY FAR-though if Karen Kwiatkowski threw her hat into the mix, that would be a close one),

    Second Choice-Steve Kubby, narrowly over . . .

    Third Choice-Bob Barr, his positives are name recognition, and having been elected to federal office before,

    Fourth all the rest, except . . .

    Fifth, Imperato, and last by a wide margin,

    Sixth, W.A.R. (how a supposed libertarian would even want to use such an acronym is way beyond my comprehension)

    Lastly, even if Ron Paul decided to run as a Libertarian, I would still consider Mary Ruwart anyway, but I would certainly like her best for the VP spot, if I decided for Ron Paul.

    Steve LaBianca

  20. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Less Antman - thanks for the excellent synopsis on Mary Ruwart. The “short” negative (if in fact if it really is a negative) could easily be overcome by a box or the like to stand on. She is a uniter, she is principled, AND, she understands that the Libertarian message has to remain sound and not watered down. The key is her excellent approach, which is (IMHO); remain principled, promote a viable strategy and provide persuasive “arguments”, as she understands that strategy is the key, not populism. Ms. Ruwart is the (very nearly) total presidential package, again IMHO.

    Steve LaBianca

  21. Paulie Says:

    Mry Ruwart’s negatives to the extent she has any are all post-nomination. She is justly and slmost ally loved in the LP and movement.

    As yet, I don’t know the “hook” to get her major media, as there may be with Root, Barr or Kubby.

    Barr, Root and Kubby make some claim of bringing related movements which are larger than libertarian, and partially interscet it, to the campaign, party and movement.

    As of yet I know of no such outside constituency that Dr. Ruwart potentially brings (we can’t say women in a year when McKinney and possibly Hillary Clinton will be running). But it is possible there are some I do not know of yet. I’m racking my brain.

    Alternative medicine folks, perhaps?

  22. Paulie Says:



  23. Less Antman Says:


    You reminded me that Ruwart has said she intends to campaign for Ron Paul’s Health Freedom Act, and her nomination to be FDA Commissioner makes me wonder if she might have additional organizational connections in the health care field. I mentioned elsewhere that she has was on the board of directors of the Fully Informed Juror Association.

  24. Alexander S. Peak Says:

    1. a) Kubby, b) Root
    2. a) Kubby, b) Ruwart
    3. a) Kubby, b) Phillies
    4. a) Root, b) Ruwart
    5. a) Root, b) Phillies
    6. a) Phillies, b) Ruwart

    1. Kubby
    2. Ruwart
    4. Ruwart
    5. Phillies
    6. Ruwart

    I have to disagree with Paul on the hardness of #2. Dr. Ruwart would be the best candidate in the history of elections.

    Dr. Ruwart’s got everything. She’s a woman, a doctor, a brilliant speaker, a best-selling author, a compassionate human being who really understands the issues and can convey realistic, libertarian solutions to the problems facing Americans.

    I have to disagree with Mr. LaBianca about Mr. Imperato supposedly being better than Mr. Root. Mr. Root at least seems to have some understanding of what the word “libertarian” means, whereas Mr. Imperato does not.

    Alex Peak

  25. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Paulie, the difference between Dr. Ruwart and Hillary or McKinney is that Dr. Ruwart is everything they lack: smart, personable, attractive/photogenic, logical, and libertarian.

    As for the height issue, she may be small, but she’s mighty! :)

    I met her for the first time at the LPC Convention, and since it appears now that she is running, I may change my national convention vote to her from NOTA.

  26. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Gee, Ruwart-Kiatkowski ‘08? That could be a damned interesting ticket!

  27. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I love everybody’s comments.

    First, Mr. Peak, I agree with your A/B head to head ratings, though for #3 I would pick Kubby over Phillies hands down(you made no choice). Regarding your Imperato/Root comment, I agree that Imperato is no libertarian, but W.A.R. is a flip-flopper. I saw him in Florida last year, and he was a “kill those towelheads” warmonger! Now, he has changed his tune. I don’t trust him, or what he says to be what he really believes. That in my mind, trumps the fact that Imperato isn’t libertarian.

    Paulie, I agree that Barr has some media magnetism because he is an ex-congressman. However, Ron Paul, even with the millions he raised, and running in a “major” party brought him very little coverage during the primary season. Kubby has only a “niche” marijuana coverage issue, and Root, well, he is just an embarrassment as a flip-flopper on the war. Very bad. I still believe that as Less Antman says Ms. Ruwart might have a Ron Paul endorsement because he “might endorse her after the Republican convention if she is our nominee”. This in my mind would be huge. That could be more of a story than anything Barr, Kubby or Root could generate.

    Steve LaBianca

  28. Steve LaBianca Says:

    BTW, when I say a Ron Paul endorsement of Mary Ruwart would be huge, I mean by LP standards. Plus, it could convince a lot of Paul supporters, who wouldn’t necessarily vote Libertarian (I’ve read of many supporters saying they will only write in Ron Paul) to vote for Mary Ruwart.

    BTW, as a small tidbit, when I was watching the Ron Paul ticker for his $6 million day in Dec 07, I saw Mary Ruwart’s name come up as a contributor.


  29. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Ruwart-Kwiatkowski . . . has the world ever seen a two woman ticket???

  30. Michael Seebeck Says:

    “Ruwart-Kwiatkowski . . . has the world ever seen a two woman ticket?”

    Only in the AZ governor’s race AFAIK…and it would certainly be a novel idea to have two non-leftist women running…

  31. Starchild Says:

    I agree with Less Antman. Mary Ruwart is the best candidate we’ve got this year. Besides the positives that Less mentioned, there’s another factor hat’s a bit harder to quantify, although it is I think a big reason for his point #5. Namely, Mary is a very nice, compassionate, down-to-earth person who is nothing like your typical politician, and I believe this will come across to the public when they see and hear her. Libertarians have been bugging Mary to run for years (I know, as I personally wrote and circulated a petition urging her to seek the nomination in 2000!), but she has long resisted—I think because she, like Ron Paul, is a humble, non-egotistical individual who doesn’t yearn for power, but rather does what she does because she is completely dedicated to fighting for the pro-freedom ideas she believes in. The only question that remains for me is who should be her VP. Of the current field of VP candidates, Chris Bennett would be my top pick.

  32. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Starchild, though I probably could get this on the LP website if I look deep enough, but where would I get info on “announced” VP candidates?

  33. Jason Says:

    If the Libertarian Party ever wants to join the big leagues then we need someone with charisma and media presence. Root is the only one that currently has that among the nominees. We also need someone willing to be a figurehead for the Party.

Leave a Reply