New polling data for Libertarian Party presidential hopefuls

New Libertarian Lists data suggests that while Wayne Allyn Root has a greater level of delegate support than Mary Ruwart, he would ultimately lose to her in a final round match-up with the newcomer to the presidential race. While previous surveys have showed a fairly strong lead for Root, they didn’t test for this head-to-head matchup. Ruwart recently announced her candidacy.

In 2004, Michael Badnarik wasn’t considered a favorite for the nomination. In the initial round of voting, Badnarik came in third place, trailing behind Aaron Russo and Gary Nolan. However, Badnarik had a high level of “second choice” support, which caused him to ultimately win the nomination.

With Ruwart, we are seeing a similar situation. 7.4 percent of the delegates did not know who Root is. 30.9 percent had a negative or very negative impression of Root. 49.7 percent held a positive or very position impression of Root. 13.7 percent of the delegates had never heard of Ruwart, but she only held negative or very negative ratings with 12.6 percent of the delegates and 64.6 percent viewed her in a positive or very positive manner.

When we asked delegates to choose their preferred candidate out of the largest possible pool of candidate names, Root won with 28 percent of the vote, compared to Ruwart’s 25.1 percent.

Following Ruwart was George Phillies with 9.7 percent, Mike Gravel with 9.1 percent, Steve Kubby with 4 percent. They are followed by Christine Smith and Mike Jingozian, who tied with 2.9 percent of the vote.

Next, we eliminated roughly half of the delegates in order to better approximate those who might receive enough support to receive nominating speeches on the convention floor. This time around, Ruwart, with 31.4 percent, beat Root, who earned 28.6 percent of the vote. Phillies came in third place in this line up, with 11.4 percent of the vote.

Finally, when we asked delegates if they preferred Root, Ruwart or NOTA (these are the choices available on the convention floor), Ruwart had 49.7 percent of the vote and Root had 41.1 percent. 9.1 percent of the delegates chose none-of-the-above.

The survey was conducted between March 29, 2008 and April 3, 2008. There were 773 respondents to this survey, of which 175 were self-identified convention delegates. While the margin of error for the entire libertarian movement and Libertarian Party members is lower, the primary purpose of this survey was to determine delegate opinions about various potential LP presidential candidates. Assuming there will be 800 delegates to the Libertarian National Convention to be held in May 2008, the margin of error with this survey is +/- 6.55 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.

When it comes to LP conventions, the percentage of votes a candidate wins in the final round of voting is more important than first round votes. Just ask Michael Badnarik. I’ve called Root the frontrunner in the past, but Ruwart’s entry into the race has changed this considerably. While the distance between Ruwart and Root fell within the margin of error in the first two questions, the gap widened when they were placed head-to-head. Ruwart’s status may not last long if Bob Barr jumps into the race, though.

When we took the list of the declared candidates most likely to receive enough support to receive a nomination speech and threw Bob Barr into the mix, he dominated the results. Barr received 29.7 percent of the vote, followed by Root with 21.7 percent. Ruwart trailed a little bit behind Root, with 17.1 percent. She was followed by Phillies at 8.6 percent. Kubby and Gravel tied at 4 percent. They were followed by Jingozian, Smith and then Hess.

In head-to-head matchups, Barr clearly outperformed both Root and Ruwart. Barr received 48 percent of the vote, defeating Root with 30.9 percent. Barr received 48 percent, defeating Ruwart with 37.7 percent of the vote.

We also looked at how delegates compare ideological issues to electibility issues. We asked: “Assuming a candidate scores somewhere in the libertarian quadrant of the Nolan Chart and is accepted by most people as being generally libertarian, which do you find the most important?”

44.6 percent of the delegates chose “general electibility,” while 49.1 percent chose “political issues.”

The follow four political issues (in this order) were the most important political issues to convention delegates: The economy, government spending, civil liberties and the Iraq War. These four issues were bundled tightly together, with all other issues lagging significantly behind them as the priority for convention delegates.

The complete baseline results are available here. To receive invitations from Libertarian Lists to participate in future surveys, please visit here.

101 Responses to “New polling data for Libertarian Party presidential hopefuls”

  1. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    1. I’m surprised Phillies is leading Kubby. Last January, I’d considered Kubby the lead candidate. I guess organization beats purity (though Phillies is fairly pure, too).

    2. Ruwart, Gravel, and Barr (assuming he jumps in) are all going to hurt Root. Ideological purity is not Root’s strong point. His claim to the throne has always been “fame” and “vote-getting ability.”

    Root claims that his “celebrity status” will garner him more votes than Kubby or Phillies could get., and so his ideological weakness should not matter.

    Yet Barr and Gravel have more media cred, more celebrity status, than does Root. Gravel participated in the Democratic debates, which were viewed by political junkies—the pool of people most likely to vote.

    Even Ruwart brings more celebrity status (within the LP) to the table than did Kubby or Phillies, further knawing away at the rationale for supporting Root.

    This is Root’s new problem. He can’t claim to be a bigger political celebrity than is Barr or Gravel, and even Ruwart’s celebrity status is a challenge. So Root must attack Gravel and Barr on ideological grounds—but if Root makes ideology an issue, well, Kubby and Ruwart, and even Phillies, have Root beat there.

    Root’s not the purist candidate (despite his all-too-convenient, last-minute “conversion”), and with all these new entries, he’s losing his status as the “celebrity/vote-getter” candidate.

    (Speaking of Root’s “conversion,” it’s curious that the pro-war Dondero and Hospers continue to support Root.)

  2. Stefan Says:

    Very true indeed, Thomas. I may add that with Ruwart as a possible nominee or VP (last one could be easily possible), she could provide a lot of interest with women, with ideological purity and broaden the appeal of the LP in this way. A theoretical Barr-Gravel combination could also be an interesting ticket.
    I agree Karen Kwiatkowski, to whom you have referred previously, is also very interesting, but she will probably not enter the race.

  3. BillTX Says:

    I just read on that Barr is going to formally announce this

  4. G.E. Says:

    You cannot start a sentence with numerals. You should say “Seven-point-four percent.” While I’m at it, you should not use double quotes in an article headline, which is something I see from time to time. You should use single quotes instead.


    G.E. Smith
    Libertarian / Grammar Nazi

  5. Roscoe Says:

    What date and time are the delegates scheduled to vote on the nomination?
    Assuming one is elected a delegate by his state, can one vote without buying one of the overpriced packages? The LP used to allow business session only delegates to participate for free or for some nominal registration fee.

  6. G.E. Says:

    Phillies, pure? Sure, if you consider being anti-free trade, anti-immigrant, pro-Fed, pro-income tax, and pro-state marriage “pure,” I guess he’s “pretty pure.” But I don’t, so he’s not. Not even close.

    I’m not surprised Kubby is trailing Phillies though. Kubby has been my preferred candidate all along, but I view his candidacy as a failure. I was relieved when he endorsed Ron Paul because it let me off the hook to support Paul. When Paul all but dropped out, I could not muster any support for Kubby. I just couldn’t make the donation since his campaign had been just going absolutely nowhere for so long. The day I learned of Ruwart’s candidacy, I gave her $50. I think I’m a microcosm for other Kubby supporters.

    If Barr does not get in, I hope and believe the ticket will be Ruwart/Kubby. Kubby would make a much better VP candidate than a presidential candidate. If Barr does get in, he will almost definitely be the nominee, so I hope Ruwart gets on as the VP to please purists.

  7. Mike Gillis Says:

    Has there been any polling for Barr’s impact on the race?

  8. Mike Gillis Says:

    Nevermind. See it now.

  9. Austin Says:

    First - why on Earth is Mike Gravel running as a Libertarian? If he wants to continue, he ought to start collecting signatures and try to mount an independent bid in 20-30 states.

    Secondly - if Bob Barr announces that he will run, it would be criminal of the party to nominate someone else like Root or Ruwart.

    And finally - If Barr does run, shouldn’t the rest of the field really just quit and run for VP? It would be a tight and interesting race.

  10. Chris Bennett Says:

    I’ve been running for VP since October and if the losers of the Presidential race switch to VP then all my hard work goes for not.

  11. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    You write:

    “I’m surprised Phillies is leading Kubby. Last January, I’d considered Kubby the lead candidate. I guess organization beats purity (though Phillies is fairly pure, too).”

    While Phillies is now “leading” Kubby, he is not the one who “beat” Kubby, through organization or any other metric. Look at these numbers, and look at the last numbers. Ruwart’s entry into the race is what took Kubby way down. Phillies essentially stayed where he was (and he’ll continue to stay there, probably, through the first ballot), while a good portion of Kubby’s previous support (along with a number of undecideds) went to Ruwart.

    I do have to admit that I was surprised to see Root’s support increase a little, and his positives increase quite a bit. I probably shouldn’t have been, though. I find it weirdly paradoxical—but anecdotally demonstrable—that while Libertarians have proven themselves smart and perceptive enough to abandon the Ds and Rs, we also tend to be gullible to scams, medicine shows and bizarre and unlikely theories.

    As to why Kubby was in a position to have the rug yanked from under him, it’s pretty simple:

    From December of 2006 through mid-2007, the fault was entirely, or almost entirely, mine. I was a piss-poor campaign manager.

    After mid-2007: The first campaign video was a major failure from a strategy perspective. I won’t take full responsibility for that one, because I advocated producing and actually airing 30-second TV commercials instead, but the choice was not as one-sided then as it seems in retrospect. In either case, the idea was to go to video and raise money on it. That didn’t work. Whether it would have worked with 30-second commercials, we’ll never know.

    There were also external factors that were simply beyond our control. Those factors had mixed effects on all the campaigns.

    In my opinion, Kubby remains hands-down the best possible candidate among those thus far declared, and I’ll be proud to cast my vote for him in Denver. I also expect that this will be the fourth LP presidential nomination contest in a row in which the best possible candidate (Tompkins in 1996, Gorman in 2000, Russo in 2004, Kubby in 2008) did not win. We’ll probably survive this time, too.

  12. Robert Milnes Says:

    G.E., you didn’t say whether you contributed to Ron Paul’s campaign & how much. If you contributed $2300 to him, like a good Ronulan, & then didn’t or couldn’t to Kubby, then seeing your candidate doing poorly, then managed $50 to Ruwart, that would be a microcosm & would explain a lot about ALL the candidates. Some of which contributed or loaned to their own campaign.

  13. Michael Seebeck Says:

    To answer a previous question that I had asked myself before reading this, it’s most likely that that Prez nomination will happen on Sunday 5-25. It could happen on saturday 5-24, but that’s only if Bylaws and Platform get done early. Yeah, right, sure.

  14. Kyle B Says:

    A question about how the voting will be conducted at the convention. What percentage of votes does a candidate have to get to advance past the first round of voting? (Of course for the sake of the question assume no candidate gets enough votes to win in the first round)

  15. Robert Milnes Says:

    Tom, what are you blaming yourself for? You didn’t officially join until late in that timetable. Why don’t you blame Ron Paul & the LNC like I do? If you want some blame, I blame you for not joining my campaign instead.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    There’s no specific percentage in order to advance past the first round. After the second round, the lowest-polling candidate is eliminated from each ballot until either one candidate or NOTA gets a majority.


    I joined Steve’s campaign in October of 2006, and became manager in late November of 2006. Through mid-2007, I was the HMFIC. Half the decisions I made myself, the other half Steve made on my advice. Apart from candidate and campaign manager, who else could be to blame? Neither Ron Paul nor the LNC, especially the former, owed Kubby a free ride. The LNC acted wrongly in several respects, but it didn’t damage Kubby any more than it damaged any other candidate. Paul wasn’t obligated not to run for president just so that others would have an easier time of it.

  17. Anthony Gregory Says:

    GE writes, “Phillies, pure? Sure, if you consider being anti-free trade, anti-immigrant, pro-Fed, pro-income tax, and pro-state marriage ‘pure.’”

    Wait, Phillies is bad on trade AND taxes too?

  18. NewFederalist Says:

    Tom Knapp- Don’t beat yourself up for Steve Kubby’s poor numbers. He is not a great candidate and is perceived (fairly or not) as having only one issue. He would only do about as well as Badnarik in the general election if he gets the nomination. There are better alternatives and that is what is showing up in the numbers. Just my humble opinion.

  19. Shane Savoie Says:

    I don’t see the LP moving forward until we quit trying to nominate someone we see as a “pure” Libertarian. Besides wearing ourselves out with all the bickering, it ensures that we’ll nominate someone sure to scare the hell out of Joe SixPack and his ex-wife, the SoccerMom.

    If someone is demonstrably more freedom-oriented than the D or R, I consider them a step in the right direction.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    I disagree entirely. Of the currently declared candidates, the only one who could reasonably expect to do as well or better than Kubby in the general election is Gravel. Ruwart is better-known inside the party, Kubby is better-known outside it.

    Kubby and Ruwart are both probably starting in the range between Badnarik 2004 and Browne 1996 (i.e. 400-500k). Both could conceivably stretch that range upward. Kubby would be more likely to do so, and he’d be more likely to stretch it further.

    Phillies is somewhere south of Ruwart and Kubby. He’d probably hold the party base of 200k, and might pick up more toward the lower end of the Badnarik 2004 range.

    Root would probably lose half the LP base, but might make it up with outside votes. He might—might—poll as well as Bergland 1984 or Marrou 1992, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

  21. Anthony Gregory Says:

    Shane, FDR ran on a more radical libertarian platform than many LPers currently embrace. Ayn Rand voted for her for this reason. But it wasn’t a step in the right direction, was it?

    Purity is most important. Not 100% libertarian — I’m much more big tent than that. But at least 95%.

  22. Dave Williams Says:

    S.G. great survey, I actually enjoyed participating…lot’s of undecided’s still aye?

  23. Dave Williams Says:

    “I don’t see the LP moving forward until we quit trying to nominate someone we see as a “pure” Libertarian.”

    Yes Shane I agree. I know Root’s been doing the media circus pretty hard, what about the other LP candidates? Of course Barr has recently been on Sean Hannity (now that is an ULTRA-CON), so after he announces he’ll probably pull quite a bit of free press, and yes that crazy old man ‘Gravel’ was on-stage looking like a fool during the Dem debates, but even bad media can be good media in a round about way (look at Obama & Rev. Wright)...what about the ‘Real Libertarians’?

  24. Dave Williams Says:

    Thomas L. Knapp Says:
    April 4th, 2008 at 1:55 pm


    I disagree entirely. Of the currently declared candidates, the only one who could reasonably expect to do as well or better than Kubby in the general election is Gravel.

    Wow Knapp, you propaganda machine you! Go HMFIC, GO!

  25. Jeremy Young Says:

    BillTX, I love Ron Gunzburger of Politics1, but he misread the lede on this one. Barr didn’t say he was going to run, just that his speech wouldn’t “waste their [the delegates’] time”—meaning that he’d announce one way or the other. The second part of the quote, the part about his decision hurting McCain, was not said by Barr, but by someone else who predicts he will run.

  26. Dave Williams Says:

    “Thomas L. Knapp, legend in my own mind”. lol

    “I was the ‘Head Mother Fucker In Charge’. You think using an acronym such as this could be good publicity for your congressional bid, for the LP? Way ta represent up in heuh crunk!

  27. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    If you read what I previously wrote, you’ll see that I’m beyond propaganda here.

    I told Steve Kubby some time ago that if Ruwart and/or Barr (I didn’t anticipate Gravel) entered the race, he was probably screwed. I’m now past the point of pretending otherwise, so I don’t need to spin anything on it. I still think Kubby’s the best candidate, and I still think he’d do better than any of the declared candidates (except possibly Gravel) in the general election.

    That’s just the way I see it; I’m not saying it because I think that saying it will somehow magically put Steve back in the front seat. There’s always the chance that Steve could just wow everyone at the convention so much that he gets back in the running, but I can’t control that and don’t intend to try.

  28. NewFederalist Says:

    Well Tom, I think you are reading too many libertarian publications but I am no expert. With the possible exception of Bob Barr (WITH a Ron Paul endorsement) I don’t see any of the current candidates coming close to Clark’s totals in 1980 or even Paul’s in 1988.

  29. Robert Milnes Says:

    Dave Williams, assuming I qualify as a REAL libertarian LP candidate as I am declared for the REAL LP nomination, I’ve already explained my own personal situation. Also I’ve blamed Ron Paul & the LNC for diverting/acquiescing to diversion of libertarian support to RP/RP. After RP faded disgracefully with a fistfull of dollars, evidently libertarians did not pursue supporting the REAL LP candidates.

  30. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    How much would you charge to follow me around the district insulting me? It would probably be good for a few votes.

    Seriously: I have a long record of public and published statements. If I attract any attention at all, that record will come to light. I couldn’t erase it if I wanted to, and I don’t want to. I don’t see how a sudden attempt to transform myself into some kind of Ned Flanders clone would be either effective or convincing. Eye yam what eye yam, and that’s what I’ll continue being.

  31. silver Republican Says:

    From my observations, mostly on this site, though elsewhere as well, I have come to a conclusion: The Libertarian Party has three choices. Openly identify with the left, openly identify with the right, or nominate a non-entity, and fight another day.

    Gravel would disenfranchise huge parts of the conservative side of the party, as would Jingozian, Kubby, or Phillies, but they’re dead in the water. Root as a candidate creates a very different party, which in my opinion is VERY well positioned in the future to gain votes, especially as conservatism appeals to youth while the Republican party doesn’t, but on the other hand it would no longer be the Libertarian Part we all know, love, and hate.

    Every day I see something new and more controversial with Barr. It seems that before his switch, he was a very, even ridiculously conservative. After the switch, he’s overcompensated, becoming oddly liberal. Now there’s a chance that the MSM and blogsphere won’t really notice this, but if they do, I don’t really see how he appeals to anyone.

    Then there’s Ruwart. Good old Libertarian. Rinse, repeat. The party moves on, the ‘revolution’ becomes ancient history, and everyone feels good about themselves and adds Ruwart to the list with Bandarik as medium level candidates.

    A word of caution, Obama is hip. The youth and radicals on the left have been brought back into the mainstream. Its the right which has lost its way. If I were you, exploit it. Get Root on the tiket, or better yet move Barr back to his roots, just not to quite to that exstream.

    Remember, the most sucessful American third parties have comprised mostly one faction of a major party. Its not like the Progressives in Vermont are really that different from the Democrats. The Populists at the turn of the century were virtually identical to Western Democrats and Southern Republicans. Wallace high jacked the traditional base of the party.

    You Libertarians don’t have a base. I suggest you steal one.

  32. Roscoe Says:

    Let’s pause for a minute to ask ourselves how good a campaign can any of the LP candidates run on the amount of funds likely to be available?
    Let’s stipulate that RP spent $30mm in, what, 25 states? So if he ran nationwide he’d have spent $60mm. Let’s further stipulate that the people running his campaign were amateurs and got only 50% value out of their spending. The LP candidate’s people are going to be amateurs too.
    And RP managed to average, what, 6-8% Republican primary vote from mostly Republicans who mostly follow politics. And he got in far more debates and national media events than any Libertarian ever did. This tells me that any LP candidate spending even $10million in the general election is going to go virtually unnoticed even if he is Bob Barr, and will get much less than 3% of the vote even if he or she could raise and spend as much as Ron Paul did. So, I conclude the LP needs to stop fantasizing and run a candidate and campaign that maximizes the balance of power (spoiler potential) along with best explaining what libertarianism is to the few voters and opinion makers willing to listen.

  33. Dave Williams Says:
    1. Robert Milnes Says:
      April 4th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Dave Williams, assuming I qualify as a REAL libertarian LP candidate as I am declared for the REAL LP nomination, I’ve already explained my own personal situation. Also I’ve blamed Ron Paul & the LNC for diverting/acquiescing to diversion of libertarian support to RP/RP. After RP faded disgracefully with a fistfull of dollars, evidently libertarians did not pursue supporting the REAL LP candidates.

    Ummm, ok. lol

    No offense bro, but maybe you should close up shop and move along smartly. That ‘deputydog’ photo of you on your link is enough to keep millions of small children awake at night crying about a ‘ghost in the room’.

    And I really don’t want to comment on those ridiculous polling questions you ask…lol…holy shit…it really is pathetic. (FYI, just because you wore jeans to the PA POTUS debate DOES not mean you are special.) You will never be POTUS, but you will be a legend in your own mind, just like Knapp.

  34. Dave Williams Says:

    So true S.R., so true. I think every young person wants maximum liberty, a strong self-defense force, and of course maximum profits for their hard work…the party of freedom should appeal to many.

  35. BillTX Says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Jeremy.

  36. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Kudos to Steve Gordon, as always. My take, and I am a novice, but have been around the LP for 20 years (been a libertarian for 30), is that each candidate brings a unique perspective and vote-getting ability. My choice was Kubby, until Ruwart entered the race (Mr. Knapp called this). Mary Ruwart is the type of candidate we’ve never tried putting on the ballot before . . . Ms. Ruwart is phenomenal at reaching all political persuasions (except, possibly totalitarians) and potentially getting their vote. Root is way, way to warmongering (actually ANY warmongering is) for most Libertarians, and most American for that matter. Barr, well he IS coming around to the libertarian point of view, but we’ve tried the former congressman approach before . . . Ron Paul in 1988, and that was only marginally successful.

    Yes, I believe that Mary Ruwart is the ONE this year. For philosophical purity, she is 100-100 libertarian. For reaching out to conservatives AND liberals, and disaffected voters, there is no one better. With many Democrats likely to be disappointed with their nominee, and Republicans the same, there really is only one choice . . . Mary Ruwart. Plus, there IS a chance she could, at some point get Ron Paul’s endorsement.

    The choice is clear!! Lets all get behind Mary Ruwart and make this a great campaign for liberty! We know that Mary Ruwart will make no apologies for the Libertarian Solution. Steve

  37. Mike Says:

    While I would prefer for Barr to run for a more obtainable office, I would not be too displeased if he attempts to run for president with the Ron Paul baton. Of course, I’m not so sure that Ron Paul will formally pass him that baton but I would not be too surprised if he did. I think Ruwart would be a great choice as a VP candidate and feel that choosing her would do more for him in the long run than Gravel can. I also feel that Gravel could very well prove to be a liability for Barr. After all, he is not very good at delivering messages that he is familiar with (such as at the Democratic Debates); can you imagine how badly he could butcher the libertarian message if given the chance? Contrast that with Ruwart and I think the choice is obvious.

  38. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    I’m hardly a legend in my own mind, any more so than I am anywhere else. If you think otherwise, I’d be interested in where you got that impression at. I have strong opinions, but I don’t recall advertising myself as anything other than a minor figure in a minor party.

  39. Dave Williams Says:

    Hahahaha…don’t let it get to you Knapp, we all understand.

  40. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Though I strongly support Mary Ruwart for our presidential nomination, I will vote (in the general election) for any ticket which has her on it. I guess I will have to hold my nose and vote for Wayne Allyn Root if Mary Ruwart is the VP nominee, but that is the ONLY way I would cast a vote for W.A.R. I am all for a Ruwart-Kwiatkowski ticket, but it seems to be becoming less and less likely that Karen Kwiatkowski will get in the contest at any level.

    I will however challenge W.A.R. and others who are of the opinion that Mary Ruwart is best suited as the VP nominee. Is this because she is a . . . woman? Since when is a woman’s “place” in second position? No, Mary Ruwart takes a back seat to NO ONE when it comes to getting the positive libertarian message out. She will make a great candidate, and she will not disappoint. Since we are libertarians, and Mary Ruwart is best prepared to be the LIBERTARIAN candidate, we should be supporting her for that reason alone. Please come on board the train to Denver - Steve

  41. Mike Says:


    I just want to clarify that I would prefer Ruwart over Barr for the presidential nomination. This is for two reasons: 1). I feel that Ruwart would serve better to spread the libertarian message than Barr. 2). I think that Barr is better used in a race that he can more realistically win.

    I do not, however, think that Ruwart can beat Barr for the nomination. If this is how it plays out, then I hope she gets the VP nod for the reasons mentioned in my last post.

  42. G.E. Says:

    “I’ve been running for VP since October and if the losers of the Presidential race switch to VP then all my hard work goes for not” = TOO BAD, SO SAD.

  43. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Mike, thanks for your feedback. I will agree that it will be tough, given the present perceptions of Barr, Ruwart, Root, Phillies, etc, for Mary to get the nomination if Barr declares as a Libertarian. That being said, tough does not mean impossible. I’ve been to two LP presidential nominating conventions, and philosophical purity, coupled with the best message won out both times. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the makeup of the delegation will be the same as in the past. If the perception of Barr by a large percentage of delegates is that he is the best vote getter, in combination with him projecting a fairly strong libertarian message, then yes, he will win the nomination, IMHO. However, that is why I am doing as much as I can, now and at the convention to persuade as many delegates (and potential delegates) as possible that Mary Ruwart provides the best combination of qualities for the future of liberty and the Libertarian Party.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    I think you’re missing a key cultural point vis a vis the LP. In the LP, vice-president is not “second place in the presidential contest” or “something the presidential candidate hands out to someone who can carry Florida.”

    The VP race is a completely separate contest, and there’s something to be said for going with the candidates that entered that contest instead of treating it as an “overflow area” for unsuccessful presidential caniddates.

    As far as realpolitick goes, it would certainly be nice to see the LP put a non-white face on its ticket. I’m not talking about identity politics on issues, but about offering voters candidates who look like them and whom they may be more comfortable engaging with.

    If the LP had already nominated, I’d be pleased as punch to be passing out brochures with Chris’s picture on them tonight when I attend a Martin Luther King memorial event at a black church in my district. If the LP nominates Chris, I’ll be glad to be putting his picture, instead of two white guys’ pictures, on the doors in my 80% black neighborhood.

    We’ve been a leader among parties in including women (we ran the first woman to receive an electoral vote, Tonie Nathan for VP in ‘72; Nancy Lord in 1988, Jo Jorgenson in 1992 and 1996). As far as people of color are concerned, we turned down Russell Means for Ron Paul in 1988 and Dick Boddie for Andre Marrou in 1992, and it’s not like Paul or Marrou exactly took the country by storm or anything.

  45. NewFederalist Says:

    Nancy Lord was the VP nominee in ‘92 and Jo Jorgenson in ‘96. In ‘88 the VP nominee was Andre Marrou.

  46. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Slight correction Mr. Knapp . . . Nancy Lord was our VP nominee in 1992, not 1988. Andre Marrou was the VP candidate in 1988. Plus, Jo Jorgenson was our VP candidate in 1996 only.

    Since I personally don’t identify candidates or put any weight on a candidate’s regarding gender or race, I admit to being ignorant of Chris Bennett’s race. It was pointed out to me, that at the 1991 convention in Chicago, Dick Boddie “replied” in response to a question about why he was the better candidate, he gestured with his hands and body language that essentially portrayed “Look at me, I’m black . . . that’s why I’m the better candidate”. I wasn’t there personally to see it, , but even if Boddie would have been “better”, so what. I’ve long believed that libertarians upheld the individual . . . in rights, responsibility and identification, and eschewed collectivist ideas such as race and gender. ...Steve

  47. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I said “put any weight on a candidate’s regarding gender or race,” but should have said “put any weight on a candidate’s VIABILITY regarding gender or race,”. . . sorry for the poor grammar.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    NewFed and Steve,

    Thanks for the correction on VP candidates.


    You’re missing the point. It’s not about whether black or white candidates are “better”—it’s about how—and whether—we reach people.

    All other things being equal (I’m not claiming they are in this particular instance), the simple fact is that people are most naturally responsive to people who look like them and who can relate to their own experiences.

    Common Libertarian superstitions (such as the idea that there’s no such thing as a community identification and experience to be tapped) aside, it’s reasonably obvious that if we send two candidates into a neighborhood with the same message, the candidate who looks more like most of the people who live in that neighborhood is more likely to be received in an open and friendly manner. He or she is more likely to get a respectful, open-minded hearing.

    There may be better candidates than Chris (possibly including one or more current presidential candidates who might switch focus to the VP race). If there’s a better candidate than Chris seeking the VP nomination, by all means vote for him. But, all other candidates being equal, I’ll support Chris, if for no other reason than that an ethnically diverse offering of candidates broadens our potential friendly audience.

  49. dodsworth Says:

    You Libertarians don’t have a base. I suggest you steal one.

    How can libertarians steal anything with a vaquely pro-war candidate like Root? I’d sooner vote for Obama and many, many libertarians agree. The pro-war folks, on the other hand (like Dondero) will go for McCain when the chips are down. Moreover, the young people who supported Paul will NOT be ihspired by a mushy pro-war guy like Root.

  50. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Mike said, regarding Gravel as VP nominee, “can you imagine how badly he could butcher the libertarian message if given the chance? Contrast that with Ruwart and I think the choice is obvious.”

    Excellent point Mike, but think about Barr “butchering” the libertarian message as well. I’ve met Bob Barr on two occasions, and he is moving, somewhat rapidly toward the base libertarian “philosophical position”, but still is not there just yet, IMHO. He is smart, and will get there if he is dedicated to do so, but Mary Ruwart is “there” now, and has been “there” for many, many years. There is absolutely no chance of her “slipping up”. And that, Mike, and all my Libertarian friends is THE reason to nominate Mary Ruwart for the LP presidential ticket. She lives, portrays, projects, and promotes the Libertarian position like almost no one else can at this point in time. Please get on the train to Denver, and support Mary Ruwart! . . . Steve

  51. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Tom or Thomas,

    I understand your point(s). I understand that, the meaning and effectiveness of communication, is the message received by the recipient. Will a black candidate have a better rapport with a black audience? Today, surely, that black candidate will have instant rapport with many blacks in the audience. I don’t doubt that. However, is this a universal truth, that for the forseeable future, rapport will be “gender” or “race” based? I certainly hope not. So, it bring up the question, what is the goal? Is it to win this election, influence the debate, educate the citizenry, or slowly (and steadily) persuade voters/citizens that our ideas DO matter, not just the messenger who delivers our message?

    To respond, specifically to your point Mr. Knapp, if Chris Bennett has a good libertarian message, then by all means he could and should use his “race” to his best advantage for liberty. In the longer run, let’s work to minimize the messenger’s personal “attributes”, and focus on the message and the benefits of it. . . . Steve

    BTW, my support for Mary Ruwart is not at all based upon her being a woman, though she is quite attractive and charming, IMHO.

  52. Mike Says:


    I agree completely. My perception of Barr is much the same as yours. He seems to be evolving his positions rapidly but he is definitely not as solid as Ruwart is at the moment. For this reason, I will probably be donating what I can to Ruwart shortly.

    That said, the one area that Barr may have a lot of success is tapping into the Ron Paul Movement. I believe that Paul has also said kind things of Ruwart but my impression is that he would throw his support behind Barr - if anyone at all. That could do a lot for the LP moving forward.

    As for Gravel… I’m kinda surprised at the reception he has received so far. He seems very egotistical and opportunistic to me and I dread the prospect of him representing the LP in any capacity. I’m all for “big tent” but he’s running for the LP PRESIDENTIAL nomination. I think you should be a member of the LP for at least…I don’t know… a WEEK… before announcing your candidacy for such a nomination. Just an idea :)

  53. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    No matter how the nomination comes out, Gravel has already done a lot for the LP. He’s put our name in front of non-”conservative” audiences, and for the most part he has stayed on the parts of his own message that correspond well with the LP’s traditional positions.

    In the unlikely event that he’s the nominee, we’ll hopefully get a lot of coverage, and it will hopefully concentrate on areas where he’s in agreement with Libertarians (foreign policy, same-sex marriage, etc.) rather than on areas where he’s similar to a D (health care) or R (“Fair” Tax).

    If he’s not the nominee (and if the nominee isn’t Barr), then we’ll probably at least get a nice news cycle of “crazy Libertarians reject former Senator in favor of unkown,” complete with a list of areas where we disagree with him. That wouldn’t hurt.

  54. Hugh Jass Says:

    It looks like in a mere three months, the top tier of LP candidates have changed from Root, Phillies, and Kubby, to Barr, Ruwart, Gravel.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    Three months is a long time in politics. Most people still thought McCain was dead in the water in mid-October of 2007, but by mid-January 2008 he was the frontrunner.

  56. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I’m trying to read the comments as digest as best I can. All have made very good points. I welcome Mike Gravel into the Libertarian Party. If he has signed “the pledge” (obviously he has, duh) then how can he reconcile “universal health care” with non-aggression? Unless universal health care means completely voluntary, he can’t reconcile the two. That being said, I think the LP needs a much better internal “education” program so that all in the party can understand when aggression, or initiation of force has occurred. Mike Gravel, like all people has the capacity to understand that laws mandating universal health care runs counter to non-aggression. Will he understand the contradiction and go in one direction or the other? Time will tell. This is why Gravel isn’t “there” either, yet. . . . Steve

  57. Steve LaBianca Says:

    True enough, as Mr. Knapp has said regarding Mike Gravel, “He’s put our name in front of non-”conservative” audiences, and for the most part he has stayed on the parts of his own message that correspond well with the LP’s traditional positions.” That is perfectly fine, but what happens when, as our nominee, it becomes necessary to discuss his positions on other topics to the media (and remember, Gravel as a former Senator will bring “media”) which aren’t so traditionally libertarian? The same holds true for Barr. What will Bob Barr, as a former (somewhat visible) congressman, in grabbing “media’, say in response to questions about the war on drugs, war on terrorism, gays in the military (heck, gays, PERIOD!), how he supports certain parts of the Patriot Act, etc? Is this what Libertarians want to take a chance on right now?

    If exposure is the problem for a Mary Ruwart candidacy, then that problem is completely addressable by working as hard as we can through fundraising and promotion. There is ZERO chance of misrepresentation of the libertarian positions with a Ruwart candidacy (OK nearly ZERO!). the same probably holds true for Steve Kubby.

  58. David F. Nolan Says:

    My take: If we want a candidate who is a 100% consistent libertarian, our choices are Kubby and Ruwart. Of the two, Ruwart clearly enjoys greater support at the moment. If we want someone who has high(er) visibility and the credibility of having held public office before, our choices are Barr and Gravel, neither of whom is close to being a 100% consistent libertarian. Between these two poles we have Root and Phillies. Root offers a modicum of visibility and proven ability to get media; Phillies does not. Neither is 100% libertarian, at least by my standards… although both are closer to 100% than either Barr or Gravel.

    Beyond these six we have a gaggle of candidates who range from pure libertarian to outright crazy, but none of whom have any chance whatsoever at getting the nomination.

    As I see it, if Barr enters the race, Root is roadkill. If we want a mostly/nearly libertarian candidate, Barr trumps Root big-time in terms of viability. And I don’t think Phillies can beat ANY of the better-known candidates, period. So the final choice comes down to either Barr vs. Ruwart or Root vs. Ruwart (if Barr does not enter the race). Place your bets.

  59. Bill Wood Says:

    Show down in Denver. I’m not to sure that you can count Ron Paul out of the picture. I’m picking up things that indicate that some of the Convention goers are going to vote for Ron Paul anyway. Could we come away with no candidate for the LP? We have a lot of good people seeking the nomination this year. This could be a super good year for the LP. I hope all the Candidates will come together and work at growing the LP, for we are the key to Liberty. Membership 122,000 and growing (as per the LP News) lets double that by next year.

  60. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    If you want to learn more about Chris Bennett, you can read about him on page 8 of the April issue of California Freedom.

    California Freedom is normally available for download on the Libertarian Party of California’s website, but since that website is temporarily dormant, I’ve placed the issue onto one of my own sites, for the time being.

  61. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I am happy to report, that Mr. Nolan and I are quite close in our assessment of things, though I will admit that I probably learned either from him or people who learned from him, or we learned to assess things from the same sources. Be as it may, I differ with Mr. Nolan on one minor point; W.A.R., Wayne Allyn Root in my view is not closer to 100% libertarian than Barr. Root is a typical warmongering Republican, and he can’t, no matter how hard he tries, to shake that label. And the reason is, he flip-flops on Iraq, War on Terrorism, etc. Granted, Barr is only marginally better, but better he is. You should have heard his speech at the LP of Florida dinner; Barr is fairly quickly becoming more libertarian. Root is not.

    I said when Mary Ruwart entered the race, Root’s campaign was “toast”. I still believe that, even if Barr doesn’t get in. Root is, as Mr Nolan puts it, “roadkill” if Barr does get in. Well put. I’ll take “toast” or “roadkill”. Either suits Root just fine!

  62. Wes Benedict Says:

    I had hopes that Root would come around on the war and terrorism hysteria, or at least his message about it, but I think he took too much advice from Scott Lieberman and Aaron Starr which made Root weak on opposing the war and made him feel comfortable fanning the flames of terrorism hysteria. Also, Scott Lieberman and Aaron Starr spend too much time throwing around the term “purist” and “too many Libertarians not being serious about politics” which alienates too many people (many of whom aren’t purists and are serious about politics but get falsely labeled by the like of Starr and Lieberman) and Root probably assumed based on the advice he was getting that he was on solid ground with enough libertarians.

    Had Root not had Scott Lieberman and Aaron Starr advising him, he might have found a message that retained enough support from people like me and people like me wouldn’t have been begging Barr to enter the race and Barr probably wouldn’t have considered entering the race.

    So, Scott Lieberman and Aaron Starr can take credit for sinking Root by convincing Root that their advice was worth while.

    Shit happens, and in this case, I think the outcome turns out to be a strong net positive because I’m expecting Barr to enter the race and I expect he’ll make a bigger impact.

    I’m for a Barr/Ruwart ticket and I think it’s probably going to happen. Of course, these nominating conventions are subject to all sorts of unpredictable outcomes, so I wouldn’t count Root or Ruwart out for the top of the ticket yet and who knows what will happen in the VP spot.

  63. Andy Says:

    I joined the LP in 1996 and this is the first Presidential Nomination where I’m not particularly thrilled with any of the candidates. I like Steve Kubby and Mary Ruwart but I just don’t see any momentum behind them at the moment.

    Bob Barr has a lot of question marks surrounding him. Wayne Root still seems too cozy with the neo-cons. George Phillies supports the Federal Reserve and refuses to investigate 9/11. Mike Gravel still holds a lot of leftist/socialist views. The other candidates are less known and in some cases are wackos.

    The only Presidential candidate that I’m really excited about is Ron Paul, and it looks like the Republican nomination is out of reach for him and he is still saying no to running as a Libertarian Party candidate or independent.

    Man, I wish that Harry Browne and Aaron Russo were still alive. I wish that Michael Badnarik’s campaign for Congress hadn’t bombed so he could seek the Presidential nomination again and have a higher profile this time. I wish that Ron Paul would change his mind and show up in Denver and win the LP nomination in a landslide. I wish that there was a strong Libertarian Presidential candidate which I could get excited about.

    Oh well, at least the convention in Denver should be interesting…

  64. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I just heard W.A.R. say (from the Heartland Conference) that he won every category in the Libertarian Lists survey. This is someone who want to be our candidate? Does he think Libertarians want fabricated hype? Not only does he twist the truth inside out, he sounds like he believes his own twisted logic. God help us if he is our candidate.

  65. Dave Williams Says:

    “I know it has not been your ambition to run for President.”

    Interesting comment by you Wes in your recent open letter to Dr. Ruwart. Precisely what the LP needs, MORE lack of ambition.

  66. Dave Williams Says:

    What if it’s not hype & is true? Is it wrong for a guy to self-promote? And as far as spin is concerned, 75% of the posters on this site spend about 100% of their time spinning Roots words/past/actions as quickly as new information about him is posted. Heck, Knapp randomly attacks Root on threads that do not have a thing to do with the guy. Get your head outta your ass.

  67. G.E. Says:

    Andy - Give Mary Ruwart time. She’s only been announced for a short time.

  68. Less Antman Says:

    Thanks for the survey results. It really does look like either Barr or Ruwart will be the nominee, and both have close enough past associations with Ron Paul that it is reasonable to hope he will endorse the candidate who emerges, at least after the Republican convention in September. Paul certainly wants there to be some continuation of the momentum from his race, and now we can be relatively certain he will have a candidate with whom he has a high level of comfort representing the LP. I actually think Ruwart would be able to make more of a positive long-term impact on party growth with such an endorsement, as she will appeal more to the Ron Paul campus supporters than Barr will. Moreover, her candidacy will significantly improve the long-term popularity of her books and online column on libertarianism, and bring in new libertarians long after the 2008 campaign is over.

    I agree with our esteemed founder that Root is toast: I’m still trying to understand how someone with a total of $5,600 of campaign contributions (excluding himself) through the last reporting date can maintain the argument that he has lots of outside support, and that has been the source of much of his appeal. Even absent Barr, his inability to receive actual contributions will lead delegates to wonder if his appearances are doing anything at all to actually build the LP.

    If Barr declares during his keynote address, AFTER the candidates forum, there won’t be a good opportunity this weekend to understand how he intends to represent the party. Personally, I need him to commit to restoring a comprehensive platform before I can believe that his conversion to libertarianism is complete enough to be our standard bearer, and I hope that is the majority viewpoint in Denver. I’ll definitely be supporting Ruwart to the very end of the convention, but my enthusiasm post-convention requires someone who is going to advance the libertarian message and not merely get a larger number of protest votes than other choices might. The high vote total of Ed Clark in 1980 clearly didn’t foreshadow a new plateau in the LP, nor was there was there any follow-through 4 years after Ron Paul himself ran in 1988, and I would much rather attract the young and enthusiastic Paul supporters as long-term activists than get a bunch of disgruntled Republicans to vote once for the LP candidate.

    But perhaps Barr’s conversion has progressed more than I realize, and the influence of the good libertarians in his area has had a major impact. I can be persuaded if the evidence is there.

    I do think a Paul-endorsed Ruwart is a better bet to produce an influx of activists, and unless Paul actually endorses Barr pre-Denver, I see no reason to treat Barr as more likely to get the post-convention endorsement of Paul than is Ruwart, given his past public expressions of support for her, his nomination of her for FDA Commissioner, and her own support for his 2008 campaign. As for a libertarian I know will represent me accurately and with an ability to provide sound, evidence-based arguments for our views, it is no contest, and I think a debate that includes both Ruwart and Barr will make that clear. I think she’s the favorite in Denver even if Barr declares (absent a Paul endorsement, of course).

  69. Eric Dondero Says:

    Andy, where do the LP candidates stand on investigating Oklahoma City bombing and Saddam Hussein’s connections through his Intelligence Agency to Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols? Where do they stand on investigations into the Clinton/Reno cover-up of the involvement of “John Doe II” in OKC?

    We know what happened on 9/11. I guess you’ve forgotten one of the highjackers actually survived: Zacariwas Mousaui, and bragged about his fellow Al Qaeda bringing the Towers down.

    What we don’t have the full story on, is Iraqi involvement in attacking the Federal Building in the Heartland of the USA in 1995.

  70. Eric Dondero Says:

    Hey Wes, that’s a good thing that you won’t be supporting Real Worlder Wayne Root. Perhaps now we can convince Wayne to come back to the GOP.

    If more and more purist LPers like yourself shun Root and others like him, then maybe we can have a natural split within the libertarian movement, between leftwing obscurity-supporting Liberaltarians, and rightwing real-world America-friendly Libertarians.

    Lose Root, and you will lose a whole segment of the Libertarian Party to the Republican Liberty Caucus and the growing libertarian Republican movement. We’ve been trying to recruit Lieberman and Starr (Bruce Cohen, Mike Murphey, into the RLC for years.

  71. Eric Dondero Says:

    Benedict, you should take your purity test one step further. You should not only shun Wayne Root and his supporters, but also engage in a 1983-style purge of the Libertarian Party.

    Anyone who is in favor of a Strong Defense and in defending America from Al Qaeda Terrorists should be run out of the LP.

    I think you’d be the perfect person to lead such a charge.

  72. Eric Dondero Says:

    Oh, I don’t mean to fillibuster, but one other point.

    Wes, I’d be willing to bet that all those Pro-Defense Libertarians that you wish to purge from the Libertarian Party will find a home. There are “other” libertarian political organizations out there these days.

    This is not 1984, when if you left the LP you had nowheres else to go. The LP has had a little competition in the political activism field in the last 10 to 15 years or so.

    Initials are: R - L - C

  73. Eric Dondero Says:

    Just a friendly note:

    The Republican Liberty Caucus will be holding its National Convention in Ann Arbor, Michigan in mid-September. Potential guest speakers already include: Grover Norquist, fmr. New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and Michigan Republican Party State Chairman Saul Anunzis.

    If any of you Libertarian Party members who lean Pro-Defense happen to get purged from the LP as a result of supporting Wayne Root or not holding onto the puritarian leftist Libertarian line of Hating America First, well, you are welcomed to attend the RLC Convention.

    There are no purity tests in the Republican Liberty Caucus.

    Reserve your flights and hotel rooms now. Just in case the Wes “Benedictitarians” engage in a purge of Pro-Defensers at the LP Convention in Denver.

    Michigan is calling…

  74. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Dave Williams said “LaBianca, What if it’s not hype & is true? Is it wrong for a guy to self-promote?”

    First of all Williams, it absolutely isn’t true. In a head to head (with NOTA) preference in this survey, Ruwart beat Root 49.7% to 41.1%. When the “less popular” candidates are dropped Ruwart beat Root 31.4% to 28.6%. So, when Root “self-promotes” he ought to at least stick to the facts, and stop fabricating that he won all the categories. Who needs to get their head outta their ass, Williams? READ THE RESULTS FROM THE STORY ABOVE

    BTW, I expect and have no problem with self promotion . . . just be truthful. Root is feeling the pressure from both Ruwart and Barr, and is resorting to lies now. Shameful.

  75. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I don’t know about Barr, but I can guarantee you that Mary Ruwart will tell the truth. No fabrication, no lies, no attacks on her opponents. She is a totally class act. W.A.R. ought to learn about the long standing position, of both the classical liberal and libertarian movements, of the virtue and benefits of a non-inteventionist foreign policy. Ron Paul is a non-interventionist, Mary Ruwart is a non-interventionist, Steve Kubby is a non-interventionist, and Root spouts the McCain/Giuliani/Romney/Huckabee/Hillary etc, etc, etc warmongering position. Besides the fact that a non-interventionist foreign policy IS Libertarian, mimicking the Republicans and Democrats is purely senseless . . . we might just as well be them!

    Wayne Allyn Root ought to understand why a non-interventionist foreign policy is the right policy for America, and embrace it. Until he does that, W.A.R. is totally wrong for the LP, and America for that matter. That is why I cannot support him; and now he resorts to distortions to bolster his alleged popularity . . . shameful, irresponsible and despicable.

  76. Eric Dondero Says:

    Hey Labianca, how many big media interviews has Mary Ruwart received in the last 3 weeks since she’s announced?

    Has she been on Mancow? Fox News? CNN?

    We’re seeing the contrast of the Libertarian campaigns these past few weeks.

    Bob Barr hasn’t even announced and this morning he’s got a feature story about him on Couple days ago he was on CNN. Day before that there was mention of him on Chris Matthews MSNBC. And that same day Fox News had a blaring headling story about him on their website.

    Wayne Root’s was endorsed by Mancow yesterday. In the last week he’s picked up endorsements from 3 celebrity Poker Champs. And he’s been all over the major media.

    Gravel announced last week, and within two days he was being interviewed on CNN.

    Mary Ruwart? Zilch. Zero. Nada. (Well, maybe a couple obscure blog mentions here and there.)

    You want Ed Clark redux, vote for Gravel, Root or Barr.

    You want a David Bergland style 1984 campaign, support Mary Ruwart.

  77. Eric Dondero Says:

    Labianca, you need to understand that a non-interventionist foreign policy leads to surrender in the War on Islamo-Fascism. That’s just what Bin Laden wants us to do: Pull our Troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq and Middle Eastern/South Asian lands.

    He will immediately declare victory, and then turn his sights on conquering Europe.

    There’s already confirmed reports of Muslim Terrorists crossing our Southern and Northern Borders in the United States.

    Is this what you want for the United States? To be ruled by Sharia Law?

  78. Dave Williams Says:

    “First of all Williams, it absolutely isn’t true. In a head to head (with NOTA) preference in this survey, Ruwart beat Root 49.7% to 41.1%. When the “less popular” candidates are dropped Ruwart beat Root 31.4% to 28.6%. So, when Root “self-promotes” he ought to at least stick to the facts, and stop fabricating that he won all the categories. Who needs to get their head outta their ass, Williams? READ THE RESULTS FROM THE STORY ABOVE

    I did read it. I thought it was a good poll and a pleasure to take…but there are a lot of things about polls that don’t mean shit…let’s start with …it’s a fucking poll Polls have margins of error…polls can be manipulated…people who don’t know shit about poll subjects take polls one day and change their minds and vote another way the next day (or are skitzo like so many here at TPW, and move from candidate to candidate with no real commitment to any one of them…”well, I was supporting Ron Paul, oh wait, whaaaaa RP’s not running….yeah Ruwart’s running now…oh wait, Gravel’s in yippeeee….oh wait, Barr’s running now I’m pissing my pants & BARR is a former GOPer WITH a NEO-CON voting record, sucker)! What if a biased kinda guy finds a way to take a poll over and over again? And then there are the shear mountains of undecideds…

    Also, you know it, and I know it, people make mistakes and slip up in conversations… Anyway, if the guy is as truly as evil as you say, I’m sure the ‘LP Gestapo’ will get right to the bottom of this and run the guy off. So chill out, you have nothing to worry about.

  79. Dave's Donut Says:

    Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape, Wayne Allyn Rape.

  80. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    Dondero: “In the last week [Root]’s picked up endorsements from 3 celebrity Poker Champs.”

    Wow! Hillary would kill for just one Celebrity Poker Champ endorsement.

    Obama’s got his entire campaign team working overtime to snag a Celebrity Poker Champ endorsement.

    And I’ve heard rumors that McCain might drop out of the race entirely, unless he garners a Celebrity Poker Champ endorsement.

    And why not? Everyone knows the historically enormous influence that Celebrity Poker Champs hold over U.S. presidential elections.

    No wonder Milnes’s campaign is dead in the water. He should have built his campaign on a “Progressive Poker Alliance” strategy.

  81. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Williams, this isn’t about whether or not you agree with the validity, correctness or effect this survey has. It is about W.A.R. saying false things, lies, about how it turned out that he won all the categories. Root is a liar.

    And I don’t take kindly to people telling me to take my head outta my ass. It is uncalled for. You disagree with me fine. Slandering is not appropriate. Now, liars need to be called to the mat.

    Lastly, I am not one to “run anyone out of the party”. Root needs to know what it really means to be libertarian. I hope he gets there.

  82. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Williams said “move from candidate to candidate with no real commitment to any one of them”. I supported Ron Paul. However, I believed his chance of getting the Republ nomination was slim, but it would have been a great lead in to the LP nomination, and exposure further along in the campaign. When Paul declined to go LP or independent, and I had heard the rumors about Mary Ruwart running, I moved my support. I have met Mary Ruwart several times, and I support her, running or not. So, I am supporting her campaign now that Ron Paul isn’t really in this thing any more. This is where my political “home” is; the LP. So, if that comment I quoted is directed at me, it is unfounded.

  83. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Let it be known, that my silence by not responding to Rittberg/Dondero is not acceptance, nor is it that I have no legitimate rebuttal.

    My silence is only because rebutting to him isn’t worth the time to respond. I am only saying this so that others know that my non-response isn’t acceptance.

  84. Brian Holtz Says:

    Less, I too hope Ron Paul is ecumenical enough to endorse our nominee whether it’s a fellow constitutionalist (Barr) or a self-described anarchist (Ruwart). I’m adding you to my list of radical/anarchist libertarians who don’t consider Ron Paul to be irredeemably tainted by his unyielding support for the existence and authority of the federal government defined by the U.S. Constitution: I created that list of 13 Ron Paul reformista heresies against radicalism before Paul told a national network TV audience that

    - “it’s not part of my platform” to “abolish public schools, welfare, Social Security and farm subsidies”;
    - it’s not true he “called for the abolition of public schools” when he ran for President in 1988;
    - “I’m the one that has saved [Social Security]. I say this constantly—don’t turn anybody out on the streets. People we have conditioned—yes, technically we shouldn’t have them, and it’d be nice to get rid of them, but I would say take care of the people that are dependent on us.”

    This was after Paul told Jon Stewart that “getting rid of Medicare” is “not high on my agenda. Matter of fact, we’ve taught a couple of generations to be very dependent on government, and that’s not my goal, because I think you have to have a transition period.” He also told Stewart he didn’t think that “defense” was a service “that the market can deliver better than the government can”.

    Given all the above, I’m not sure why a radical LP candidate would even want the endorsement of a Ron Paul. (By contrast, all 13 of those Paul heresies are positions that LP reformers/moderates say the LP should be tolerant of.)

    For that matter, I didn’t hear Ruwart say anything radical in today’s debate. In fact, I can’t recall any LP candidate speaking up in this election cycle for the radical ideas of individual secession, immediate non-enforcement of all tax laws, or privatizing all streets and pipes. I see candidates willing to sign the Restore04 petition, but I don’t see any of them standing up for the most radical positions that were in the 2004 platform, or for the “radical abolitionism” that the Radical Caucus says “Libertarians must always make clear” they stand for. With 2004 platform critic George Phillies recently signing Restore04, and Mike Gravel recently signing The Pledge, it may be that the radicals are just getting played by this crop of candidates.

  85. Alexander S. Peak Says:

    For 2008, in order from my favourite to least favourite:
































































































    I reserve the right to alter my preference ordering at any time. :)

    (And, yes, I’m aware that most of these VPs are not actually running for VP. This list is, thus, hypothetical.)

    My Savoie writes, “I don’t see the LP moving forward until we quit trying to nominate someone we see as a ‘pure’ Libertarian.”

    I can’t speak for others, but the two most important things I look for in a Libertarian candidate are communication skill and issues. Issues are extremely important to me—more important than party loyalty, which is why I was able to reject the two major parties in the first place. But truth be told, I think communication skill is slightly more important to me. Fame is number three on my list.

    1. Pure libertarian with great communication skill
    2. Slightly deviationist libertarian with great communication skill
    3. Pure libertarian with good communication skill
    4. Moderately deviationist libertarian with great communication skill
    5. Slightly deviationist libertarian with good communication skill
    6. Moderately deviationist libertarian with good communication skill
    7. Pure libertarian with okay communication skill
    8. Slightly deviationist libertarian with okay communication skill
    9. Moderately deviationist libertarian with okay communication skill
    10. Pure libertarian with poor speaking ability
    11. Very deviationist libertarian with great communication skill
    12. Slightly deviationist libertarian with poor communication skill
    13. Very deviationist libertarian with good communication skill
    14. Moderately deviationist libertarian with poor communication skill
    15. NOTA
    16. Very deviationist libertarian with okay communication skill
    17. Very deviationist libertarian with poor communication skill
    18. Non-libertarian

    (I’m too lazy right now to work out the three dimensional model necessary to figure out how I factor fame in there.)

    Although I believe communication skill is the most important factor, one’s “level of purity” is important, too. What is “level of purity,” anyway? It’s just another way of saying, “How much does the candidate agree with me on the issues?”

    Mr. Knapp:

    I disagree that Kubby can get more votes than Ruwart. Ruwart is simply a better communicator. This stronger ability to communicate our ideas will help get her more media attention and air time than Kubby, despite his pre-nomination higher level of fame outside the party. Further, Kubby will unfortunately be seen as “nothing more than a pot-head” in the eyes of some voters; Ruwart doesn’t have to worry nearly as much about that sort of stigma.

    Ruwart is the only declared candidate whom I believe can get more votes than Browne ‘96. Barr, if he enters can get more, although I’ll still support Ruwart pre-nom.

  86. Steve LaBianca Says:

    To Alexander Peak - curious combination Dondero/Ruwart, I guess it was just to ruffle Dondero’s feather’s . . . if he’s reading. Excellent!

  87. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Brian Holtz, I think you are trying to bolster the case for the Reform Caucus. I don’t see the strategy as a good one. Radicalism is the core, a new strategy is the best process.

    As far as Ron Paul is concerned, the perception that his exposure via the Republican debates, that as the LP candidate Paul would give the LP the potential for 2 to 3 million or more votes, minimizes the necessity of radicalism as the main goal. There is no question, in the presidential electoral world, law (ie constitutional law) is the target. As Harry Browne explained many times, once we reach having the federal government operating purely constitutionally, the rest of us who want to go further can rent out the Superdome to talk about it. (a little sarcasm Harry used there at the end).

    However, this does not mean that purely constitutional government is the LIBERTARIAN PARTY’S members position. Nor should fundamental libertarianism call for only constitution’s limitations of government, and adopt as libertarian theory’s limitations of the government. Thus, the platform ought to adhere to libertarian theory, and seek to abolish all functions of government which are coercive/aggressive in nature. I’ll not define this, but government limitation beyond the constitution is a no brainer for every thoughtful libertarian. Even Ron Paul agrees the constitution is flawed, and could be more limiting of government, in certain areas.

    So, I know the radicalism is there, it just is not the “political goal” for the forseeable future. As a matter of fact, Mary Ruwart’s way of delivering her positions on problems in society and with government’s intrusion into it, appear rather commonsensical. It takes the “edge” off the extreme nature of what she proposes. Without knowing it, her way of explaining the lack of coercive elements in society (anarchy), that is, the “good neighbor” policy she promotes, we seen to rather easily accept it as right. A given. An OBVIOUS truth!

    I think it is truly remarkable how she disarms a great deal of opposition to her “solution to the problem”! We really ought to, NO . . . NEED TO promote Ms. Ruwart and her unique approach to persuading in a inoffensive, warm, and non threatening way. Has any of the prior LP presidential candidates ever TRIED to reach voters in this way? Not to my knowledge, yet the most radical libertarian candidate we can potentially have, ever (Mary Ruwart) can be radical and strangely mainstream at the same time! I say we go for it, and forget about “star power” or prior government experience, or smooth talking salesman, and see how it goes.

    Libertarians, and a host of other interested people will see the light and vote for Ruwart if we promote her approach far and wide.

    In a nutshell, the Reform Caucus is changing the wrong things within the LP. The fundamentals, the radicalism isn’t wrong, the strategy is. The promotional strategy is wrong. Mary Ruwart’s strategy is right!

  88. Jack Parkman Says:

    1. The “failed presidential candidates shouldn’t run for VP” argument is complete nonsense. I mean no disrespect to those who are campaigning for the VP nod, but if you’re WHINING that your “hard work” is for naught then your whine is symptomatic of your own disappointment and not in the best interests of the LP or the libertarian movement.

    Asinine references to a “key cultural point vis a vis the LP” aside, the VP decision should involve many factors, including realpolitik. The VP nominee should be someone who brings something to the table. You’re right, the VP decision IS separate. But you’re wrong about the rationale.

    I’d like to have a minority, a woman, celebrity status, experience, credibility, military service, etc., in a nominee. But I’d mainly like balance. If the presidential nominee is someone like Bob Barr, I’d rather not have a similar candidate get the VP nod. IN CHOOSING THE VP NOMINEE, EVERYTHING SHOULD BE BACK ON THE TABLE. IF A CANDIDATE WHO ALSO RAN FOR PRESIDENT BRINGS SOMETHING TO THE TICKET, THEY’RE AN OPTION. If a candidate emerges because the presidential nominee brings them into the loop, that should be considered. The LP need not bow down to the nominee and coronate his/her choice, but it’d be foolish to be so inflexible as to not give the nominee’s prefered choice MAJOR CONSIDERATION.

    What if Ron Paul does enter the race, and has a big name in mind for VP who isn’t even an LP member? Are we to pass up the chance to spread libertarian ideals and expand our base out of “cultural points?” I love the LP but if we want to be a player in the political arena we can’t cling to ceremonial traditions out of sentimentality.

    2. Steve Kubby is a terrible candidate. Is he a nice guy? A purist? To be admired? Yes, yes, and yes. But this election will represent a major opportunity to present libertarianism as a viable, mainstream alternative to the two parties. There IS an alternative to the fascist warmongering of the right and the socialism of the left. We’d be fools to nominate someone who will (rightly or wrongly) be viewed as a single-issue candidate (drug war) with no government experience. It’d set the movement back 20 years.

    3. Will Eric Dondero please just drop dead? Seriously, is this self-important asshat actually trying to promote a bigger tent? This is the fool who thinks drumming Ron Paul out of the libertarian movement is a good idea and has invited Saul “Silence Debate” Anuzis to his little circle jerk session.

    Let me get this straight: we have a neoconservative poser actively trying to reduce libertarian influence in Congress, making cozy with those who want to push libertarian ideals out of the GOP race, but he’s the champion of expanding the base? Oh, and after he rants about Wayne Root (who I have nothing against), he then attacks everyone who’s NOT a fan of the War on Terror as “hating America first.”

    But according to Dondero, there’s no “purity test” for his little rump organization.

    Then again, this is the same clown who flagrantly fabricates information and has the nerves to speak for others by claiming that libertarians were “flocking to Giuliani.”

    Eric, find a hobby. You’re done. You’ve been exposed. You’re nothing more than a vindictive shell of a man. You may have labored long and hard for the cause, but you’ve lost all credibility and the best thing you can do for libertarianism is to fade away.

  89. Dave Williams Says:

    “I supported Ron Paul. However, I believed his chance of getting the Republ nomination was slim, but it would have been a great lead in to the LP nomination, and exposure further along in the campaign. When Paul declined to go LP or independent, and I had heard the rumors about Mary Ruwart running, I moved my support.”

    Hey Knapp, isn’t Ron Paul the enemy? RP is a Republican who talks to the evil Glenn Beck (as per Knapp a few threads back) I guess you are the enemy too Binaca, guilty by association … I rest my case.

    You people remind me of the guy at work who doesn’t have a favorite team, he “likes all of them” he can jump on the ‘winning’ bandwagon as soon as it comes along and say “weeee look at me…I’m a winner and you’re not…it’s fun being a grown up 2nd grader…weeee”

    As I implied above, if Root needs an LP attitude adjustment he’ll get one.

  90. Dave Williams Says:

    ‘Stink Fist’ where are ya buddy? ‘Dave’s Donut’ is so fkn lame…just like your limp…hahahah…clit pussy

  91. Eric Dondero Says:

    Hey, Paulie Frankel is that you? See you’ve got a new “pet” name with the bogus “Jack Parkman.”

    Given up on those Cannolis ‘eh? Guess you finally remembered what happen to that other guy who went fetchin’ those Cannolis.

    “Leave the gun in the car, but bring the Cannolis…”

    Those “controversial ties” of yours in the ahem… “underground” got you sweatin’ perhaps?

  92. Eric Dondero Says:

    LaBianca, you’re silence is aking to those “good Germans” who stood by, you know the local townfolk, as the Jews were herded into Cattle Cars and shipped off to Auschwitz and Treblinka.

    Today Silence in the face of the Rising Threat of Islamo-Fascism is akin to Silence during the Holocaust.

    If you apologize for Al Qaeda, or lend to their cause by opposing the War on Islamo-Fascism, you’re as good as supporting Al Qaeda yourself.

    Thus, you are no different than the Germans who allowed their country to be taken over by the crazed Nazis in the 1930s.

    Your silence sill lead eventually to the deaths of tens of millions of Americans.

  93. Dave Williams Says:

    Steve LaBianca


    Wes Benedict Says:
    April 6th, 2008 at 1:03 am

    First, I’ll disclose that I’m a Bob Barr for president supporter. I’ve contributed $1,000 to his campaign. I’ve also contributed $500 to Mary Ruwart and $250 to Wayne Allyn Root; okay, also $825 to Ron Paul.

  94. Baldur Kostadin Says:

    Williams go back to sucking Root’s cock. He’s going to need the jerk off now that Barr is in the race. Root’s old fucking news. Used goods with those retreds that his campaign hired. The Barr/Ruwart ticket has been chosen. He should bow out before people figure out his wife fucked his campaign manager.

  95. Steve LaBianca Says:

    In the event Mr. Williams wants to make an even huger (a ridiculous rant) deal about my support for Ron Paul and then to Mary Ruwart, I have long supported Mary Ruwart; her principled libertarianism and approach to promoting it. Ron Paul (though he holds a few positions which I believe are in conflict with libertarian principles), who campaigned on a strongly overall libertarian stance was a candidate I could support, especially due to his support for the correct foreign policy, tax “policy” and monetary “policy”.

    I want the Libertarian Party to have more influence, more members, and more elected representatives in government. I will not however, compromise core libertarianism for electoral success. Lest anybody wants to paint me as a purist who has a prescription for failure, I believe that a good strategy and promotion of libertarian policies means realizing that not all government coercion is going to be eliminated in a day. Let’s face it, those who would abandon core libertarianism because the “voters don’t like them” have essentially given up on libertarianism. I believe our principles are best for people, and finding the best way to persuade the voters of this is our best overall program. I am not willing to throw “the baby out with the bathwater”.

    My “prescription” is; adherence to core libertarian principles coupled with the best strategy to promote our ideas to the voters. In my view, Mary Ruwart meets these criteria best.

    Mr. Williams, keep laughing, humor is good for the psyche; but I find your rants fall very far short of having value.

  96. Dave Williams Says:

    Great spin and wordplay Binaca…whose your horse gonna be next month… this choad gurgling asshole…Baldur Kostadin?

  97. Scott Frost Says:

    I recommend this article by Justin Raimondo on Bob Barr:

    Personally, I am for Bob Barr for president. Is Barr as pure a libertarian as most LP members would like? Maybe, maybe not. Is Bob Barr light years better than Clinton, Obama, McCain and Nader? Absolutely.

    This year provides libertarians a unique opportunity. Bob Barr is perfectly positioned to take advantage of it and, at the very least, secure ballot access for the future. It’s been a very unusual election cycle. Anything can happen—especially if the nincompoop neocons attack Iran and the economy continues to tank.

  98. Scott Frost Says:

    I should also mention that Bob Barr is an experienced fundraiser and has a better chance of getting on the ballot in all 50 states by doing the one or two tough states that the LP has written off at this point himself. He would have a better chance of getting into the debates and have more credibility with the media than any of the candidates with no political experience. He may be the only candidate the LP can run who would get an overt endorsement from Ron Paul.

  99. frank Says:

    The reason Barr is considering running for the LP nomination is because of the hard work done by the LP to have ballot access in 48 states thus far. I believe that if it were not for the ballot access the field here would be much slimmer. What is so great about the current climate politically is that more and more Americans are paying attention to whats going on and we as a party have an opportunity to make our voice heard. To me the LP is what’s important here and which ever candidate the delegates select is going to be heard across the nation. I dont want to see the LP viewed as a place where those who tried and failed within their own party’s ran to. I think its incredibly important that there is a balance on this ticket. I dont want to disparage any of the candidates. They are all stepping up and offering their service to our country and I applaud them all. However i have to agree that we do need a viable change and a recognizable candidate that all of America can stand behind. We also need a Libertarian on the ticket to insure that the Party’s platform and agenda is also a consideration. Barr/Jingozian? No Jingozian hasnt gotten the media and press the other candidates have thus far. But have you listened to him, the guy gets it. Go look at his site

  100. Andy Says:

    “Eric Dondero Says:

    April 6th, 2008 at 7:45 am
    Hey, Paulie Frankel is that you? See you’ve got a new “pet” name with the bogus “Jack Parkman.””

    I’m almost positive in saying that’s not Paulie.

  101. Jack Parkman Says:


    You’re right. I’ve never even heard of Paulie Frankel.

    Eric, you’re clearly losing your grip on reality. Misquoting The Godfather aside, comparing Iraq War opponents to Germans who did nothing during nazification is not only an absurd analogy, it’s intellectually dishonest.

    You either know that, and don’t care…or you’re DELUDED.

    I can have intelligent, respectful conversations with those who favor an aggressive, interventionist foreign policy. I’ve worked with dozens of students who refer to Khalizad in ‘95 as the foundation of their belief in benign hegemony. Then there are the HACKS. These are folks, like you, who have no intellectual scruples. These are the people who lie, represent themselves as something they’re not, and accuse their opponents of being unpatriotic, treasonous, or akin to nazi collaborators.

    You’re a hack. You’re not a libertarian by any stretch of the word, and need to stop pretending you are. War is the health of the state, and if you want to be warmonger then go be one and comment on how you “saw the light” and regret your past libertarianism.

    But when your OBVIOUS PERSONAL BIAS leads you to threaten a run against the most prominent elected libertarian in the nation, and then to support a two-bit neoconservative hack in his attempt to unseat him, you’re a TRAITOR to libertarianism. I’d disagree with you—and probably dislike you—if you left the movement and became a “former libertarian.” But I’d have some respect for you. Your sad, sad attempt to have it both ways shows that you have NO PRINCIPLES. You’re an angry, insignificant excuse for a man who isn’t guided by anything more than your own ego.

    You have no principles. You have no credibility. And you have no SOUL.

    “Go now, and die in whatever manner seems best for you.” So long as it’s at least 100 yards from our movement.

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