Supposed Libertarian “Spoilers” for Democratic Senate candidates, link provided by this Montana based blogger because, spotted because it linked to me:
— U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who won his seat in 1998 when he beat John Ensign by a mere 428 votes, and with less than 48 percent of the vote. The Libertarian candidate, Michael Cloud, got 8,044 votes, and the Natural Law candidate won 2,749 votes.
— Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who won her Senate seat in 2000 by beating Republican Slade Gorton by 2,229 votes. Libertarian candidate Jeff Jared won 64,734 votes.
— Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., who beat John Thune in 2002 by 524 votes to win the South Dakota Senate race. Libertarian Kurt Evans earned 3,070 votes in that contest.
— Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who won his Senate race in 2006 by beating Republican Conrad Burns by 3,562 votes. Stan Jones, the Libertarian candidate, won 10,377 votes.
It is a little tough to figure out the “Spoiler Effects”. Libertarian voters are not to automatically transferrable to the Republican party, and a small number will actually gravitate toward a Democrat over a Republican over social issues or issues of divided government. A certain statistical Noise from people simply casting a vote for someone on the ballot has to be taken into account, and a large number will not be voting for a major party.
I find it a bit curious that he saw fit to mention the Natural Law Party candidate in Nevada, who if not on the ballot I assume votes would drift either to the Libertarian or to the Democratic candidate Reid, which makes that one a little too close for comfort in tabulating the “Spoiler Effect”, just as I suggested I am a little uncomfortable in stating that Jones gave the election to Tester because one could certainly make a Libertarian case for Tester over Burns. There I just like the idea that the Democratic Senate majority swung based on a man who turned his skin blue as a side-effect of preparing for Y3K. As for Maria Cantwell, I might as well add, she came in off the coattails of one Ralph Nader, who brought in voters that covered her margin of victory — third party spoilers cancel themselves out. I would have to know the exact percentage of Johnson’s victory over Thune to provide my estimate.
At least he didn’t suggest Webb came in because of a Libertarian spoiler — the Libertarian margin is way too close to Webb’s size of victory over Mr. Macaca Man. (Besides which, remember those exit numbers?)