TCS Daily - Examining the Libertarian Vote in Depth By David Kirby & David BoazAnother telling quote:
Libertarian Party candidates may have cost Sens. Jim Talent and Conrad Burns their seats, tipping the Senate to Democratic control. In Montana, the Libertarian candidate got more than 10,000 votes, or 3 percent, while Democrat Jon Tester edged Burns by fewer than 3,000 votes. In Missouri, Claire McCaskill defeated Talent by 41,000 votes, a bit less than the 47,000 Libertarian votes.
This isn't the first time Republicans have had to worry about losing votes to Libertarian Party candidates. Sens. Harry Reid, Maria Cantwell, and Tim Johnson all won races in which Libertarian candidates got more votes than their winning margin.
But a narrow focus on the Libertarian Party significantly underestimates the role libertarian voters played in 2006. Most voters who hold libertarian views don't vote for the Libertarian Party. Libertarian voters likely cost Republicans the House and the Senate—also dealing blows to Republican candidates in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
President Bush and the congressional Republicans left no libertarian button unpushed in the past six years: soaring spending, expansion of entitlements, federalization of education, cracking down on state medical marijuana initiatives, Sarbanes-Oxley, gay marriage bans, stem cell research restrictions, wiretapping, incarcerating U.S. citizens without a lawyer, unprecedented executive powers, and of course an unnecessary and apparently futile war. The striking thing may be that after all that, Democrats still looked worse to a majority of libertarians.