# Bob Barr

Surprising results for minor-party presidential candidates

On the whole, Americans rejected minor presidential candidates. The nationwide popular vote stands at 66.3 million for Barack Obama (52.7 percent) and 58.0 million for John McCain (46.0 percent).

Out of curiosity, tremayne at Open Left reviewed the vote tallies for other presidential candidates:

530,200 votes: Ralph Nader

519,800 votes: Bob Barr

179,900 votes: Chuck Baldwin

147,600 votes: Cynthia McKinney

 30,800 votes: Alan Keyes (in CA)

 28,300 votes: Write-in/other

 10,500 votes: Ron Paul (in MT)

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office does not yet have the general election results on its website, and the Des Moines Register’s election results page only gives the numbers for Obama and McCain, but wikipedia gives these vote counts for Iowa:

818,240: Barack Obama

677,508: John McCain

7,963: Ralph Nader

4,608: Bob Barr

4,403: Chuck Baldwin

1,495: Cynthia McKinney

I am surprised that Nader got so many votes. That’s a lot less than he received in 2000 but at least 60,000 more votes nationwide than he received in 2004.

I also find it interesting that nationally, Bob Barr got three times as many votes as Chuck Baldwin, even though Ron Paul endorsed Baldwin. Maybe the “brand name” of the Libertarian Party is stronger than that of the Constitution Party, or maybe Barr just has more name recognition because of his prominent role in the Bill Clinton impeachment hearings.

In Iowa, Baldwin and Barr received approximately the same number of votes.

If any Bleeding Heartland readers have contacts in the Ron Paul for president crowd, please post a comment and let us know how the activists split among McCain, Barr and Baldwin.

UPDATE: A Bleeding Heartland reader compiled all the county results from Iowa and noticed something strange about Dubuque County. As he commented at Swing State Project, Dubuque County showed

quite a few votes for third party candidates and in some instances (La Riva/Moses) more than in the whole rest of Iowa.

I suspect there’s either something wrong with those numbers or they had some strange butterfly ballot.

Did anyone out there vote in Dubuque County, and if so, was the ballot design strange in some way that would produce an unusually high number of minor-party votes for president?

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Ron Paul endorses Constitution Party candidate

A few weeks ago I read that Ron Paul was not endorsing any presidential candidate but was urging his supporters to vote for the third-party candidate of their choice–anyone but Barack Obama or John McCain.

However, this week Paul endorsed Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. The Wall Street Journal blog pointed me toward this letter from Paul to supporters, which contains a bit of a rebuke to Libertarian candidate Bob Barr:

The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November.   It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members.  I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman.  It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party.  Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.

I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well.  The more votes they get, the better.  I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.

In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York.  This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats.  We need more states to permit this option.  This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.

I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election.  I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.

When you think about what an insiders’ club Congress is, it’s amazing that Paul (still a Republican Congressman from Texas) did not endorse his former colleague Barr, who represented Georgia for many years in the House. Barr has denounced the Republican Party for embracing big government and not insisting that the president abide by the law.

The big question for me is whether Paul’s endorsement of Baldwin will cut into Barr’s support in some of the key swing states. I’ve argued before that Barr could tip Nevada to Obama, but ProgressiveSouth writes that Barr could also be a factor in North Carolina.

Anyone out there know any Ron Paul voters or caucus-goers? Will they settle for McCain, sit out the election or vote for a third-party alternative?

For the record, nine presidential candidates will appear on the Iowa ballot, including Baldwin and Barr.

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What if they held a convention and no one showed up?

The Nevada Republican Party didn’t want to take that chance. They canceled their state convention, set for next Saturday, because the number of RSVPs from delegates was well below the level needed for a quorum.

This was the second attempt to hold the Nevada GOP convention. State party officials abruptly ended the originally scheduled event in April when Ron Paul supporters outnumbered supporters of John McCain among the delegates.

Nevada is in my opinion the state most likely to go Democratic thanks to Libertarian presidential candidate and former Republican Congressman Bob Barr. Not only are there huge numbers of Ron Paul supporters who don’t back McCain, there is a relevant history. The Libertarian vote in the 1998 Senate race was large enough to hand a narrow victory to Democrat Harry Reid.

Speaking of Barr, he showed up at the liberal Netroots Nation gathering today. Daily Kos user dday landed an impromptu interview and put up this entertaining diary about it.

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Polls overestimating support for Nader and Barr

I encourage you to read this article by “mystery pollster” Mark Blumenthal about the level of support for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr. Blumenthal shows that historically, polls (especially summer polls) have overstated the level of support for third-party presidential candidates.

I still think that Barr could be a factor in a handful of states. The two I am watching most are Georgia (where Barr has high name recognition from the years he served in the U.S. House from a George district) and Nevada.

Ron Paul tied with John McCain in the GOP caucuses in Nevada, and the state has a history of relatively strong support for Libertarians (compared to the national Libertarian vote). In fact, Harry Reid would have lost his Senate seat from Nevada in 1998 if not for a Libertarian candidate who picked up a couple of percentage points.

Democrats have increased their voter registration edge in Nevada, and Barr’s candidacy could be one more thing that pushes this state toward Barack Obama.  

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Did you know?

That it will only take 1500 signatures to get ballot access for conservative liberatarian candidate for President Bob Barr?

As of Thursday (I called the LP headquarters) he has none.

You do not have to be a Libertarian to print out the sheets, sign the sheets or submit the sheets. Only an Iowa resident, above the age of 18 by November.

I am not going to point out the obvious fact that Barr's mere presence on the ballot is going to draw many votes from McCain in Iowa alone (oops I just did 🙂  ) but I will say that everyone who has supporters willing to vote for them should be able to be on the ballot, because that is after all the democratic way


PS, After mulling it over a bit, I really cant leave the party, as I have previously stated. Winning in 08 is just too important!

And I dont have any links so far to print out registration forms, but if anyone can find them (DM dem, Maggie, I know your better than me at this stuff) I'd be very glad


Bob Barr running for president as a Libertarian

Scout Finch put up a link to this article about Bob Barr announcing his presidential candidacy:

He first must win the Libertarian nomination at the party’s national convention that begins May 22. Party officials consider him a front-runner thanks to the national profile he developed as a Georgia congressman from 1995 to 2003.

Barr, 59, helped lead Bill Clinton’s impeachment. He quit the Republican Party two years ago, saying he had grown disillusioned with its failure to shrink government and its willingness to scale back civil liberties in fighting terrorism.

I despised Barr during the 1990s, and I still think impeaching Clinton was an abuse of the process intended to punish presidential “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

But I have to admit that he has shown a sincere belief in conservative principles during the past few years. Read this article about the reception he got at the February 2006 Conservative Political Action Conference:

“Are we losing our lodestar, which is the Bill of Rights?” Barr beseeched the several hundred conservatives at the Omni Shoreham in Woodley Park. “Are we in danger of putting allegiance to party ahead of allegiance to principle?”

Barr answered in the affirmative. “Do we truly remain a society that believes that . . . every president must abide by the law of this country?” he posed. “I, as a conservative, say yes. I hope you as conservatives say yes.”

But nobody said anything in the deathly quiet audience. Barr merited only polite applause when he finished, and one man, Richard Sorcinelli, booed him loudly. “I can’t believe I’m in a conservative hall listening to him say [Bush] is off course trying to defend the United States,” Sorcinelli fumed.

Even if he only gets a percent or two of the vote, Barr could throw some states to Barack Obama this November.

John McCain still has problems with some elements of the conservative base, including libertarians who voted for Ron Paul in the primaries. In a few states, such as Nevada, Paul outpolled McCain in the GOP primaries.

Neiaprogressive noted that Paul got 8 percent of the vote in the Indiana and North Carolina GOP primaries last week. That’s after he received nearly 16 percent of the vote in the Pennsylvania primary.

It will be interesting to see if the beltway media give Barr more coverage than a minor-party presidential candidate would usually receive. He was an important figure in Washington for many years.

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