You Are Not Entitled to Libertarian Votes
As the results of the 2020 presidential election remain unknown, partisans on both sides have begun casting about desperately for folks to blame. Latino voters for Trump have been getting a special amount of guff from Democrats. And both liberals and conservatives agree that third-party voters are a problem, which each side somehow convinced that those who cast their ballots for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen are traitors who owed votes to either former Vice President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump.
As of yesterday morning, Jorgensen was pulling nearly 1.6 million votes, with her vote total beating the spread between Biden and Trump in several vital states.
In Georgia, Jorgensen has received nearly 60,400 votes, or 1.2 percent of the state’s total. Currently, Trump is beating Biden in Georgia by fewer than 19,000 votes.
In Nevada—where Biden is currently beating Trump by less than one percent—Jorgensen has drawn about 1.4 percent of the vote.
In Wisconsin, Jorgensen has received more than 38,400 votes, or 1.2 percent. That’s also more than the margin of votes by which Trump is losing Wisconsin to Biden.
And Jorgensen hovers around 1 percent in Michigan, where Biden is beating Trump by just about one percent.
Earning about 1.14 percent of the total U.S. vote, Jorgensen’s total “marks a steep drop-off from Gary Johnson’s 3.28 percent in 2016,” notes Reason‘s Matt Welch. But she still earned the second-highest number of presidential votes in Libertarian history, beating “every other third-party and independent candidate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia” and “quintupling Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins’ current total of 0.23 percent.”
“Jorgensen has already easily bested Bob Barr’s 523,713 votes in 2008 and Ron Paul’s 431,750 in 1988,” points out the Washington Examiner.
Alas, the fact that there are Libertarian voters who can’t be persuaded to support either Democrats or Republicans seems wholly lost on a lot of people, who insist on imagining them solely as swing voters for one or the other of the ruling parties.
Just so we are clear Jo Jorgensen received 60,022 votes in Georgia. Biden is currently behind 31,306. How’s that vote for your “conscience” feeling now ????
— ????????Beckie Resists ????????☠️ (@beckieavery4) November 5, 2020
Republicans have been especially indignant about Jorgensen voters, as if it goes without saying that these people would have otherwise chosen Donald Trump.
“Libertarian voters could have swung the Electoral College by at least 22 votes by supporting Trump in battleground states Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada,” complained GOP strategist Ryan Cassin on Fox News yesterday. “By throwing away their votes, they’ve likely become spoilers for the Trump reelection effort.”
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) November 4, 2020
It’s a complaint that Libertarians are sadly used to—and, as always, it’s a hollow one. The Trump administration and its allies have spent year
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