Libertarians gain votes in last election
November 09, 2012
Despite minimal funding and media, and debate exclusions, the Libertarian Party nationally and in Missouri shattered several of its previous records Tuesday. The Johnson/Gray ticket garnered over 1.1 million votes, just shy of 1%, breaking the previous record of 921,158 set by the Clark/Koch ticket in 1980. Missouri delivered 1.6% for the Johnson/Gray ticket, breaking the previous record going back to 1980 of 0.7%, and four times the 2008 result of 0.4%.

The party ran candidates for all six statewide races, all congressional races and a number of lower level races. The party broke its previous records in four of the six statewide races, including U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.

In the hotly contested U.S. Senate race, Jonathan Dine garnered 164,991 votes (6.1%), a party record for number of votes in a single race, as well as the percentage record for that race. Sean O'Toole, the candidate for treasurer garnered 108,780 votes for 4.1%, the party's second best showing for that particular race. The party had only broken the 100k mark once before, in the 1992 race for treasurer, the year the party first earned ballot status. In the 4-way race for secretary of state, Cisse Spragins garnered 70,539 votes, which was more than twice the difference between the top two finishers. The party's averages for congressional candidates has been trending upward the last three elections, with the high mark going to Kevin Craig in the 7th district.

This election, Missourians heard the first attack ad against a Libertarian candidate. In a desperate attempt to pick up last minute votes, the Akin campaign launched an attack ad via radio and robocalls against Jonathan Dine.

"I was both surprised and amused when I first heard it,” said Jim Higgins, the party's candidate for governor, and a former state chair of the party. “It shows we've become a factor in Missouri politics.”

In the federal and statewide races, a total of 665,616 votes were cast for Libertarians.

"I used to think that the number of votes cast for Libertarians was a measure of our discontent as a nation," said Spragins, the party's chair, "but I now realize it's a measure of our courage. Discontent is high - congressional approval ratings are in the toilet, yet virtually everyone was re-elected. And yet while millions of alleged fiscal conservatives wasted their votes on Romney and millions of alleged anti-war, pro-civil liberties voters wasted their votes on Obama, over a million people were willing to step up and vote their conscience for Gary Johnson, and millions more cast Libertarian votes down ticket. That gives me hope. I'm really proud of our candidates and our voters."

Voters who recognize that the two-party duopoly has jointly led the country to the brink of economic disaster and who are tired of never-ending foreign wars and a ballooning Big Brother police state will find common ground with the Libertarian Party. America’s third-largest political party working for smaller government since 1971, the Missouri Libertarian Party has been a recognized party in the state, with continuous ballot access, since 1992.

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