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And Then There Were Three: Libertarian Set to Shake Up Kentucky Senate Race

Will he affect the thin margin between McConnell and Grimes?

by
Rob Longley

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August 15, 2014 - 12:02 am
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Kentucky voters who haven’t cottoned to either major-party candidate in this year’s U.S. Senate race will have another option on the ballot this November: Libertarian David Patterson.

On Monday, the day before the Aug. 12 deadline, Patterson submitted more than 9,000 signatures to the office of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes — who happens to be his Democratic opponent in the race. Grimes and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican incumbent, are locked in a near dead heat in what has become one of the most competitive, and ornery, Senate contests in this mid-term election year. McConnell has a slight lead, usually one or two points, in most polls.

Patterson, a Harrodsburg police officer, needs 5,000 verified signatures to make it onto the ballot. Anywhere from hundreds to thousands of submitted signatures are often disqualified in ballot petitions, usually because the signatory is not registered or doesn’t live in the state or district holding the election. But Ken Moellman, chairman of the Kentucky Libertarian Party, expressed confidence the campaign has at least 5,500.

“He’ll have the required number, no question about it,” Moellman said last week.

As of Tuesday night, Grimes’ office was still verifying signatures, but a spokeswoman said it appears Patterson has more than enough.

Patterson, 43, is polling about 7 percent in the race, and analysts say he has almost no chance of besting McConnell or Grimes. But his entry into such a close contest could have an impact on the outcome.

“The third-party candidates usually will pull votes from whichever [of the major-party] candidates they’re most philosophically aligned with,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.

That’s potentially bad news for McConnell, as Libertarians gain most of their support from conservatives who would otherwise vote Republican.

But recent polls suggest that may not be the case in this campaign. The thin margin between McConnell and Grimes remains fairly constant with or without Patterson in the mix, indicating that he’s siphoning an equal number of votes from both major-party candidates.

And the fact that support for McConnell and Grimes doesn’t erode substantially when the polls list Patterson as an option suggests that the majority of his backers are actually undecided voters or those who say they wouldn’t vote for either McConnell or Grimes under any circumstances.

That scenario makes sense, Farnsworth said.

“Third-party candidates bring in new voters by providing that ‘none of the above’ option,” he said. “The main thing that [Patterson] offers here is that he’s not a Republican and he’s not a Democrat.”

Despite the long odds, Patterson says he’s not interested in “siphoning votes” from one candidate or the other, but to offer voters a choice and, in the end, win them over.

“We’re trying to get out, not so much our message, but exposure, so people can see what we’re about,” he said at the Fancy Farm Picnic in Western Kentucky earlier this month. The Libertarian Party had set up a booth at the annual event, the biggest in Kentucky politics, to get signatures for Patterson’s ballot petition and to get word of his candidacy out to voters.

“Once they take a look at the Libertarian Party,” he said, “they realize that we’re more socially accepting than Democrats and more fiscally conservative than Republicans.”

Patterson says getting control of the nation’s debt is among his biggest concerns.

Top Rated Comments   
Having RINOs in charge means the Dems get everything they want, only half as fast. We shouldn't we leave Reid in charge for the Dems to get the blame for that?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's only one way for a Republican candidate to guarantee that an LP candidate won't cost him the election: he must adopt as many pro-freedom positions as possible, and then be true to them while in office. The electorate has grown tired of hypocrites in office...and the votes the Republican "loses" to the Libertarian are from persons who'd probably rather vote for the Republican if he were anything but a Democrat in disguise.

The disgusting thing about such contests is the way the Republican, if he loses, so often complains that the Libertarian "stole" votes from him. That's as serious a misconception of the electoral process, and of the function of minor parties within it, as it's possible to entertain. No one "owns" anyone's vote -- and the arrogance of the major parties in believing themselves "entitled" to anyone's vote is a major contributor to the general disaffection with politics that characterizes our time.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
These third party candidates are only getting more democrats elected by splitting the conservative vote.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (65)
All Comments   (65)
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So, is the Libertarian Party's problem a lack of funding, with which to appeal to potential supporters? Or a lack of supporters to provide adequate funding?

The LP has been around long enough. People know what they stand for. And if they cannot attract supporters it's because their overall message is wack.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/08/15/travis-countys-politicized-da-gets-perry-indicted/#respond

That BS is the Democrats' approach to politics.

The RINOs simply will not play at this level, they roll over instead. I'm sure Boehner will tear up in salute.

There is NO POINT to electing RINOs. They will not maneuver and fire towards the correct goal lines.

If voting for candidates who will move in the correct direction gets Democrats elected, then so be it. Eventually they will win--I don't believe it--or we will.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
If voting for people who want actual liberty causes civil war then so be it; I think we'll win. We won the first civil war against a far more vile and capable enemy, and the Revolution against one more capable still.

If we aren't still the nation which can do that, it doesn't matter who we vote for.

Unless you are willing to admit that to yourself, that that is what you really believe--and I don't believe it for a second--then vote for and support candidates who might actually move in the right direction.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember that Ditch McConnell has already said he intends to reinstall the 60-vote filibuster rule, giving Democrats and liberal GOP undue influence, if the GOP regains the majority. Ditch would drive across country, use night-vision goggles, scale a mountain if that was the only way he could stab a conservative in the back. He would not blink twice if that could stop Obama. You know it, I know it and Bob Dole knows it.

As always happens the GOP will have a bare majority and that means the RINOs and the Democrats will team up and continue the GOP's plan of making nothing but excuses for doing nothing.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Patterson is not a libertarian, he is a lying democrat. What other office has he ever ran for? The idea that he will take votes away from Grimes is farcical.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Virginia Governor's race is the new model for Democrat victory.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
So Mr. Patterson will take 10 percent of the vote if he's lucky, almost entirely from the Republican, and the Democrat will win. Doesn't matter much since it's Mitch the RINO, but that is the way it works.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Does matter as it enables Harry Reid to continue to rule in all ways including judges appointments etc. I would rather a Rino than a psycho. In reality doesn't matter much now. America is totally fiscally and morally bankrupt and the big ship can not will not be turned back. Just put your head between knees and kiss nearest thing good by. The implosion is much nearer than most think.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The republicans have not proven during my half century lifetime that they are appreciably better. Remember the "contract with America"? Where, exactly, are those promised term limits.

Just keep kissing the establishment GOP where you seem to like to kiss them. Keep electing them expecting them to change after you reward them for claiming to be the "lessor of two evils".
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, and next time in that district the same political machine and special interests will nominate another RINO to run against what will then be an incumbent Democrat. Nah, doesn't matter much.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Right now, in order to fight the Left; Conservatives have to first defeat the Institutional Republicans on every issue. And to expend most of our time and energy beating the Institutionals. McConnell, et.al. spend all their time defending Democrats from Conservatives. It makes sense to prove to them that there is a cost to siding with the Democrats.

Subotai Bahadur
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you can't prove that in the primary, proving it in the general is suicide. But, hey, let's show 'em they can't mess with us. To hell with the fate of the country.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The fate of the country" will be to continue down the path to destruction it is on unless the people DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, instead of treating elections like a football game.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The fate of the country is the same if we elect RINOs or Democrats, only timing differs.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Soros and/or the DNC aren't funneling money to this guy, to Joe Miller in Alaska, and other so-called "true conservatives" or libertarians, they should be; these fringe and third party candidates will keep the communists, excuse me, Democrats in power in the Senate and thus continue to deprive the House of any meaningful voice in governing. But, at least the 5-10% who vote for them can feel pure.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
And the rest of you can at least feel "pure" party partisans eating whatever slop the GOP central committee throws at you.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Did you just accuse a billionaire of being a communist?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, Soros is merely an opportunist and a sociopath; using the communists makes money for him.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The communists - err - democrats were in power even when they weren't in power under Bush, when the gop had "two halves of two thirds of government". The left still marched ahead with big government, skyrocketing debt and the like.

And "purists"? Please. The ruling class republicans have no leg to stand on with that accusation after what they did to keep a conservative republican out of the Senate in MS. Nice try. We know who the real purists are now.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
And we who've actually done something in the political system know who the complete idiots are.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Given what you've wrought, the complete idiot looks at you every morning.

Assuming you are only metaphorically blind, Mr. GOP Establishment, you.

Purity has nothing to do with it. You GOP establishment types want to move the country in the wrong direction, the same direction as the Dems. The best of you just wants a slower speed.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I stated in my earlier comment- it isn't so much about purity as it is credibility. People will only be lied to and insulted so often before they give up and look elsewhere.

Belittling the concerns of others doesn't help. Name calling doesn't help. If we want folks to vote for our candidates then we need to try and attract them, not insult them. Personally, I believe these things should be worked out in primaries, but I can understand the frustration as I share it.

This is a real problem. Trust of the voter must be earned back by honoring promises, by listening to the concerns of voters and, should it be necessary, explain why certain promises cannot be kept. Weasel speak by our politicians doesn't help - Look up how house members kept trying to claim they had honored their pledge when it was obvious they hadn't. Many voters simply don't believe them anymore.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember the House GOP's Pledge to America in 2010? - A pledge they broke immediately upon winning the majority. Purity isn't required, but credibility is - most GOP old guard have zero credibility and I can understand why people will not vote for them again. Many are simply fed up and think it is time to try someone new.

People have been voting Republican for ages and the party leadership rewards that loyalty by calling them names, mocking their values, by falsely accusing them of being racist or xenophobic, etc... This is a problem and so I ask the GOP -

What are you going to do about it?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's the problem. Many DON'T try someone new. They bounce back-and-forth between the establishment Republican and the establishment Democrat. When one doesn't do what they said they would, the voters turn to the other. Each time we may see a new FACE, but the same old party player. The same old socks, out of a different drawer. And never really someone NEW.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Patterson is likely too weak on national security as is Sen. Rand Paul, who on this issue is a chip off his father's block. As Ron Paul only voted in favor of invading Afghanistan following the attacks on September 11, 2001 due to his staff threatening to mutiny and resign en masse if he did not, the libertarian movement is more than simply disingenuous with regards to pledging to change how business is conducted inside the Beltway.

As Sen. Paul favors amnesty, he cleverly rebranded it in a politically-correct manner that his socialist measure in non-monetary matters permits him to do, such a politician is more dangerous than the known quantities who have already stated either through their votes in Congress or in Grimes' case, in Frankfurt with her support for it, who unapologetically are intent upon manifesting the dissolution of the American people's sovereignty. Patterson is running for the U.S. Senate for the party demanding to cut defense spending by at least 60% even at a time where it appears the U.S. is on the brink of a third global war in the Middle East, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Rim. As Sen. Paul is notorious for telling each talk show host other than the time he was slammed by Sean Hannity for his gross inconsistencies on national polity, the matter of his fickle nature and ignorance regarding foreign policy of our foes globally is disturbing at best. This will reflect poorly on Patterson as it will others who choose to run among the libertarian establishment; Justin Amash only won his primary due to his opponent displaying his disrespect toward Amash and his family. Conservatives and even the faction led by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and both my senators from Tennessee traditionally do not tolerate this from party members unless an extreme circumstance calls for the Machiavellian idea that the ends just the means is applied. This of course is always arbitrarily applied, again as the situation calls for it. One can only wait and observe as time progresses.

As Sen. Paul stated in a speech that the federal government would ensure that all illegal immigrants will have jobs, it reads that his inner socialist is ripping open his chest to reveal what the dark heart of libertarianism entails: a blatant disregard for the rule of law as equitable in its own duplicity as President Obama's. I do not want politicians who through obvious uses of stealth through the trained eye are intent upon dissolving the American electorate's popular sovereignty. When I read Ron Paul's quote, which I will paraphrase as "democracy is not liberty" in so many words, it causes me reason to wonder just how much of a cabal of Jacobins he and his son are and for those they serve as the major representatives.

After all, the key premise behind libertarianism's founder Murray Rothbard is anarcho-capitalism. Once you understand Rothbard's design to achieve the total abolition of social infrastructures including one's duty to be accountable for his or her actions, it is not at all unreasonable to be frightened by the growth in libertarianism. Out of chaos, there will always rise a political faction who feeds upon the fears of the citizenry, itself a raging a leviathan intent upon squeezing the despair to its last drop, and therefore transform them into a collective of sans-culottes rebels who will only achieve at the end of revolution a far more totalitarian government as with Napoleon in 1799, Lenin in 1917, Hitler in 1933 and Mao in 1949. Millions died from the latter three tyrants actions, and they called their usage of anarchy funded by wealthy socialites "democracy"; Mao referred to the proletariat peasants as his source for China's "New Democracy". Revising history will help libertarians so long as those within the neoconservative camp continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Once the transhumanist state topples the organic conditions of the present, nothing else will really matter.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The invasion of Afghanistan was a weak move which has cost America dearly in lives, treasure, and, with the coming of the Kenyan marxist, much of out freedom. The better solution would have been to nuke two Afghan cities where bin Laden was known to hang out and announce that any future attacks on the American homeland would elicit a future response to terrorists and those who herb or them. Had that course been followed, the middle east would be much different today.

You're correct, however, that Paul is wrong on Amnesty. Invaders are invaders and should be treated as such. It makes no difference why a "home invader" breaks into your home, it should be killed on entry rather than offered a place at your dinner table and it's choice of menu items.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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