Recent surveys show Gary Johnson, the 3rd party Libertarian Candidate, polling in at around 8% nationally. During the infrequent, few-and-far-between instances that national news dedicates to talking about this up and coming candidate, the pundits are quick to mention that Johnson is simply ‘stealing’ three votes from Romney at the rate of every one vote he ‘steals’ from Obama. But, in the silver lining of these statistics, there is proof that there are people that can and will convert the label of their political alignments. So how do we increase the number of supporters for this relatively non-mainstream movement in taking from the two totally-mainstream parties?
For all intents and purposes, lets say the country is divided up roughly how the last election turned out, which was about 53% D and 46% R.
Lets say all things are being held constant from 2008; that is, we project 53% of the popular vote would go to Obama and 46% to Romney. If Johnson has been stealing 3 votes from Romney for every 1 from Obama, and is polling in at about 8%, then what we are left with is 51% going to Obama and about 40% going to Romney.
So who should Libertarians target as potential converts?
Here is something important to remember- roughly 30% of the TOTAL voting population, and one of the most prominent voting groups, are Evangelical Christians. That is, they will vote for whoever is running on the Republican ticket no matter what, be it Mitt or a Monkey. That leaves only 10% of the Republican base up for persuasion.
Now, of the 51% going to Obama, according to a leaked tape from a Romney fund raiser (we all know what I am talking about), most Americans, roughly 47%, are going to vote for Obama “No Matter What, Because They Are Dependent on Government Entitlements.” Leaving 4% of the Democratic base, worst case scenario, open for persuasion. This is until we realize that, realistically, not all of the 47% on welfare will vote Obama, given that this includes Soc. Sec. and Medicare recipients and that demographic tends to be largely R-leaning. So a safe, conservative guess would allow for 7% of that lump sum to be open to persuasion, leaving a total of 11% of the D voting base up in the air.
And, according to Romney (from the same tape), there is another 10% of Independents left- votes not yet accounted for of voters who still have to make up their minds.
What this means is, there is a MINIMUM 31% of the population who are not definitively decided on who they will vote for in the upcoming 2012 presidential election. How can we win over people who have not shut off all ability to listen to facts and analyze semi-opposing viewpoints?
If talking to someone leaning Republican, you might say:
1) Johnson is recognized as one of the most fiscally responsible R-Governors in our lifetime.
2) In terms of Abortion, Romney has literally subscribed to every platform there is to take a stance upon, ranging from never OK for any reason to sometimes OK in the case of rape to maybe OK if before the first trimester etc. If he becomes President, who knows what position he’ll be monetarily influenced to take. Johnson has consistently agreed that abortion should be illegal only after the first trimester, because anything before should be strictly relegated to the woman being allowed to make her own decision about her own body and what may or may not become of the potential organism miraculously spawning in her womb.
3) Romney supports the unlawful stalking of civilians and all other provisions outlined in the Bush-approved Patriot Act, Johnson does not.
4) Both Johnson and Romney agree that our welfare policies need reform, including Soc. Sec. Romney proposes to reduce costs on welfare by RAISING THE AGE OF RETIREMENT (thereby reducing the total number of years hardworking Americans receive benefits). Johnson promotes advocating from the start individuals paying into their own private investment account from their payroll tax obligations, which is by and large taking the government out of personal finance. In other words, he advocates people taking control of their own retirement rather than expecting the spend-thrifty government to do it for them.
If you are debating with a Democrat-leaning individual:
1) One of the fundamental platforms of the Democratic Party is civil liberties and civil tolerance. Obama has allowed 3 million people to see the inside of a jail cell just for pot possession, more than any President in the same time frame in the history of America. Johnson proposes not only to quit wasting tax dollars and law enforcement resources on non-violent drug offenders, but also to retroactively reduce sentences for jail persons with no violent criminal history.
2) It has been very hush hush that Obama recently signed a treaty forcing us to stay in Afghanistan until AT LEAST 2024. Johnson proposes to bring home all troops on foreign tours immediately. Obama believes we need stations on 160 countries around the world, funded by your tax dollars. Johnson feels there is no need for any military occupancy in foreign countries like Germany or Japan here in the 21st century.
3) In regards to illegal immigrants, both Johnson and Obama agree they should be allowed to be granted citizenship. However, Johnsons’ stipulations require the individual to be a working, tax-paying citizen with no criminal history, while Obama’s requirements are more lackadaisical.
4) Johnson, though a branch of the Republican right, does agree that the government has no business involving themselves in the institution of marriage, aligning himself more with the ideologies that Obama supports yet passes no legislation to do anything about.
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